United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin held a call with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. The Pentagon chief additionally spoke with Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu. It was the first time Austin spoke with his Russian counterpart since May.
Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh reported Austin held a call with the Ukraine defense chief, Oleksii Reznikov on Friday morning. The Defense Secretary told Reznikov, "the United States continues to work with Ukraine to ensure the country has what it needs to defeat the Russian invaders," according to a Department of Defense press release. Singh added, "the two leaders pledged to remain in close contact."
Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder provided further details about the conversation. Austin reiterated "the unwavering US commitment to supporting Ukraine’s ability to counter Russia’s aggression," Ryder said.
Washington and Moscow provided limited information about the conversation between their respective defense chiefs. Ryder said, "Secretary Austin emphasized the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid the ongoing war against Ukraine." The Kremlin stated, "Topical issues of international security – including the situation in Ukraine – were discussed."
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, contact between any Russian and American officials has been infrequent. Austin last spoke with Shoigu on May 13. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken last spoke with top Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov in July, but the conversation was limited to a potential prisoner swap.
President Joe Biden and President Vladimir Putin are both expected to attend next month’s G20 summit in Bali. The White House is attempting to regulate Biden’s schedule to prevent any contact with Putin at the conference of world leaders.
Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of Antiwar.com, news editor of the Libertarian Institute, and co-host of Conflicts of Interest.
90 thoughts on “Defense Secretary Tells Ukraine It Will Have ‘What It Needs to Defeat’ Russia”
Beware, diplomacy could break out. Can’t have any of that.
I think diplomacy has a real chance. But that will only happen when it becomes obvious that Ukraine has no more cards to play. But I still worry because the US is developing a reputation for revoking its agreements, and Ukraine never had any intention of honoring Minsk 2.
See my response…
…so far it just seems like a pr ploy as US ramps up more military aid…at same time as demo’s break out in Europe in advance of tough winter, and majorities in US, Europe and world want diplomacy, not military response only.
WHERE IS THE HOOK WHEN YOU NEED TO GET SOMEONE OFF THE STAGE. AND OF COURSE HAVING THE MILITARY DO NEGOTIATIONS IS MADNESS, OR MAY I SAY MORE MADNESS… DO THEY REALLY WANT THIS THING TO GO NUCLEAR…??? It sure sounds like they want to see one of the 200 megaton big bangs that Russia has for deterrence.
Where are all the sane people in D.C. ??Enough of the CRAZIES.
It’s more like the military men, the old war hawks, are peace doves when compared to today’s liberal leaders.
How could aUS Secretary of Defense be so Dumb that he can believe that the Ukraine could win a War with Russia. Europeans have been trying to destroy Russia for 3 or 4 Centuries and they haven’t done it yet, so how are they going to do it now?
Could it be because Europeans have defeated Russian invasions for about as long, remember this is not an European invasion of Russia but a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Russia was defeated in WWI, in their 1921 invasion of Poland, in Afghanistan (the Soviets but still). The Russians only (by themselves almost) beat Napoleon – and that was still with English help. So perhaps read up on the history that you think you know, I’m not proposing that ‘we’ will win if we try to invade Russia, but then that is not what ‘we’ will do.
Russia won WW2 and saved Europe and Britain .
Yep, Jesse; looks like the Bastard Brits have conveniently forgotten that the Russians did what the Brits couldn’t do in a million years: defeat the Germans.
Everyone in the UK would otherwise be speaking German with a British accent 😁
The Brits were on track to beating the Germans even had they not had help from the Russians – the secret being that the Nazis were very bad on economic management and were on track to run out of oil by late 43/43 by their own estimates, so while it would have taken the Brits much longer they (together with all the resistance fighters) would eventually have prevailed – with help from the US and baring the Soviets helping the Germans with more oil.
No knowledgeable and rational analysts believe that.
They most certainly do – that you are unaware is your problem.
Well of course he is unaware of them … they don’t comport with his world view, so he pretends they don’t exist.
Correct, Red. The UK had no capital and was borrowing heavily from the US, which is why Churchill was desperate for FDR to involve the Americans.
True, and no knowledgeable and rational historian believe that Russia alone beat Germany in WW2.
On the other hand, if the US had sat it out, then perhaps the Soviet Union would have exhausted itself beating Hitler instead of ending up with most of eastern Europe as a participation prize.
I think this is likely though I am aware that the case for Hitler beating the USSR could even be made, but I rather doubt it – short of a Russian revolution part II all Stalin needed to do was to hold out – that however was made a lot easier by lend lease.
