The Pentagon mentioned Friday that the destruction and human value of a full-scale incursion by Russian forces into Ukraine could be “horrific,” however that there was nonetheless time for diplomacy to keep away from a battle.
“If that was unleashed on Ukraine, it could be vital, very vital, and it could lead to a major quantity of casualties,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees Mark Milley mentioned.
“And you may think about what that may appear like in dense city areas, alongside roads and so forth and so forth. It could be horrific, will probably be horrible.”
Talking alongside Milley, Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned battle in Ukraine may nonetheless be averted, regardless of Russian President Vladimir Putin amassing greater than 100,000 troops alongside their shared border.
“Battle isn’t inevitable. There may be nonetheless time and area for diplomacy,” mentioned Austin.
“Mr. Putin can do the suitable factor as nicely,” he added. “There is no such thing as a cause that this case has to devolve into battle. He can select to de-escalate. He can order his troops away,” he mentioned.
The remarks of the US navy’s two high officers, who had been quiet in current days over the rise in tensions in Jap Europe, got here as there was no signal of a breakthrough in diplomatic efforts to keep away from open battle.
They mentioned Russia continues so as to add to its forces pointed at Ukraine, with a variety of offensive models and capabilities together with armor, air energy, naval energy, missiles, and cyber and political operations.
Whereas the Pentagon officers mentioned they don’t consider Putin has decided to go to battle, they mentioned his choices have expanded, from provocations that might result in an assault within the restive southeast Donbass area, to an try and overrun your complete nation, attacking city facilities just like the capital Kyiv.
“If battle had been to interrupt out on a scale and scope that’s potential, the civilian inhabitants will undergo immensely,” Milley mentioned.
Russia itself will undergo, he added.
“If Russia chooses to invade Ukraine it won’t be cost-free, when it comes to casualties or different vital results.”
Austin and Milley careworn that Washington has no intention of sending US troops to Ukraine to defend it, however will proceed to help the Ukraine navy with arms and different supplies.
Nonetheless, they careworn, america was ready to ship troops to strengthen and defend NATO allies in japanese Europe that confronted a possible risk from a Russian assault on Ukraine, which isn’t a part of the Atlantic alliance.
“An assault on one NATO ally is an assault towards all,” Milley warned.