Kiev won’t meet its military goals anytime soon, says Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Milley
Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that the fighting in Ukraine will continue in the near future without a military solution.
Milley spoke alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin after a virtual meeting of the “Ukraine Defense Liaison Group,” a group of Western nations that has pledged to supply Kiev with weapons, equipment and ammunition to use against Russia — while Insisting that they are not parties to the agreement conflict.
Ukraine’s strategic goal is to occupy all territories “occupy” by Russia, which “Hundreds of thousands” Milley told reporters that Russian troops are currently in place. “It might be militarily achievable, but probably not in the short term.”
“That means the fighting will continue. It’s going to be bloody and it’s going to be hard. At some point, the two sides will either reach a negotiated settlement or a military conclusion,” He said. In the meantime, the United States will continue to support Ukraine.
Austin and Milley always insisted that Kiev did not lose. They portray Ukraine’s loss of the months-long Battle of Bakhmut as a defensive victory.They also claim that the Ukrainians are using the US-supplied Patriot air defense system “very effective.” The Russian Ministry of Defense said it had used a Kinzhal hypersonic missile to destroy a Patriot battery in the Ukrainian capital earlier this month.
Milley also defended the decision not to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine sooner, arguing that the U.S. was not responding to public pressure to increase arms deliveries, but was always sending what it needed to Kiev at any given moment, using “Hardcore Military Analysis” costs, benefits and risks.
Deploying just 10 F-16s would cost $2 billion, including operations and maintenance, while Russia has more than 1,000 modern jets, Milley explained. So it was decided to supply Kiev with the air defense system first and then send the F-16 as a longer term solution.
“Building an Air Force of the requisite size, scope and scale will take a considerable amount of time,” Milley said.He also warned reporters to restrain their enthusiasm because “There are no magic weapons. Not the F-16, not anything else.”
It has been known since February that Milley will retire sometime this year. On Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden nominated the current chief of staff of the Air Force, General Charles Q. Brown Jr., to succeed him.
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