US Defense Department Sees Russo-Ukrainian Conflict Going Beyond 2023
United States Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley believes that it will be difficult to expel every Russian soldier from Ukrainian territory by the end of 2023.
During a speech alongside US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, Milley said that even with the billions of dollars of economic and military aid provided from countries in the Collective West expelling Russia will be a tall order.
“President Biden, President Zelensky, and most of the leaders of Europe have said this war is likely to end in a negotiation. From a military standpoint, this is a very, very difficult fight,” Milley stated.
Milley stated there was still heavy fighting taking place along the frontline, which spans hundreds of miles.
“I still maintain that for this year, it would be very, very difficult to militarily eject the Russian forces from every inch of Russian-occupied Ukraine,” he added.
“That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. But it’d be very, very difficult.”
Milley made these comments when the US rolled out it’s latest major military aid package, which is roughly $2.5 billion and features a Stryker armored vehicle.
The package will also supply 8 air defense systems, 350 Humvees, 53 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, over 100,000 rounds of artillery ammunition and rockets, and missiles for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, per a report by the Associated Press.
Now, there are talks about how the West should send Ukraine tanks. The United Kingdom has promised to send 14 Challenger tanks and Germany is still negotiating to determine whether it will send its Leopard 2 tanks.
Germany has said it will move forward with this aid deployment if the US sends its Abrams tanks to Ukraine, which the US has refused to do thus far, despite already delivering over $100 billion in aid and equipment.
Milley called for Russian president Vladimir Putin to cease hostilities.
“I think at the end of the day, this war, like many wars in the past, will end at some sort of negotiating table,” he asserted.
“That’ll be determined by the leaders of both countries, both Russia and Ukraine. President Putin could end this war today. He started it. It’s his war of choice.”
He added: “And he could end it today, because it’s turning into an absolute catastrophe for Russia, [with] massive amounts of casualties, lots of other damage to the Russian military. So he should, and could, end this war right now.”
Indeed, the Russo-Ukrainian conflict is turning out to be a protracted struggle with no real end in sight. Given Russia’s larger resources and proximity to Ukraine, it will likely come out victorious, albeit in a pyrrhic manner. Any increases in military aid will merely prolong the inevitable and just result in more unnecessary pain and suffering in Ukraine.
It’s time for cooler heads to prevail and find a reasonable off-ramp to end this conflict