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U.S. Says Little Chance of Military Presence in Sochi

<p>U.S. officials say that while it is true the Pentagon has looked at plans for the US military to assist Americans in any possible evacuation of Sochi, there is no expectation that the U.S. military would be involved.</p>

The Obama administration has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for possible "US military assistance for Americans" inside Sochi in the event of a terrorist attack.

The military's European Command has drawn up but not submitted plans to the State Department or Pentagon, which would rely entirely on military assets already in place. An order to move a couple of U.S. warships into the Black Sea could come within a matter of days.

The plan would move a couple warships into the Black Sea, where US military warships routinely operate, and put a number of transport planes on standby at military bases throughout Europe, where according to officials, "they're always on standby."

Short of any direct military operation in Sochi, the ships could possibly provide "communications" for Americans on the ground.

"There is no expectation that the US military would be involved in any evacuation of Sochi" said one senior official.

The U.S. 6th fleet has a number of warships with helicopters in the Mediterranean that could enter the Black Sea and could be used to airlift Americans out of Sochi. but according to a senior military official, "there are currently no plans to do that."

The U.S. military also has fleet of transport aircraft stationed in Germany, but there are "no plans, no advance preparations" to use them in any evacuation operation.

Any US involvement in any military operation surrounding Sochi would first require a request from the Russian government to the State Department, then an order from the President. Senior US military officials today were unanimous in saying the likelihood President Putin would ask the US for military help is zero.