The US general nominated to be the next commander of NATO suggested in a Senate hearing on Thursday that he may offer military options to facilitate grain exports from Ukraine and help break Russia’s blockade of Ukraine’s southern coast.
When asked what NATO could do about Russia’s blockade, Gen. Christopher Cavoli, who currently serves as the commander of US Army Forces in Europe and Africa, said if he’s confirmed, he would “provide the military options required by our civilian leaders.”
“Clearly the way we would approach that would have to be a whole of government approach, which may or may not include a military component,” he added.
It’s not clear from Cavoli’s answer if he means the options would include the US confronting Russian warships or if the military would just be involved in assisting with alternate ways to ship grain. He went on to mention efforts being made to ship more Ukrainian grain by rail to ports in western Europe.
While Washington is blaming the global grain shortages on Russia’s blockade, there are factors, including US sanctions and the fact that Ukraine has mined its ports. Russia announced Thursday that it cleared mines around Mariupol and that the Azov Sea port is now open to civil vessels.
Earlier in the hearing, Cavoli recognized that US sanctions are exacerbating the global grain shortages. “The grain shortages that we’re experiencing from both Russia and Ukrainian production being unable to come out of the countries in large volumes or being sanctioned and not being sold are being felt on the African continent,” he said.
President Biden has admitted that the sanctions campaign he is leading will cause food shortages. “With regard to food shortage, yes … it’s going to be real,” Biden said in March. “The price of these sanctions is not just imposed upon Russia, it’s imposed upon an awful lot of countries as well, including European countries and our country as well.”
31 thoughts on “US General Hints at Military Options to Help Export Ukrainian Grain”
What a lunacy! What is Biden saying? We have sanctioned everyone including ourselves!
Ukranian ports are mined. Russia took ovet Mariupol and it is already demined.
So, the solution is simple. Let Rusdia take over the remaining Ukrainian ports -/ and will get demined. Vedsels stranded there from the begining of war -/ need to be towed out to sit on anchor until their owners luck them up. The nice clueless general does not know that Ukraine forced these ships to stay in ports, occupying aavailable berths. Where exactly will you bring a ship to load the grain?
And why iis Ukraine selling grain reserves? Is Ukraine having a bumper harvest expected?
Some dumbels in Ukraine said that farmers need to plant less as storage is full! Farmers already planted grain crops. too late to change mind.
And why is such a high amount if wheat being transported to Rumania? Constanza port is transporting wheat — where? There are rummors that the wheat is paying for weapons.
Russian wheat is transported through various ports. being sold and resold as needed. Russia is by far the biggest grain producer in the world. Non-GMO by the way. The supplies will reach the markets, This is how it usually happpens.
Exactly, its all BS. Currently most of the Ukrainian wheat export is through Romania. Arrest Biden et al and present them to the Hague.
There is no blockade its NATO BS. What is limiting civil shipping in the Black Sea is that Ukraine placed naval mines. The 40 billion to Ukraine is nothing more than a NATO grift, it will mostly be stolen. Institutionalised, Endemic Corruption or what i call Fascism.
It’s an End of Empire Fire Sale! Grab your loot while supplies last!
What worries me is that as Ukraine rapidly moves toward total defeat the ***thousands*** of Stingers ($120,000 ea) and Javelins ($178,000 ea) will be stolen and sold on the black market for a fraction of the retail price. With zero control over who will buy them, the future will be rife with terrorist opportunities.
After the first Afghan war, where the US famously gave the mujahadeen Stingers to use against the Soviets (ie the Russians), the arms control people were ***very*** troubled about what happened to the “leftover” Stingers, and they made a maximum effort to find them and buy them back.
(And at the risk of going into “conspiracy theory” territory, it is likely that Pan Am Flight 800 was taken down by those leftover Stingers.)
In contrast to the very limited provision of Stingers to the Mujahadeen back then, the US is dumping Stingers (and Javelins) by the thousands into a totally uncontrolled environment in a famously corrupt Ukraine now headed for total defeat and economic desperation.
Witness the destiny of the US courtesy of the Neocons now in total control of the US govt. For the US, like the Ukraine, is headed for total defeat and economic desperation.
Good luck to you all.
Great. Another pentagon political general speaks. Washington DC is littered with these guys.
