The US military’s top-ranking official has expressed doubt over the potential for a swift military victory for either side in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has stated that Russia’s goals in Ukraine are militarily unattainable and Ukraine’s forces are not likely to regain all territory lost to Russian troops in the foreseeable future.
A Protracted Conflict
“Russia will not achieve a military victory in Ukraine, it’s as simple as that,” stated General Mark Milley at a press briefing following the latest meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, also known as the Ramstein group. “The sheer number of Russian soldiers within Ukraine, in the hundreds of thousands, makes Kyiv’s goal of recapturing all lost territories an unlikely achievement in the near term.”
General Milley’s predictions indicate a continuation of the conflict for an unspecified period, with neither side able to secure a decisive victory. “The battle will continue, it will be bloody, it will be tough. At some point, both sides will either negotiate a settlement or arrive at a military conclusion,” he added.
Decades-Long War Predicted by Russian Former President
Echoing General Milley’s sentiment of a prolonged conflict, Russia’s former President Dmitry Medvedev indicated that the Ukraine conflict could extend for decades. Medvedev is a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and currently holds the position of deputy chairman of Putin’s powerful Security Council.
Speaking in Vietnam, as reported by Russia’s RIA news agency, Medvedev described an ongoing, cyclical conflict involving years of war with Ukraine, interspersed with multiple years of truces before a resurgence of conflict. “This conflict will last a very long time, most likely decades,” Medvedev stated.
In an escalation of geopolitical tensions, the US has been coordinating international support for Ukraine, leading a push for military aid and recently supporting the provision of advanced US-made F-16 warplanes. According to US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, almost $65bn in security assistance has been provided to Ukraine by its supporters, with plans in motion for further training and support.