If you’re still wondering why the United States has failed to emerge victorious in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly Afghanistan, all you have to do is look at the Ukraine Defense Contact Group’s press conference in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday. What a true clown show! Lloyd Austin and General Mark Milley’s comments reveal an iron grip on two men with delusions and a complete lack of self-awareness.
How dare these two failed military leaders pretend they are qualified to advise Ukraine on how to fight a first world military, when their own dismal military record shows they failed to defeat a bunch of goat herders and tribesmen who had any air of war. no , no helicopters and no artillery is the definition of chutzpah. This would be ridiculous given the ongoing carnage in Ukraine.
Here are some lowlights from Austin’s opening remarks:
He accuses Russia of purposefully targeting civilians (a lie) and ignores Ukraine’s killing of its own civilians in the Donbass over the past eight years.
He accused Putin of creating world chaos, though food and oil shortages along with collapsing economies in Europe were self-inflicted wounds by NATO. NATO did that, not Putin.
Austin has pledged to support Ukraine for the long haul by pledging more HIMARS ammunition, heavy machine guns, 181 MRAPs and 2,000 anti-tank guided missiles, and an additional $1.75 billion for air defense systems. He failed to mention that none of those shipments will arrive anytime soon because US and European stocks are nearly exhausted.
In addition to providing more cow bells, Austin insisted that the communications group coordinate the grant into an integrated training plan. Oh yeah, almost forgot, Ukraine will get more tanks and air defense systems (which won’t arrive for months). He avoided the small, trivial details of the lack of logistical support for these systems and the months of training required for Ukrainian soldiers to become minimally proficient with these systems.
Good speech, Lloyd.
Later, General Milley. At least he didn’t mispronounce anyone:
NATO and this coalition have never been stronger and Russia is now a global pariah.
I’m surprised no one laughed at this blatantly ridiculous claim. Poland is carping in Germany. Turkey has told Sweden there is no deal on NATO accession. Hungary expresses strong objection. Meanwhile, Putin has developed close ties with China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Brazil. Time for the Princess Bride:
Russia lost, they lost tactically and tactically and they are paying a huge price on the battlefield.
Hey Mark. Losing is when you leave Afghanistan, where you hang onto the wheels and wings of US planes and fall to their deaths. Defeat is when your trained army fails to stand up to the Taliban. Losing is when you abandon Afghan allies who trust you. Russia has evacuated Ukrainians from Mariupol and is in the process of doing the same in Donbass. How exactly is Russia losing strategically, operationally and tactically? Just because you say it doesn’t make it true.
The nation of Ukraine is united for a single purpose – to expel Russian forces from their territory and protect themselves.
At the start of Special Military Operations, Ukraine had a larger army on the ground than Russia. That is no longer the case. Russia destroyed Ukraine’s tank brigades and now Ukraine is desperately begging for replacements. Ukraine’s army has been decimated by Russian tactics of using artillery to attack and destroy specific installations. Even if NATO decided to mobilize and send its own troops to reinforce Ukraine, it would not be enough to “drive out” Russian forces. Russia is fighting for its motherland.
The Russian military has paid a heavy price in their war of aggression and now they resort to conscripts and sending prisoners to imminent death.
It would appear that Milley was confused about the briefing he received on Ukrainian casualties. Russia’s so-called “conscripts” are military reservists and an estimated 100,000 volunteers who have signed up. In contrast, Ukraine is kidnapping 16-year-old boys and 60-year-old men off the streets in places like Kiev and Odessa. I have a hard time believing Millie actually believes the crap she’s talking about. If he does, the United States military is in grave danger with an idiot in charge.
The countries pledged tanks, 22 infantry fighting vehicles, 16 promised artillery and ammunition, and another nine promised air defense artillery. The group is focused on providing the sustained logistics spare parts required for the full employment of these systems with the commitment to training capabilities and expertise. Training, maintenance and sustainment for Ukraine are key to Ukraine’s victory.
Guys like Millie are the bread and butter of casinos around the world. He doubles down hoping for a royal flush and bets he doesn’t have it. A person with his experience should understand that even if the West can acquire new weapons and vehicles and tanks, Ukraine is months away from being able to use them effectively on the battlefield. Time is not a luxury in Ukraine.
In contrast, Russia is waging a very costly war while Ukraine is effectively using their asymmetric advantages to defend themselves, and their most important asymmetric advantages are courage, resilience, and strategic prowess.
This is a real head scratch-er. Apparently Milley believes that the Ukrainians have the same magical military skills as the Taliban and will be able to defeat the Russian military the same way the US was defeated from Afghanistan. Russia enjoys the advantage of personnel, tanks, artillery, ammunition, electronic warfare, fighter jets, helicopters and hypersonic missiles. There is zero evidence that Ukraine has more courage, resilience or strategic acumen than the Russians. In fact, the real asymmetry is that Russia has far more trained troops than Ukraine.
It is to maintain the rules-based international order by rejecting the idea that big powerful countries can invade other small countries without changing borders.
Hypocrisy, your name is Millie. It is the best vessel to call the kettle black moment from this pressure. The list of small countries that the US and NATO have invaded is long – Afghanistan, Iraq (twice), Syria, Libya, the Balkans, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, etc. Since the 1990s, Russia has been at war in Georgia and now Ukraine. Their military operation in Syria came at the request of the recognized government. I hope that NATO lives up to the ideal of a “rules-based international order”. But the rules Millie has in mind are house rules. This is a crooked casino.
We’re continuing to work with Ukraine again to address the most pressing needs of Ukraine. You know they’re thinking about an attack in the spring and that’s only a few weeks away and so we have a lot to do if you think about the number of systems that we’re putting together: Bradley’s Strikers Murders. CB 90, 113s Yes Artillery list is up and running. Integrating those systems, training Soldiers on those platforms, and ensuring our sustainment for those systems and getting those systems into combat is a critical task. So that’s really the focus of our conversation today.
Von Clausewitz he is not. A cup of warm spit is worth the general announcing in advance when a “premeditated” offensive will occur. How about keeping your cards close to your vest and not tipping your opponent what you’re going to do?
It seems that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Mark Milley are not on the same page. Jens made this uncomfortable (but truthful) admission yesterday:
“It’s clear we’re in a logistics race,” he said. “War in Ukraine Consuming Huge Arms and Depleting Allied Stockpiles.”
Mr Stoltenberg said the Ukrainian military was spending “many times more” on ammunition than the current production rate for NATO members. The situation is putting pressure on allied defense industries.
He said the wait time for large-caliber ammunition — such as the 155 mm howitzer shells sent by the United States — has increased from an average of 12 to 28 months.
“Orders placed today will only be delivered after 2½ years. So we have to increase production and invest in our production capacity,” Mr Stoltenberg told reporters at NATO headquarters.
Ukraine, aided by the West, sleeps in the slaughterhouse. The refusal of Ukraine and NATO to wake up and realize the reality of what is happening could lead to the destruction of both.