You can and do claim otherwise, Thomas, but your animosity toward Russia is endlessly evident in your posts here.
The USSR’s post-WWII sphere of influence was partly agreed among the Allies and partly the result of Stalin’s forcibly taking advantage of circumstances to solidify a geopolitical buffer on its most vulnerable flank.
As for Soviet participation in that war, the costs included about twenty-seven million (27,000,000) fatalities*, the vast majority civilians. Your flippant snark is offensive.
* The US suffered fewer than half a million total fatalities, almost all of them military.
Agreed. Sacrifices count. It’s almost as if for some people, all this bloodshed is merely part of some kind of board game.
I don’t know if the British could have held Germany, but they certainly were doing a fine job of holding them off from England. I don’t believe that Hitler ever really wanted to invade England – he just wanted to get the British out of the war and off his back, and disrupt the supplies coming from the US to the UK.
My former father-in-law was born in Liverpool, and his parents lived through the blitz there. About 4000 people were killed there; it was the most heavily bombed place in the UK after London. The main purpose, of course, was not just to demoralize the British but to disrupt the ports there that were receiving so much war aid from the US.
(Interestingly, I also learned from him how very long the rationing went on in great Britain after the war. There’s even a noticeable size difference in his family among the kids born before, during, and after the rationing.)
Yes with massive help from the US in the shape of high octane fuel, loads of trucks and other equipment – as indicated they have won against very few of the invaders by itself since 1800.
The Germans had been turned back from Moscow before the first Lend-Lease shipments arrived. And that first offense was Hitler’s one real shot. Things could go back and forth, but Stalin had plenty of land to grudgingly give up while new factories east of the Urals had time to start rolling out trucks, tanks, planes, artillery pieces, and small arms. The difference US entry into the war made was whether the war ended in 1945 with Stalin ruling eastern Europe, or whether it ended in 1948-50 with Hitler gone and Stalin exhausted.
Indeed – as I have written elsewhere the Germans (Nazis) were beating themselves. It could be argued that they had a second chance in 42 and that it was first with the inability to secure the Cacasus in by September of 42 that they had failed. But either way the Germans were never the danger to England that they seemed.
Sure but had they lost the Cacasus then they would have had trouble feeding their people.
As indicated I agree that Hitler was about tp lose the war even as he started on Barbarossa – actually when the British chose not to negotiate a peace – Hitler had worse odds than Napoleon.
The USSR would have never beaten Germany without US Lend Lease. The US basically took over the Soviet domestic economy allowing it to concentrate on weapons production. Even being able to do this the Soviet Union never was able to produce enough trucks alone to beat the Germans, much less all the other items necessary to prosecute a successful was. Here’s the list of all the materials provided.
From the Russian embassy’s site:
400,000 jeeps & trucks
1.5 million blankets
15 million pairs of army boots
107,000 tons of cotton
2.7 million tons of petrol products
4.5 million tons of food
Stalin wrote to Roosevelt, “Your decision, Mr. President, to give the Soviet Union an interest-free credit of $1 billion in the form of materiel supplies and raw materials has been accepted by the Soviet government with heartfelt gratitude as urgent aid to the Soviet Union in its enormous and difficult fight against the common enemy – bloodthirsty Hitlerism.”
Historian David glance wrote in his book “When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler”:
‘Although Soviet accounts have routinely belittled the significance of Lend-Lease in the sustainment of the Soviet war effort, the overall importance of the assistance cannot be understated. Lend-Lease aid did not arrive in sufficient quantities to make the difference between defeat and victory in 1941–1942; that achievement must be attributed solely to the Soviet people and to the iron nerve of Stalin, Zhukov, Shaposhnikov, Vasilevsky, and their subordinates. As the war continued, however, the United States and Great Britain provided many of the implements of war and strategic raw materials necessary for Soviet victory. Without Lend-Lease food, clothing, and raw materials (especially metals), the Soviet economy would have been even more heavily burdened by the war effort. Perhaps most directly, without Lend-Lease trucks, rail engines, and railroad cars, every Soviet offensive would have stalled at an earlier stage, outrunning its logistical tail in a matter of days.”
The Russian peasants, with German rifles in front, stalins’ rifles behind paid the bill. Most under-rated infantry in the war.
With the USA, actions do not revolve around the truth and facts but the PERPETUATION of war.
… and profits to be raked in by the weapons cartel.
If the recent NYT article on the subject is accurate, he doesn’t believe Ukraine can win. He just believes telling the Ukrainians they can win is necessary to keep them sacrificing themselves and their country in the US campaign to weaken Russia.
