The Renegade Rip

Pro- Con- Security concern in Sochi Olympics

By Elias C Ahumada and By Daniel Ojeda, Reporters

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Pro

With the Winter Olympics around the corner, athletes from all over the world are making final preparations. All the hard work, training, and sacrifice will be put to the test on the big stage, the Sochi 2014 Olympics, but the athletes competing in this year’s Olympic Games aren’t the only ones making final preparations. Some U.S. military troops are also getting ready.
The United States has recently offered Russia security assistance during the winter games as fear persists over the latest terrorist threats aimed at the Olympic Games. Russia has some 40,000 police officers ready to deploy to the area surrounding the winter games.
The United States has said it wants to use equipment similar to the ones used during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; equipment aimed at detecting explosive devices that can be triggered by the use of cellular phones.
Some questions that are lingering, however, are whether or not it’s safe to deploy troops to the area? Will tensions flare up with U.S. forces in the area? It is safe to assume that the protection of the millions of people attending the games should be priority, as well as the protection of the athletes competing in the games. Since evidence shows that a threat is possible, why not take all the necessary precautions to avoid it from happening, or avoid it from escalating? Also, maybe the attendance of U.S. military troops in the area working alongside Russian security forces can be a good thing for future relations with the country.
The United States has said that it will send two war ships to the Black Sea as well as some other assets. The troops, however, are not being deployed for war, but merely to help Russia in the event that a terrorist attack does occur and people need to be evacuated, or any other assistance that may be needed. However, before any assistance can be given, the United States would need to be given permission to do so by the Russian government.
Like the athletes preparing for the Olympics, the United States has also been planning and preparing in the event that an attack does occur at the Olympics. The main focus has been the evacuation of Americans in the area. There have been no plans on sending any air assets to the area yet, but anything can change from now until the days leading to the start of the Olympic Games.
Poor planning or no planning at all in the wake of a possible terrorist attack could allow the possibility for a bloody catastrophe to unfold; while careful planning could prevent an attack from ruining the games. The Olympic Games should be about countries from all over the world gathering around in friendly competition, watching as the world’s best athletes battle one another for medals. This year, however, most of the world will be watching in fear; with some anticipating a tragic scene.
Russia and the United States should come to an agreement and have a plan in place in the case that a terrorist attack does occur. Both countries working together on the security issues at the games will result in an enjoyable Olympics, with the viewers being more relaxed.

Con

The Olympics aren’t meant to scare people. The Olympics give athletes from all over the world a rare opportunity to show off their endurance and superhuman feats. But the Winter Olympics in Sochi is providing much more than that. Listening to any talk of U.S. security plans for the games might make you think visitors were entering a war zone.
Threats have been made by numerous terrorist groups, in which they vowed to strike at the Olympics. Contingency plans are in place to evacuate Americans in case of an attack. The United States is also moving two warships into the Black Sea, leaving a C-17 transport aircraft on standby in Germany, and sharing some of its high-tech bomb detection technology with the Russians. Is that enough; or should the United States also send military assistance to the games as well?
Even though I believe that the United States should do everything in its power to protect our Olympians, any military assistance that we send would be severely restricted and wouldn’t provide the help many expect. In fact, it may do the opposite and unintentionally rile up the Russian government.
There is a sense of pride in Russia over these Olympics and while the Russian government has cooperated on other issues, when it comes to military assistance for the games the topic tends to get sensitive. The United States has offered full military support for the Olympics even though there was no official request from the Russian government.
If the Russian government decided to accept the offer of help, I believe American assistance would be handicapped. The Winter Olympics are being held on foreign soil, if any attack was to occur who would be in charge of the chaos that would follow? Russian forces would move in to take control of the situation but if American citizens are involved there is no guarantee that American forces would stay put while the situation is being handled.
We are on their territory and the Russians get to decide what kind of outside help they need. Two different military forces trying to gain control of the situation might cause tension and that could fray an already rocky relationship between both countries.
There has also been a growing mistrust between both Russia and the United States over security preparations. There are some U.S. officials that feel that Russia has not been forthcoming in sharing information on specific terrorist threats. I believe that without having full details for these situations the United States would be a stepping into the situation blindly and wouldn’t be able to offer the best assistance possible.
For our military that might be a dangerous situation and we wouldn’t want them to be in that position while they’re trying to keep our Olympians safe.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stated that about 40,000 police and security forces will be guarding the games in Sochi. Access to Sochi is also heavily restricted; add to that a couple thousand American soldiers and that might be asking the Russian government for too much.
Russia is the host of the Olympics and they have the prime responsibility for protecting all athletes and spectators. The United States has contingency plans in place and is ready to act but only if needed, as it should.

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Pro- Con- Security concern in Sochi Olympics