No military solution to Ukraine conflict – top US general
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine will not have a purely military solution, Charles Brown Jr., the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has suggested.
During his appearance at the Reagan National Defense Forum at Simi Valley, California on Saturday, Brown was asked about the possible outcome of the fighting in Ukraine – whether it would end with Kiev “retaking everything that they’d like to get back” or with “some other kind of a negotiated truce with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”
The US top general replied by saying that in “any military conflict, you don't solve it completely by military means. It ends up with a diplomatic solution.”
“You know, I can’t predict the future of how it is going to end, but I think we [the US] can help shape it” by continuing “support of Ukraine, providing them capability,” he stressed.
Brown, who became the most senior US military officer on October 1, replacing Mark Milley, said that he communicates with the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s armed forces, General Valery Zaluzhny, “on a fairly regular basis.”
Washington’s backing of Kiev is “important partly because Russia is one of our challenges that’s laid out in the [US] National Security and National Defense Strategies, and the work we have to do there is important to get to a better place in the long run,” he explained.
In November, Zaluzhny said the situation on the frontline had devolved into a “stalemate” and that Ukraine was unlikely to achieve a breakthrough unless some surprise technological development gave it a decisive edge over Russia. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and other top officials had initially rejected his assessment.
However, this week, Zelensky announced on social media that Kiev’s forces will start building fortifications, acknowledging that the Ukrainian counteroffensive, which began in early June, failed to deliver the desired results. “We have a new phase of war, and that is a fact,” he said in an interview with AP on Thursday. When asked if there was any pressure from the US and its allies to negotiate a peace deal with Russia, Zelensky replied: “I don’t feel it yet.”
On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed Kiev and the West for showing no interest in peacefully resolving the conflict. It “takes two to tango” in diplomacy, but Ukraine and its foreign backers continue to engage in “solo breakdancing,” Lavrov said.