The ratio of troop to general is way askew. To fix the problem, retire 80% of them.
Please put that in the D.C. suggestion box! 🙂
No danger of them getting killed in action, not when there’s a nice defense contractor gig after they retire without ever hearing a shot fired in anger.
Fight our way into and then back out of blockaded ports, and do the loading of ships under a rain of missiles? Get those ships out past a submarine fleet, and missile boats? They all most go through the same narrow Straits to get out to the Med, so they can’t hide.
The idea of doing this against any Russian opposition is simply nuts, even if we suggest total war.
There is no blockade
This General is clearly too stupid to be confirmed; instead, he should be stripped of his rank and put to work stocking shelves in the PX.
He mentions the solution to the crisis in his own testimony, but is too stupid (or deceitful) to realize it. IF the ports are closed by mines, THEN the answer is to ship Ukrainian grain by rail into the EU, from where it can be dispersed to it’s final destination. After all, the grain wasn’t “grown” in Odessa; it was grown throughout Ukraine, THEN moved, by RAIL, to the port. Simply divert the trains and transport it to the west.
Bottom line, the “food shortage” has NOTHING to do with Russia, and everything to do with western propaganda and Ukrainian trickery.
The Ukrainian government DOES NOT WANT to ship the grain; they WANT to cause a food crisis, to blackmail other countries into “helping” them; and the West DOES NOT WANT a “solution”, they WANT to trump up a justification to get even more involved in the war.
Realistically, if this were pre-Maidan Ukraine and the world facing famine, Ukraine would be restricting grain exports anyway, at least until they were sure their harvest is in the bin and domestic prices stabilized.
They would not be exporting grain willy nilly for cash and arms.
What appears to be really happening is NATO exchanging arms for grain and setting up a second Holodomor to blame on Russia on top of a Global Holodomor to keep the developing nations down.
Grain exports fueled the original Holodomor; Stalin sold grain to the West to finance rapid industrialization of his regime. Guess the top leftists at least know their history.
Now, the sacrifice would be just to sustain Western European hegemony thorough US hard power a little longer under the guise of Reset Utopianism.
Wow! … but the slander of the left is gratuitous and wrong-headed, … if I take you right.
Using Ukrainians as canon fodder
Starving Africa to achieve its geo political goals
Just another busy day for the world’s indispensible nation
The heaviest possible train is about 5,000 tons, and mostly less because of track conditions, engines needed, and so forth. The normal bulker for grain is today more like 100,000. The “handy” size is 50,000, and the really big bulk carriers are the size of supertankers. So we can say that a few hundred ships would need to be replaced by a few thousand trains, and likely twice as many.
All those trains would require a vast number of new rail cars, and extra engines, and storage and handling for thousands of very large trains full of grain.
Trains can’t really replace a few hundred ships, at least not without time consuming investment in the rail system from cars to tracks to loading docks.
Sure, some grain can go by train. Not all that. It is a matter of scale.
Some good points, but I think that what you are missing is that the grain is already shipped by rail from throughout Ukraine, only to the black sea ports; just keep it on the trains and divert to the closest station within the EU, saving the unloading/reloading task at the harbor. And, the turnaround time for trains is far shorter than for big ships.
The distances are probably not that much greater; and the sea route, going through the straits to the med, is not particularly fast or convenient either. Yes, it would be a logistical challenge, but not insurmountable.
No, it is not. It makes a short haul by truck or rail from field to a nearby port’s storage. To haul all of it much further would take lot more trains, to entirely new storage and shipping arrangements.
Ships may be slow, but they take the grain to where it is needed, overseas.
Quantity matters. This is not just some grain, it is vast amounts. Vast numbers. Logistics matter, as the Russians have learned to their cost.
I disagree; look at the map here https://gis.huri.harvard.edu/media-gallery/detail/1381978/1083804 wheat is grown throughout the country; much of it hundreds of miles from the Black Sea coast. They are already transporting grain hundreds of miles to get it to the coast; just transport west to Poland/Slovakia instead. It’s a challenge, but not rocket science – if Ukraine and the West WANTED to do it – but they don’t; they’d rather see a famine happen so they can blame Russia.
Another idiot in the American government.
The Ukrainians have placed 100,000 mines in the Odessa harbor and Black Sea coast. It is not a blockade by Russian ships it is a sea of mines.
