Pentagon updates US goals in Ukraine: ずくなしの冷や水


Pentagon updates US goals in Ukraine

Pentagon updates US goals in Ukraine
The conflict should cost Russia more than it hopes to achieve, a top policy official says

The US is seeking to make the conflict in Ukraine more costly for Moscow than whatever Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped to achieve, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said on Tuesday. Kahl insisted that Russia was making only “tactical” gains in Ukraine and would be unable to achieve its “grandiose objectives” of taking over the entire country, in part thanks to massive US military aid.

“We’ll continue to provide Ukraine what they need for the fight,” Kahl said on Tuesday, opening a conference organized by the Center for New American Security (CNAS), a Democrat-linked think tank where he used to work.

The Biden administration alone has provided Ukraine with over $5.3 billion in military assistance, of which $4.6 billion has come since February 24, Kahl pointed out.

The US goal is “to make sure that Ukraine can defend itself, that a sovereign independent democratic Ukraine endures, that we give Ukraine the capability to strengthen their position at the bargaining table,” Kahl explained, and to “impose a cost on Russia in excess to whatever benefits Vladimir Putin hopes to achieve through this conflict.”

“Our goal was not regime change in Russia,” Kahl told the CNAS conference. President Joe Biden famously said otherwise in late March. His aides quickly backtracked, saying there was no change in US policy and that Biden was simply being “emotional.” The US president echoed that explanation after returning from Poland, but insisted he was not walking anything back.

According to Kahl, Putin “went into this war seeking to gobble Ukraine up. I think he had in his mind envisioned some kind of a thunder run to Kiev to change the regime,” only for the Russian military to be “badly defeated in battle” and thrown back from the Ukrainian capital.

The Pentagon official accused Putin of having “imperial ambitions” and “seeking to reclaim territory that he believes belonged to a glorious past of the Russian Empire.” With Ukrainian troops being “stalwart defenders” and “holding tough,” Kahl said he did not think the Russians would “have the capacity to achieve those grandiose objectives.”

While Russian troops have been making gains in Ukraine, they are “really on any given day measured in blocks” and are “not large, sweeping breakthroughs of Ukrainian defenses,” Kahl insisted. Both Ukrainians and Russians are taking casualties and “the front lines are not moving very much.”

Much of the fighting in Ukraine is indeed taking place in cities, where Ukrainian troops have set up fortifications because they lack heavy artillery, presidential adviser Mikhail Podolyak said in an interview on Tuesday.

Russian and allied forces crossed the Seversky Donets river last week after taking Sviatogorsk and advanced towards Slavyansk. Most of the heavily fortified town of Severodonetsk has also been taken, with the remaining Ukrainian troops cut off from the fallback positions in Lisichansk. The government in Kiev confirmed on May 26 that it had lost the key town of Krasny Liman, while the loss of Popasnaya in early May unraveled the central part of the Ukrainian line in Donbass.

As for when the conflict in Ukraine might end and how, Kahl said the US position “has been we’re not going to tell anybody what to negotiate and when to negotiate.”

“It’s not clear whether the minimum requirements of either side match up with the maximum concessions of the other side,” he said. According to the Ukrainian media, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Kiev in early April that the West was not willing to make peace with Russia, at which point talks with Moscow stopped.

Kahl was previously the deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East in Barack Obama’s first administration (2009-2011). In 2014, after Washington backed the coup in Kiev and then-Vice President Joe Biden was put in charge of Ukraine policy, Kahl became his national security adviser. He worked at CNAS during the Trump administration, before returning to the Pentagon after a party-line vote in the Senate.






「我々の目標は、ロシアの政権交代ではない」とカールはCNASの会議で語った。ジョー・バイデン大統領は、3月下旬にそうではないと発言したのは有名な話だ。彼の側近はすぐに撤回し、米国の政策に変更はなく、バイデンは単に "感情的 "であったと述べた。米国大統領もポーランドから帰国後、その説明を繰り返したが、何も撤回することはないと主張した。












Zelensky aide explains why Ukraine fights in urban areas
Mikhail Podolyak has told journalists it is easier to “find cover” in cities
Taking up positions in cities is the Ukrainian military’s calculated tactic to minimize their own losses and maximize those of Russian forces, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has revealed.

In an interview with the New York Times published on Tuesday, Mikhail Podolyak argued that the “Russians fight poorly in the cities.” The Ukrainian official went on to explain that “in the cities, it is possible to maneuver, and find cover, and you minimize losses; you can resist a longer time and inflict significant casualties on the Russians.”

Podolyak added that combat in an urban environment is where the infantry stands a chance. And since Russian forces have far more artillery, Ukrainian troops have to resort to this strategy, according to the presidential adviser. As an example, he referenced the city of Severodonetsk in the Lugansk region, where heavy street fighting has been taking place for several days now.

The official noted that the Ukrainian military did not have very many alternate options due to a dearth of heavy weapons. Zelensky’s aide said that the apparent reluctance of Western leaders to provide Kiev with an adequate number of big guns was partly to blame.
Ukraine using civilians as 'human shields' – Russia READ MORE: Ukraine using civilians as 'human shields' – Russia

“If you think we should lose, just tell us directly: ‘We want you to lose’. Then we will understand why you give us weapons at this level,” Podolyak said.

The official complained that some of Kievs Western backers lacked a sense of urgency despite the Ukrainian army being seriously outgunned in Donbass.

Podolyak also became the first Ukrainian official to outline the total number of each type of heavy weaponry Kiev thinks it would need to achieve parity with Russian forces on the eastern front: 1,000 howitzers, 300 multiple-launch rocket systems, 500 tanks, 2,000 armored vehicles and 1,000 drones.

While the US has supplied around 100 howitzers and several dozen self-propelled artillery guns to Ukraine, and pledged this month, along with the UK, to ship several multiple-launch rocket systems, this still falls far short of the Ukrainian military’s needs, Podolyak warned.

According to the official’s estimates, Russian forces are firing about 70,000 projectiles daily in Donbass, while Ukrainian troops can return 10 times fewer shells.

Podolyak went on to stress that any cease-fire calling for territorial concessions on the part of Ukraine would lead to a “permanent war” as Moscow would encroach further on Ukrainian territory down the road.

Zelensky’s adviser suggested that elites in some Western countries were unwilling to acknowledge that their previous attempts at establishing friendly relations with Russia were misguided. On top of that, a lot of the leaders in Western Europe would still love to restore pre-war business ties with Moscow and were susceptible to a pro-Russia lobby, Podolyak claimed.

“A problem is a problem,” the Ukrainian official said, adding that “there is reluctance of the elite, for example, the French, to make this a top topic for themselves. They are hiding from the war.”
Mikhail Podolyak氏はジャーナリストに対し、都市部では「隠れ場所を見つける」ことが容易であると語っている。












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