There seems to be some rumbling within the Biden administration that it may be time to start using some diplomacy to end the war raging in Ukraine. This rumbling was for the most part private and driven by rumour. Finally, however, an important member of the administration is much more vocal and revealing with their thoughts.
Negotiations and diplomacy are usually touted by diplomats. However, the most recent calls for negotiations come from the uniformed large wig of our mighty army.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and avid reader of all things social justice, General Mark Milley, has spoken publicly about the next phase of this war. His recommendation is to think about diplomacy.
This could help explain why General Mark Milley is pushing for peace in Ukraine. From WSJ:
“The US and some of its allies are concerned that their stockpiles of weapons, including some ammunition, are being depleted at an unsustainable rate.” https://t.co/FWhQiLN0xi pic.twitter.com/8QZLclE3xc
— Aaron Mate (@aaronjmate) Nov 14, 2022
Seize the moment
Last Wednesday, General Milley said in New York’s Economic Club about what Ukraine should do as we enter the winter months:
“If there is an opportunity to negotiate, if peace can be achieved, seize it. Seize the moment.”
The opportunity that General Milley refers to is the recent withdrawal of Russian troops from the city of Kherson, widely seen as a major victory for Ukraine.
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He followed up on TBEN the following day:
“We have seen how the Ukrainian army brought the Russian army to a standstill. What the future holds is not known with any certainty, but we think there are some opportunities here for diplomatic solutions.”
With Russia on its heels and a long winter ahead, it’s clear that Milley hopes to avoid a World War I scenario where both sides enter the final winter in endless trench warfare that led nowhere in terms of tipping over. the scales of victory.
But who exactly is the “we” he refers to in his statement?
After giving up her stance that a proxy war in Ukraine would be “probably disastrous”, @IlhanMN suggested that the “intel” had changed about the need for diplomacy.
Gene. Mark Milley, the top US military officer, now says we need diplomacy. Doesn’t he see the same “intel”? pic.twitter.com/n5pQUp9P1O
— Aaron Mate (@aaronjmate) Nov 11, 2022
Public vs Private
General Milley’s public comments have raised eyebrows as it is rumored that State Department officials do not necessarily agree with the general that now is an excellent time to start massaging this idea of diplomacy. It seems that it is military brass that has more eye for diplomacy than the actual diplomats.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan reassured the Biden administration’s commitment to Ukraine, stating:
“The United States will be with Ukraine in this battle for as long as it takes. There will be no hesitation, no weakening, no flinching in our support as we go forward.”
Mr Sullivan had to continue to assure the world that we are on board, at least publicly, with whatever Ukraine decides to do in the future, stating after announcing another $400 million in military aid to Ukraine:
“We are not pushing for things with Ukraine. What we do is consult as partners and show our support, not just through public statements or moral support, but through the tangible, physical support of the kind of military aid I mentioned earlier.”
Privately, however, Mr. Sullivan has begun to urge President Volodymyr Zelensky to think about what “just peace” looks like.
He is wrong, just as he was before the outbreak of the war. Milley was the authority giving advice to: @POTUS that Ukraine would soon be defeated by Russia, leaving the US risking a flashpoint with Russia only by arming Ukraine. Milley undermined the deterrence.
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) Nov 11, 2022
Time to live in reality
On the same day that General Milley hinted that the time for negotiations might be right, he explained a relatively simple and well-known reality of this war:
“There must be a mutual recognition that military victory probably cannot, in the truest sense of the word, be achieved by military means, and so you must turn to other means.”
In essence, the general believes that both Russia and Ukraine should become aware of the fact that there will be no full military victory for either side, so instead of continuing to suffer significant losses on both sides and physical destruction over time to adjust the vision of the final state.
But those within the State Department may be right to believe that neither side is ready for negotiations, at least the Ukrainians are not.
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President Zelensky reiterated his terms for negotiations, including:
- Removal of all Russian troops from Ukraine
- Russia must agree to pay war damages
- Moscow must punish war criminals
- Russia must guarantee never to invade again
Zelensky has also urged Ukraine to retake Crimea, which should be seen as a “poison pill” for all negotiations.
Gene. Milley said this week that neither Ukraine nor Russia can win militarily, and that the coming winter months offer a “window for negotiations”.
Milley is not alone in the Biden administration to think so.
— Lara Seligman (@laraseligman) Nov 11, 2022
Change of direction
It wasn’t that long ago that calling for negotiations would earn someone the label of a Russian sympathizer or Putin apologist. In fact, the Progressive Caucus had to retract a letter calling for the same thing the State Department is privately pushing for, and our military leader is now calling out publicly.
Recently, Progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said:
“I believe that progressives have always advocated relying on diplomatic solutions. We have to rely on that.”
I can’t imagine the Progressive Caucus being all too happy that they were embarrassed by the White House for asking for diplomacy. I wonder when General Mark ‘White Rage’ Milley will issue his revocation.
RELATED: Despite Rhetoric, Biden Admin Secretly Urges Ukraine to Open to Negotiated Peace With Russia
I hope he sticks to his advice. A broken clock is right twice a day. In this case, I think the same general who has made a mistake on almost every other military operation since the Biden administration took over may prove to be smarter with diplomatic maneuvers than with military actions.
I’m sorry, you are not all “anti-war protesters”, you are dangerous propagandists who literally make fun of the anti-war movement.
I’ve never had the pleasure of personally responding to ridiculous internet misinformation. Thanks for the opportunity ✌🏽 https://t.co/xzTLQCymgO
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) October 28, 2022
Let’s hope the United States can encourage President Zelensky to develop his mindset on peace. But it wasn’t until last month that he said:
“We will negotiate with the next Russian president.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claims that Russia:
“…ready for negotiations, taking into account the reality that is being formed at the moment.”
The statement is a nod to the Ukrainian’s demand that Putin be punished and removed and that Russia return all territories, including Crimea. It is also possible to give Ukraine some credit that Russia could bluff about its willingness to negotiate; it wouldn’t be the first time.
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But both sides should still be open to the idea in the future. Otherwise, the alternative is a never-ending war where the only winners will be defense contractors.
Thank you @POTUS & friendly people for showing solidarity again – an aid package including Avenger air defense systems and missiles for Hawk air defense systems. Together we build an air shield to protect 🇺🇦 civilians. We bring the victory over the aggressor closer!
— олодимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) Nov 10, 2022
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