The flip side to that is that if continuing the war weakens Russia, the simple solution for Russia is to stop weakening itself.
That would apply if Russia believed Austin’s opinion. I doubt they do.
Simple solution, a fatuous thing to say. What you wrote sounds like the mindless drivel people get from CNN and NPR, and I know you aren’t. Or is nonsense the flip side of nonsense?
I suspect you know that the Russian government has no intention of trading the Russian inhabitants of the East for a few more years of suspended threats while the US comes up with a new move to destabilize Russia.
I pay attention to what Putin has said and how long he has been saying it. I also pay attention to NATO’s belligerence and its 30-plus year (ie uncle Sam’s) quest for relevance post cold war.
Biden, from the start, thought he could use Ukraine to bankrupt Russia in much the same was that Afghanistan was used to bankrupt the Soviet Union.
But stingers and javelins didn’t have the impact he thought it would. Ukraine troop casualties are considerably higher than he imagined. The financial crisis in Europe was not anticipated. Russia has found simple ways to increase the cost the US must pay to keep Ukraine afloat.
So, who’s bankrupting whom by extending this conflict?
They’re bankrupting each other by extending this conflict.
The main difference is that the US empire can still off-load a lot of its costs to its fairly wealthy European satrapies, while the Russian empire’s Asian satrapies are already poor and are clearly considering the possibility that China might be a better master for them. And, ultimately, Russia, if China can hold its own duct-tape-and-baling-wire empire together for long enough to reap the benefits.
“US empire can still off-load a lot of its costs to its fairly wealthy European satrapies…”
You give Europeans too much credit. They too are taking on water.
I’m not giving them any credit at all. They’re being used, to their detriment.
The Russian empire doesn’t have as many, or as wealthy, vassal states it can use in that manner as the US empire does.
Wait til BRICS adds new members in their block. Their combine economic power will be sufficient to keep Russia active for years to come.
The West has debts and unsustainable consumer habits, while Russia and China have huge reserves, commodities and huge manufacturing capacities. It’s not hard to see who is winning. Once the phantom economy of the West has burst, the greenback is just colored paper, nothing more. The goods from China and the commodities from Russia will still be there.
That’s the reason for the current conflict. The US needs to destroy Russia to get hold of its resources and then destroy China to get rid of a competitor.
US is *hoping/wanting* to offload costs to Europe. But just look at how the bill has been split so far.
I don’t believe Austin believes anything other than what he is ordered to believe.
The West never managed to destroy Russia because it has strategic depth. That strategic depth has just increased by China, the BRICS+ (even Turkey and Saudi Arabia) and potentially the 85% of the world population that does not support the economic war against Russian.
– In the 17th century, the Poles and Lithuanians tried to conquer Russia,
– In the 18th century, the Swedes tried to conquer Russia,
– In the 19th century, the French tried to conquer Russia,
– In the 20th century, the Germans tried to conquer Russia,
– In the 21st century, the Americans now try to conquer Russia by reconstituting the anti-Russian alliance the Nazis built from Finland to the Black Sea and by using Ukrainian Nazis as battering ram.
Why do they always do the same thing and expect a different outcome? It truly boggles the mind!
Ukrainian neo-Nazis believe that “Ukraine will lead the white race in the next crusade to final victory against the Semitic Untermenschen” (Azov founder Andriy Biletsky). I think this “final victory” could look very much like “final defeat”.
It would be good to know if Austin intends to halt the escalation before we reach full-scale nuclear war.
Weapons alone won`t do any good INFANTRY win wars and the Ukraine dosen`t have them .
Artillery wins combined arms battles in places like the steppes of Ukraine.
We have not begun to escalate, they aren’t getting our best stuff. Even the HiMars system doesn’t get to use our best rockets.
Do nice warm winter clothes count as escalation? The Ukrainians will have them and the Russian troops won’t , winter is coming and the big killer is going to be exposure.
Just curious as to why Russia wouldn’t have winter cloths.
Russians INVENTED winter clothes! 😁
poor country with worse than that poor logistics to the front line.
The most powerful military alliance of all times has delivered weapons worth more than Moscow’s entire annual defense budget and imposed unprecedented sanctions never seen before. Yet you think we “haven’t yet escalated”? Would a full-blown nuclear war be escalation enough for you? Is it that what you want? Because if Nato crosses the next red line, we’ll be in a war between Nato and Russia. We are just inches away from that line.
