Pushing Russian forces out of the entire territory of Ukraine this year will be a challenging task and is highly unlikely, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the US Army General Mark A. Milley said in his interview with Defense One.
“Zelenskyy has publicly stated many times that the Ukrainian objective is to kick every Russian out of Russian-occupied Ukraine. And that is a significant military task. A very, very difficult military task,” General Milley said. “You’re looking at a couple hundred thousand Russians who are still in Russian-occupied Ukraine. I am not saying it cannot be done. I’m just saying it is a very difficult task. But that is their objective. They certainly have a right to that; it is their country. And they are on the moral high ground here.”
Answering the question about whether the ATACMS long-range missile could be later sent to Ukraine, General Milley said that he had no information about such plans.
“From a military standpoint, we have relatively few ATACMS. We have to make sure that we maintain our munitions inventories, as well,” General Milley said. “I think there’s a little bit of overstating of what an ATACMS can do and cannot do. You’re looking at a single shot, so think of a musket versus a repeating rifle. Whereas the GMLRS fires six shots and ATACMS fires one. Now the range of the ATACMS is longer, but other systems can get you that range. UAVs, for example, could do it, and the Brits have a couple of systems. So, those are some things that we are looking at to give them a little bit more legs. But right now, we are not providing the ATACMS,” General Milley concluded.