The United States Army has begun training exercises to prepare troops for a possible showdown with Russia.
The drills are modeled on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and incorporate what officials say are lessons learned about Russia’s methods, the AP reported.
U.S. begins training exercises
At the National Training Center in the Mojave Desert, soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division simulated an attack on a fictional town. The town’s defenders, played by the NTC’s 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, lit up social media with disinformation about the attack.
Brig. Gen. Curt Taylor, who led the American attack, called the enemy’s propaganda a distracting “challenge.”
“When I’ve got a bunch of casualties and I’m getting overrun on my left flank and my supply trains aren’t where they need to be and I can’t find the bulldozers, it’s hard to think about something that someone said about me on Twitter,” he said.
The drills are meant to reflect the critical importance of information warfare in any future conflicts involving the United States, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said. She credited Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky with being an “incredibly powerful” messenger in the info war.
“The Russia-Ukraine experience is a very powerful illustration for our Army of how important the information domain is going to be,” she said.
“We’ve got to be prepared”
Echoing Ukrainian and Western claims that Russia is using intentionally brutal siege tactics, Taylor said that the Army needs to be ready to fight an enemy that will kill civilians indiscriminately.
“We will be very focused on how to fight against an adversary that is willing to destroy infrastructure because that’s how we think our adversaries will fight,” Taylor said.
“We’ve got to be prepared for urban combat where we have an adversary that is indiscriminately firing artillery.”
The U.S. will have plenty of time to study what is promising to be a drawn-out conflict. President Biden has refused to send troops to Ukraine, which many fear would trigger World War III, but his administration is providing weapons and training to the Ukrainians.
U.S. officials have admitted to using their own disinformation to manipulate Russia’s response, such as by claiming without evidence that Russia was preparing chemical weapons attacks.