No we have escalated, we have way more in reserve even in the conventional space. Russia doesn’t seem to realize it can’t win.
In a conventional war, Russia cannot lose in Ukraine even against Nato. In a nuclear war, we all lose.
Russia could not defeat the US in the Pacific or the Americas, but in Ukraine, there is no way Nato can defeat Russia. As Putin said “we haven’t even started yet” and Nato is already running out of ammunitions.
Huh? Russia lost in Afghanistan, we lost in Vietnam, we lost in Afghanistan, What do you mean can’t lose?
Afghanistan and Vietnam are completely different issues. To Russia, Ukraine is an existential issue. The Russians will do whatever is necessary to win. Conventionally, Nato is no match for Russia. Anyways, Russia is winning the economic war, while Europe is teetering on the brink of collapse.
You realize NATO includes the USA? Right now it looks like Ukraine is a match for Russia, throw in Poland and Russia is in trouble
Lost meaning it wasn’t important enough to carry on. If the situation had been what Russia is facing now, Afghanistan would have been made into a parking lot. Same with the US regarding both Afghanistan and Vietnam.
Wow. In a conventional war, Russia would get crushed in Ukraine by NATO. NATO would quickly control the skies and bomb Russian forces around the clock until they were destroyed.
“Defense Secretary Tells Ukraine It Will Have ‘What It Needs to Defeat’ Russia In rare contact between Washington and Moscow, the Pentagon chief also spoke with the Russian Minister of Defense”
Low IQ Lloyd J Austin the Turd should stop running his mouth. Soon Ukraine will not exist and he can take credit for a defeat in Afghanistan and Ukraine!
He can take credit for 13 dead American military and more innocent afghans also.
This is what happens when incompetent jerks are promoted beyond their ability.
Yes Thinker the Peter Principle gone INSANE… & perhaps “Afirmative Action” too… The guy should no more be doing diplomacy or brain surgery than the town dog catcher…!!!!!!!!!!!!
All which makes him less culpable than his headier colleagues from whom he receives his script.
Yes, Lloyd is soooo different from his predecessors. Espar and Mattis, and however far you want to go back, wouldn’t possibly have said the same damn thing under the same circumstances. Nope.
There’s no indication, at all, that Austin is “low IQ” or that he has inappropriately benefited from “Affirmative Action” as MvGuy suggests. I suspect that such suggestions arise from racism.
NOT racism in the least. If you listen to this guy Austin talk and what he says you will soon realize that he is not the sharpest period. Few if any had ever heard of him and he did nothing of importance militarily or intellectually to deserve his promotions other then breath and be a token.
Compare Austin with General Colin Powell and there is no comparison. General Colin Powell was one of the best and brightest of his generation and his promotions were well deserved. Bright and articulate General Colin Powell was one fantastic military leader and civilian leader as well.
Don’t go throwing the racism flag just to support someone based on his skin color. That makes you a racist.
I don’t see any indication of racism. The fact is, this entire administration including Biden, Miley, Austin, Blinkin, Nuland and the rest are incompetent and therefore very dangerous. Or the alternative is, if they are competent, that’s even worst as they are deliberately driving the world into a catacylsm.
The simple fact Austin is a clone of what came before him makes me think otherwise.
If you don’t see any indications of racism in many of them comments from Mvguy and CT, you should definitely look more closely.
The “13 dead American military” claim is overhyped. Thirteen dead in a withdrawal the size of Afghanistan is by no means a lot. As for the “innocent Afghans,” the US did not actually owe safe passage to the Afghan quislings and traitors who took US dollars to betray their own country.
The pull out from Afghanistan was pretty much the only thing the Biden Administration did right, from an FP standpoint. Not only right in principle and from a practical standpoint, but pretty well run too. The Afghan government was a hollow shell, that the US government pretended had substantial support for 20 years (and under the presidencies of both parties). Biden got us out of there, with minimal loss of US lives, before the crap really hit the fan. If anything, his only error was prolonging the departure too long trying to save the quislings and traitors.
I keep trying to get a visual on this but it keeps coming out wrong…. (Ukraine defeating Russia?!)
Go with your CORRECT visuals, Donna 😉
Well the yanks have never won a war so perhaps they are hoping Ukraine will win one on their behalf , but really Ukraine defeating Russia , so many have tried and all have failed .
Cue the “1812 Overture” by Tchaikovsky!
You know, folks…. The one with the cannons?
Austin is either lying warmonger trash or a fool. We need to hold these clowns accountable for their blood soaked, money clogged, utterly predictable debacles.
