The US Secretary of Defense admitted that no Western weapons system could be a game-changer in the conflict with Russia
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in Kiev on Monday that any new Western military capability would not change the rules of the game for Ukraine in the conflict with Russia, as he announced the latest batch of arms aid from Washington.
The Pentagon chief was asked during a press conference whether the F-16 fighter jets, which the Ukrainian government eagerly expects to join its fleet, would significantly impact the conflict. Kiev and some of its supporters have previously talked about supplies of new Western weapons Possibly The tide is turning in Ukraine’s favor.
“You’ve heard us say many times that there is no silver bullet in a conflict like this.” Austin warned. “Whether it’s F-16s, HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), or something else, this is how you go about using those capabilities and integrating them, and synchronizing the capabilities to produce the right effects on the battlefield.”
Austin announced a new military aid package worth about $100 million during his visit. It includes one HIMARS and an unspecified number of additional missiles and artillery shells.
Mark Milley, then Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, used the same expression in April when discussing the supply of M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine, suggesting they would do so. “Make a difference” But it won’t be “Silver bullet.”
In the same month, then British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace similarly warned that there would be no deal “One magic wand moment” This would lead to the collapse of Russia.
At the time, Ukraine was preparing to launch its counteroffensive in the summer, hoping to use Western weapons to break through Russian defenses and reclaim territory claimed by Kiev. The campaign failed to yield any significant territorial gains and cost Kiev more than 90,000 troops by the end of October, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky complained in an interview last week that 31 Abrams tanks were delivered to Kiev between September and October. “A little bit” To play any important role on the battlefield.
Russia described Austin’s recent arrival in Kiev as a “worrying matter.” “Moral support mission.” Anatoly Antonov, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington, said that the Pentagon chief’s announcement of aid was just that “Nothing more than a painkiller pill prepared for Zelensky by overseas ‘philanthropists’.” The envoy also claimed that the Ukrainian government was on the verge of complete collapse.