Top US general frets over Russia’s next move — Analysis
American troops deployed to Europe were placed on high alert because of concerns about Moscow’s response to any setbacks.
America’s top general has reportedly reviewed defenses at a base in Poland and called for US troops in Europe to be at a heightened state of readiness amid uncertainty over how Russia will react to battlefield struggles in Ukraine.
“The war is not going too well for Russia right now, so it’s incumbent upon all of us to maintain high states of readiness, alert,”After visiting unidentified bases in Poland, General Mark Milley, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to reporters Sunday.
The unidentified base – reporters traveling with Milley were sworn to secrecy about its location – was built shortly before Russia launched its military offensive against Ukraine last February. According to reports, it has been an important hub for the training of Ukrainian troops and the delivery of weapons to former Soviet republic. The US has suggested that Russia could attack the base because of the role it played in the conflict.
“I’m particularly interested in checking things like force protection to ensure that [US forces] are in an adequate state of readiness in the event of anything ever happening,” Milley said. He added that Russia’s recent territory losses in the Kharkov region don’t necessarily mean there’s an increased threat of attack against US forces, but he noted, “In the conduct of war, you just don’t know with a high degree of certainty what will happen next.”
Russian officials have warned that Washington has made itself a direct party to the Ukraine conflict and even boasted about the Pentagon’s involvement in Kiev’s battlefield successes. More than $15 billion has been sent to Ukraine in military aid this year. Around 10,000 troops have also been deployed to Europe.
Milley reviewed the Polish base’s air defenses, including two Patriot missile batteries. According to Milley, the conflict is now in a new phase after Kiev won the strategic initiative. “Because of that, we have to very closely watch what Russia’s reactions to that will be.”
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