Pentagon Plans to Set Up a New Command to Arm Ukraine, Officials Say

The proposal originated this year with Gen. Tod D. Wolters, Gen. Cavoli’s predecessor, and was refined after Gen. Cavoli took command in July.

Lieutenant General Christopher T. Donahuewho commanded the US evacuation from Afghanistan in August 2021, has coordinated much of the US military assistance to Ukraine behind the scenes in recent months.

From his forward headquarters in Wiesbaden, Gen. Donahue, a former commander of the 82nd Airborne Division who now commands the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps, has helped oversee the training, speaking with Ukrainian generals about their needs in the field. battlefield and drawing on their experience in Special Operations to advise their Ukrainian counterparts.

But General Donahue and his command staff, who have been deployed to Poland and Germany since the first days of the war, are scheduled to return to their main headquarters at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, next month, Department officials said. defense.

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So the Pentagon would need someone else to lead the more formal command structure.

Brig. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, the Pentagon’s press secretary, declined to discuss the proposal, but added in an email: “We are continually evaluating and refining our internal posture and processes to ensure we provide Ukraine with relevant and timely security assistance.” to meet your most important needs. urgent needs on the battlefield and build its enduring force to deter future Russian aggression.”

U.S. officials have not publicly discussed the proposal, in part because Pentagon officials are still mulling the plan, but also to avoid fueling Russia’s President Vladimir V. Putin’s narrative that his country is at war with the United States and NATO, not Ukraine. .

Still, the Pentagon has taken steps to begin the long-awaited consolidation of train and equip duties. Over the summer, a cell of logistics specialists that combines requests from Ukraine with military donations from more than 40 countries moved to Wiesbaden from Stuttgart, Germany.