Russian war against Ukraine likely to last for years, says top US military officer

6 April, 04:29 PM
Mark Milley (Photo:REUTERS/Tom Brenner)

Mark Milley (Photo:REUTERS/Tom Brenner)

The war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine is likely to drag on for years to come, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee on April 5.

"I do think this is a very protracted conflict, and I think it's measured in years,” Milley said, while testifying alongside U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during defense budget discussions in the House.

"This is a very extended conflict that Russia has initiated and I think that NATO, the United States, Ukraine and all of the allies and partners supporting Ukraine will be involved in this for quite some time."

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Milley stated that Russia's invasion of Ukraine would likely only have been prevented by the presence of U.S. forces.

"Candidly, short of the commitment of U.S. forces into Ukraine proper, I'm not sure he (Russian dictator Vladimir Putin) was deterrable," he said.

The Joint Chiefs chairman added that the conquest of Ukraine has been a "long-standing objective” of Putin’s. At the same time, Milley emphasized that while Putin may have been deterred by U.S. troops in Ukraine, that raises the risk of conflict between the two nuclear-armed states - a move he would not have advised.

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