Saturday, April 20, 2024

Russia’s Grand Strategy for Ukraine Takeover Unmet, Says DOD Official

In the broadest sense, Russia has thus far failed to secure its strategic objectives in Ukraine, said the undersecretary of defense for policy.
Colin Kahl spoke about the war in Ukraine and the pacing challenge of China at the Center for a New American Security’s National Security Conference today (June 14).

“[Russian President] Vladimir Putin went into this war seeking to gobble Ukraine up. … I think he envisioned some kind of a thunder run to Kyiv that would change the regime. The Russians were badly defeated in the battle of Kyiv. They’ve also been pushed out of Kharkiv,” he said.

In the south and east, the Russians have been making incremental gains, but they are not sweeping through Ukrainian defenses as they had hoped to do, Kahl said.

“The Ukrainians remain stalwart defenders. There are significant casualties, but that is true on both sides,” he said.

Putin has mentioned imperial ambitions and seeking to reconstitute what he thinks is a glorious past of the Russian empire, Kahl said.

A helicopter flies over trees.

That’s unlikely, he said. “The Ukrainians are holding tough. I do not think the Russians have the capacity to achieve those grandiose objectives.”

The nature of the fight has shifted to an artillery duel, he said. That is why the Defense Department is supplying M-777 artillery to Ukrainian forces and is in the process of training their forces on the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.

The munitions for the M-777 being provided have a range of around 70 kilometers, he said. “That will be useful to allow the Ukrainians to have more standoff. We expect those systems to get into the fight soon and we’re committed to continuing the flow of those munitions and I know other allies and partners are too.”

Kahl also mentioned that U.S., ally and partner nations’ sanctions on Russia are having an effect. “This year will wipe out the last 15 years of economic growth in Russia and the impact of sanctions are only getting started.”

Ships sail in a body of water.

The export controls that the U.S. has put on Russia will make it very difficult for the Russian military to reconstitute their standoff munitions and precision guided munitions, he added.

Although Russian ambitions are a threat to the free world, China remains the department’s pacing challenge, he said.

“China is really the only country with both the intent and the capability to systemically challenge the United States militarily, politically, diplomatically, economically, technologically–kind of across the board. And that is true not just in the moment, but for the foreseeable future,” he said.

Author profile
David Vergun
DOD News
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest news

Generative AI Model Shows Fake News has a Greater Influence on Elections When Released at a Steady Pace Without Interruption

It’s not at all clear that disinformation has, to date, swung an election that would otherwise have gone another...

Older Swiss Women Just Set a Global Legal Precedent for Challenging Their Nation’s Climate Change Policy

The European Court of Human Rights has issued a groundbreaking ruling in a case between a group of Swiss...

Whither Democracy? Modi’s India and Its Implications for South Asia

"When a significant civilizational state is astray, it impacts its neighborhood and stability, threatening regional security." "West's neglect of India's...

Faith, Power, and Persecution

Washington, DC - The Romans. They persecuted the followers of Jesus because they didn’t like folks disagreeing with the...
- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img

Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s Beijing Visit an Invitation for Chinese Strategic Expansion 

'China wishes to push forward BRI in Sri Lanka fully' 'Agreement on Chinese Marine Scientific Research Despite the Moratorium'  'Chinese Debt...

Must read

BRICS’ Type of Multipolarity is Not a Solution for the Global South

The announcement of BRICS enlargement in August 2023 was...