Mariupol is now open and the mines have been removed from the area. If you want wheat you will buy it from Russia, period!
100,000 mines? where did you get that information? Sounds like Ukrainian propaganda.
Bingo! You could be correct I was just quoting from Zelensky’s propaganda
bureau saying they have made the coast unusable by Russian warships.
Cite your source
I do have to correct you. No country has 100,000 mines. Iran is reputed to have 20,000 and is considered capable of being the heaviest mine layer. My guess is Ukraine’s mine inventory is probably less than a 1,000.
You could be correct I was just quoting from Zelensky’s propaganda bureau saying they have made the coast unusable by Russian warships.
More insanity! Now that Russia has cleared up over 10,000 of explosives mines laid down by Ukraine to keep Ruusia away, there is a port available to ship grain! But no! Russia cannot export grain because — its grain and ships are sanctioned! Russia asks for removal of sanctions on grains and fertilizer, to bead off shortages. Oh no — screams lunatic Zelenski addicted to world stage, this is Russia’s blackmail.
Russia, not Ukraine is by far the biggest glibal exporter of wheat (non-GMO), so if there is a danger of hunger — West coukd do something about it. Not just strut around, shamelessly cresting a crisis — than ctying about it.
Hello, why is Ukraine not shipping out of its own port, Odessa? It is not under Russian control, nor is the access to it? So why?
Because cave-man regime un Kiev decided from day one to lay mines outside the port, to protect it from Russia? And that was not enough, Ukraine detained all foreign ships that were in berth in Ukrainian ports to be a version of human shields! Even if by miracle Ukraine bothered to remove mines, what about all berths being occupied by stranded shios?
There was an extensive coverage on the fate of ships and the crew. Only skeleton crews remained, others departed by land to neighboring countries. Ships are still there. Lack fuel and food. Is this “Russian blockade” endangering global food supply?
What is Russia doing about birthed shops? Asked owners to move them. The joint volubility of Zelenski and his Western amolifiers could be heard ariund the globe! What, Russia cannot be the one telling owners what to do — Mariupol is Ukrainian territory! OK Zelenski, YOU tell ships to move — Russia will even supply them with fuel. Noooo, Russian blackmail!
OK, bad Russia brought tugboats, fueled shios, and mooved them outside Kerch Strait bridge, in international waters.
So, gain can go now. Canada, Australia and US suffered drought . Ukrainian grains have ben already shipped through Romania paying for arms.
And it will be needed by Western grain producers whose croos are failing due to drougt.
Good for us, at least our loaf of bread will not be $5 when croo failures hit the proverbial fan.
Then we will cry about poor countries.
It is too bad that from day one of the war China removed all quotas on Rusdian wheat, it takes four days for wheat by rail to get to Chinese ports, and from there globally. But those “non-enemy” countries do not have to psy in dollars or euros,
The saga of Ukrainian ports ha been known from the beginning.
Now, quite without shame — it became ONE more drama for Zelenski-West drama queens to whine about.
It actually could be funny. But to exploit the hunger issue makes me litteraly nautious.
Exactly Russia exports 4 times as much as Kiev
This is just another example of the US Pentagon’s inability to comprehend the military balance, as Andrei Martyanov says. While he says there are some people in the Pentagon who understand the situation, many of them do not, which is why we have all these lames on CNN telling us BS. The Azov and Black Seas are Russian lakes. They have total control of them militarily.
Further, as Martyanov says today on his blog:
Neither the DPR nor the RF is blockading any Shipping in Ukrainian ports.
Well played by Little Hitler. Use the Neo Nazi excuse to invade Ukraine, take control of the rich land and port cities then make billions for him and his oligarchs.
Or you can pretend that Russia had no legitimate concerns until you believe them yourself. And why not “little Bush” since this is more on par with what he did? Minus those legitimate concerns of course. Got to keep those exaggerated comparisons fresh, I guess.
if we all blocked don julio then we wouldn’t be able to see him trying to get a rise out of everybody. he would make his little sharp comments and then wonder why nobody takes the bait – because we wouldn’t even know he was there any more.
How kind of Bye-Done to admit that HE is the reason that Africans will starve.
It doesn’t get anymore noble than that.
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