Uh-huh. That assurance would be more meaningful if it weren’t designed to keep the American and Western peons on-side; if there were any real possibility that Ukraine can defeat Russia; and if we didn’t already know that not even Biden administration officials believe that it can.
Well, one presumes that the big issues and questions that need to be addressed weren’t the subjects of the conversation, because those are not within the purview of military leaders. Blinken, or preferably a replacement SecState actually capable of diplomacy, should be talking to Lavrov every week.
Blinken is a stain that will not easily be flushed out. Biden is a massive disappointment for the entire planet. Austin is merely an embarrassing mouthpiece, Zelensky’s errand boy.
Biden is exactly what I thought he would be. An expected massive disappointment.
He’s worse than I expected and I’ve been paying attention to the guy since his first campaign for the Senate. I’ve always known that he’s a liberal interventionist, always in the firm grasp of the Owners, but he has really gone off the rails in this mad misadventure of a proxy war.
Can’t upvote this enough. The man displays a mediocre intelligence coupled with a veritable mountain of inane pronouncements and folksy homilies aimed at the gullible and ignorant.
Well … yeah. He’s a politician.
Whatever Austin and Shoigu talked about is of a lot more importance than whatever nonsense Austin and Reznikov put in the press release about their own meeting. Some folks are suggesting that Austin called Shoigu to let him know that the “deployment” of the US 101st Airborne Division to Romania was just pre election hype for the idiots in the West to get excited about, but in no way signals any US notion of direct, “boots on the ground” intervention in the Ukraine.
That’s a reasonable guess, as it’s exactly the sort of exchange that’s typical of communications at the defense minister level during tense times. And the ministers are almost always honest with each other, although Shoigu certainly has lots of solid intelligence to double-check the representations of the “empire of lies.”
It would, of course, be astonishingly reckless for the US to send the “Screaming Eagles,” a mere 6K troops, for any reason other than theater for the plebs.
That seems a bit ambiguous…
Better get it to them before mid-terms.. The sluice gate closes after that… Too late anyway,
I highly doubt there will be enough votes to stop any aid from passing. This will turn into an oversight only thing, and they’ll be placated with bullshit.
And the oversight committee will be packed with virtue signaling bipartisan mouthpieces. They’ll make some noises, pretend and accomplish…..nothing.
Austin: “Let’s defeat Russia! Give me Shoigu… Hi Shoigu, I was just on the line with Ukraine and we agreed to defeat you!” Shoigu: “You woke me up for this? I can’t wait for you to visit Kiev again.”
Pump more and more weapons into Ukraine, destroying that country, depleting Russia and destabilising the World.
What could possibly go wrong?
The US “held a call” with Russia where – duh – Ukraine was talked about.
Don’t want to read too much into this…context is:
1/ US’s from-day-one declared-rejection-of-diplomacy-military-only response to Russia (which only later morphed into the ‘it’s up to Ukraine’ rationale);
2/ ongoing and recent Russian statements they’ve always been ready for diplomacy; and, in response,
3/ Blinken’s false claim that, in fact, the US has been open to talk and that it is Russia that has not been ‘ready to talk.’
Minimalist reading is – following the Blinken statement, the US chose to publicly announce a meeting for optics at moment of more military aid – with a hard European winter coming – to counter US, European and global demands for diplomacy vs. purely weapons.
How much more than that is involved?…as US amps up new military aid and declares “defeat” it’s goal, in what looks to me like a long-term costly stalemate situation w/the risk of nuclear escalation?…dunno…
Until the Republicans do to the Ukraine War what was done to Vietnam — the cutoff will cause instant collapse, if they have not already lost it on the ground.
If the midterms don’t do it, the next election will.
They get everything they want with OUR MONEY, and we have no say in it. It’s the American Way. Our society is crumbling and Wash. is more concerned about the war industry than the people. Time for a change, but don’t count on the Reps. to do anything different, when it comes to war, both parties are war parties.
Yet it was the SecDef that called Russian SecDef. And before that British SecDef visited Washington, and after US SecDef hung up with Moscow, hour later rang up Wallace. After Russian SefDef tallked to French, British and Turkish SecDefs, he callec US SecDef. And with all the standard war paint posturin, NATO SecDefs emphasized the need tot open channels.
Something is up. 50/50 on optimism vs pessimism,
Training all those Ukrainian special ops on NATO bases all over Europe may end up training terrorists, like in ME
Same dynamics, First overpromissing, than letting down the river, And plenty of angry, well trained and armed people. What can go wrong?
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