Senior Pentagon officials told lawmakers in the House Armed Services Committee last week in a classified briefing that Ukraine is unlikely to retake Crimea from Russia, POLITICO reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the briefing.
The briefing reflects other recent reporting that said US officials don’t think Ukraine has the capability to take the peninsula, which Russia has controlled since 2014. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said back in November that the probability of Ukraine kicking Russia out of the territory it captured since last February and Crimea is “not high.”
Milley reiterated this point on January 20. “I still maintain that for this year it would be very, very difficult to militarily eject the Russian forces from all –– every inch of Ukraine and occupied –– or Russian-occupied Ukraine,” he said.
According to the POLITICO report, the Ukrainian government was “furious” with Milley’s comments. Ukrainian officials maintain that kicking Russia out of Crimea is still one of their war goals, although Ukraine is beginning to lose more territory in its battle against Russian forces in the east.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the head of the House Armed Services Committee, declined to discuss the contents of the briefing his panel received on Crimea but signaled the US might be looking to wind the war down.
According to POLITICO, Rogers said the war needs to “end this summer” and said the US must rapidly supply Kyiv for a coming offensive. He also indicated the US might try to put pressure on the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to have a more realistic idea of victory and said that “Russia is never going to quit and give up Crimea.”
“What is doable? And I don’t think that that’s agreed upon yet. So I think that there’s going to have to be some pressure from our government and NATO leaders with Zelensky about what does victory look like,” Rogers added. “And I think that’s going to help us more than anything be able to drive Putin and Zelensky to the table to end this thing this summer.”
But a lot could happen between now and the summer, and as the US and its allies continue to announce major escalations of military aid, a direct clash between NATO and Russia becomes more likely.
33 thoughts on “Pentagon Tells Lawmakers Ukraine Unlikely to Retake Crimea”
Perhaps reality is beginning to creep into the discussion. Beginning.
I don’t think the US can “rapidly supply Kyiv for a coming offensive.” Sufficient weapons, munitions, logistics, training, etc. are jut not available in the requisite time frame.
There is almost certainly nothing the US can give Ukraine that is likely to “drive Putin to the table.” It’s quite clear that Russia believes that, since the US-NATO can’t be trusted in negotiations, it has to establish facts on the ground to meet at least its minimum security requirements on that border.
I suppose it’s possible that a full-scale commitment of NATO troops to the fight might force the issue, but it’s at least as likely that it would force the issue in a different direction than the negotiating table.
Right now the US political class is just talking nonsense. On a practical note there seem to be 2 options:
Send a large amount of NATO forces directly into Ukraine (MUCH more than the advertised 131 tanks with a LOT more artillery rounds), or send the advertised token force manned by Ukrainians to die this spring and build up NATO forces along the Ukrainian border for the post Ukrainian situation.
The US advertised position is that we are giving up Ukraine to Russia, and are making plans for round 2 of the conflict.
They might be dumb enough to be planning a later campaign against Russian-annexed and occupied territory, after giving Russia time to consolidate its forces and positions. Nothing we’ve seen so far indicates that they aren’t that stupid.
Well presumably they are planning it. All cards are on the table
By that time maybe a negotiated settlement will be more appealing.
Despite the fact that terms would be MUCH more favorable to Russia than what was discussed last year.
How is Ukraine “ours” to give up?
I don’t think NATO can do a full scale commitment of troops. It no longer has them. That is a left over memory of the end of the Cold War. That is not the current reality.
I think that’s right. In the first Gulf War (Desert Shield/Desert Storm), the US alone sent 700K troops. The other allies provided maybe 150-200K. Many more than that would be needed to fight Russia and they just aren’t available.
I was just giving NATO the benefit of the doubt. Not that it deserves it. 😏
“I don’t think NATO can do a full scale commitment of troops.”
NATO’s gone along w/the US on tons…including massing troops all over borders.
But sending those troops into direct combat against the Russian military?
That would be a direct, unambiguous act of war by NATO against Russia on behalf of a non-NATO country…
…completely overthrowing the dangerous, proxy escalation that was the deep cause of the Russian invasion, and that the US/NATO has continued since.
Bad as the situation is, can’t see that…can’t see the non-neocon part of the NATO ‘coalition’ supporting it, and can’t see the bellicose, neocon, Democrat-war-enabling US engaging in that act on its own…
So hint of realism in calling for ‘one last military push, and then it’s summer negotiation time’?
Definitely – but below, the other ‘moving toward realism’ passage that struck me:
“pressure from our government and NATO leaders with Zelensky about what does victory look like.”
Upshot: the ‘we must respect Ukraine’s agency’ b.s. – which was never more than a smokescreen for the US’s ‘weapons only’ strategy – is simply chucked aside…
…and in it’s place? A frank, public call to ‘Pressure ’em and tell ’em what ‘victory’ they’re gonna settle for – with the real ‘pressure’ being the clear understanding they won’t be getting more weapons to ‘hold out for a better settlement.’ Instead – settle now or get overrun.
