U.S. offers Russia security help for Olympics

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According to a report today in The Guardian, the US military said on Monday that air and naval assets, including two ships in the Black Sea, would be made available to help Russia combat any possible terrorist attacks on the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The Pentagon said US military commanders were “conducting prudent planning and preparations” should American support be required during the Winter Olympics, which has been the target of threats by militant Islamist group.

“The United States has offered its full support to the Russian government as it conducts security preparations for the Winter Olympics,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

“Air and naval assets, to include two Navy ships in the Black Sea, will be available if requested for all manner of contingencies in support of – and in consultation with – the Russian government.”

The Pentagon statement came the same day that two men said by Islamist militants to have carried out suicide attacks in south Russia appeared in a video donning explosive belts and warning Russian President Vladimir Putin to expect a “present” at the Sochi Winter Olympics from fighters following after them.

Reuters reported on Sunday that US military and intelligence officials have been studying contingency plans for evacuating Americans from the games in case of a crisis.

But US officials have concluded there would be major obstacles to mounting a large-scale effort by the military or other US government resources to evacuate Americans from Sochi, said a source familiar with Obama administration debates. MORE…

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved with Berman Concerts and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.