Russia had already postulated that if the West did not negotiate on Russia’s national security interests re the US’s arming of NATO, talk of Ukraine getting nuclear weapons, and entry into NATO, that Russia would use other means to insure their national security interests were realized. As a result, we have the present situation. If the dumb asses would have agreed to the neutralization (keeping Ukraine neutral) and western withdrawal of military forces from Ukraine, ended the pipe dream of admitting Ukraine to NATO, granted the eastern parts of Ukraine with some autonomy, while maintaining the territories as part of Ukraine, hundreds of thousands would still be alive, all the destruction would have been averted, and the pillaging of the US treasury to fight to the last Ukrainian, the world would have been much better off.
Right. Of course, we must always remember that pillaging the Treasury is a feature, not a bug. Those MIC lobbyists on K Street, and the revolving-door crew at the Pentagon, aren’t there to prevent wasteful expenditures of our tax money.
No sh!t, Sherlock…
No sh!t, Sherlock…
No sh!t, Sherlock…
Crimea has been part of Russia since 1783 and will remain so period!
“Ottoman Empire. Russia conquered Crimea in 1783 under Catherine the Great. For over three centuries previously, Crimea had been a state ruled by the Crimean Tatars, subject to the Ottoman Empire, who had used the region as a base for their sizeable slave trade with the Ottoman Empire.”
Prior to 1783 it was used as a hub for Russian slaves taken and sold to Turkey.
In 1954, Soviet leader and ethnic Ukrainian Nikita Khrushchev gave Ukraine a gift: Crimea. The citizens of Crimea were and have remained majority Russian Slavic to this day.
Of course, let’s not let reality, demographics, history, and logic entire the delusional rantings of Zelensky and Joey Biden!
To sum up:
According to Mike Rogers , the war “must end this summer” through the US rapidly supplying Kyiv for a coming offensive.
In other words, the fire must be brought down this summer by means of rapid supply of petrol into it.
Need we know more about the breathtakingly spectacular intellectual abilities of Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the head of the House Armed Services Committee ..
“…the breathtakingly spectacular intellectual abilities of Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)…” I like it. Here’s Orwell’s attempt at describing a similar man: “…man of paralysing stupidity, a mass of imbecile enthusiasms — one of those completely unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, more even than on the Thought Police, the stability of the Party depended.” Imagine the books he would have written, if Orwell met Joe, Kamala, Olaf, or Annalena.
Milley is like the least drunk person at a rager where his relative sobriety makes him a clown to all the other sh*t faced participants. But he’s also still pretty wasted.
That is an excellent and most accurate assessment! I love it. Keep writing!
“where his relative sobriety makes him a clown to all the other sh*t faced participants.”
in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is insane
The current government in Kiev can’t “retake” Crimea because it
never had control of it in the first place, besides which a vastly
inferior military force can’t take a large and heavily defended
territory from a vastly superior force, attacking across a narrow land
bridge no less, and it says everything you need to know about western
credibility that this preposterous notion is referred to as “difficult”.
The US itself has a fantasy about “victory” both in what it might attain and in likelihood.
Actually the more likely outcome is a crushing defeat of NATO, and the consequences would be far-reaching not just for relations with China but for relations with the whole world including the position of the dollar and the US economy.
Every time when a nation X tried to get the Crimea away from nation Y it was either a failure or was only achieved with enormous costs.
To keep the Crimean the Russians will fight like devils. The Ukraine cannot recapture the peninsula by itself because the Ukrainian offensive will not be a surprise. It will have to come across the Perekop. Naval landings will be suicide attacks.
id say the poles are more likely to shift by 4PM today…
If anything, this will demoralize NATO and US military after Russia bundles up Ukraine.
the pentagon has already received $900 billion for the fiscal year 2023.
edit) my bad, here is the real deal = In FY 2023, the Department of Defense (DOD) had $1.90 Trillion distributed among its 6 sub-components.
Chess Master Putin Is Moving Closer To Destroying The US Dollar. Authored by Alasdair Macleod.
No sh*t. Amazing calculation.
Pentagon Tells Lawmakers Ukraine Unlikely to Take Moscow
Russia must be in awe over our juvenile, immature babble.
The regime in Washington seems to live in its own fantasy. Anticipating NATO getting into the battle, Russia will just increase mobilization. Without breaking a sweat it can raise mobilization to 3 million out of 35 milion potential. Not only that it is equipoed but for the longest time now coproduction with China is endlessms. There ade tbousands factory floors in China, and joint production well oiled out for at leadt two decades.
Time to sober up.
Russia will not allow wars to be fought on its territory. Insm sure some juvenilies in DC think a good old fashioned bust up would make us victorious. Llittle do they know about wars.
So, they want to LIBERATE Crimea, Dinetsk, Kughansk, Zaporozhie and Kherson. Or be the CONQUERORS?
Zelenski wants the land — but not the people, Be must be confused. He is not in Israel when such goas are legitimate. And unlike Arabs in the region who observe the gradual elimination of Palestinians and expansion of immigrant settlers in their land —- Russia was not amused, and targetted Russians — not Palestinians. So Zelenski wants Crimea , but not its Rusdian population? The same populace whose ancestors defended that land throughout centuries?
Now if Zelenski implemented Minsk giving these people equal rights as citizens — this could have bern a different story.
But he did not. Never intended to. Russia was told that — loud and clear. So, what claims does he have to the land? What makes him this special?
And our military actually talk about it with straight face?
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