As Ammo Dries Up, US Set to ‘Shift Blame’ for Ukraine Counteroffensive ‘Debacle’
With its 'counteroffensive' stagnating, Ukraine may have as little as a month’s worth of fighting weather left, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley claimed in a UK state media interview on Sunday. However, the huge losses sustained by Kiev have not fazed the US and NATO, as they continue to send more military shipments to Ukraine.
The Kiev regime has sustained such losses in its counteroffensive attempt
that “never should have taken place,” that “it could be about 30 days before the Ukrainian army would be completely out of ammunition and manpower,” Earl Rasmussen
, a retired US Army lieutenant colonel, told Sputnik
As for the looming change in the weather, it “will be so bad they [the Ukrainian military] won’t be able to move forward, and will become even more of a target for Russian artillery and defensive actions," the international consultant specializing in geopolitics and military affairs added.
“They're out of ammunition, the West is out of ammunition... They can't get supplies quickly enough. Not only does the weather play in the ‘30 days’, but they've got a lot of other conditions there, too,” the expert said.
“I can't see the Ukrainians doing much right now. There's no way that they can, even if they wanted to... even before the weather. I always said that this offensive was a suicide mission, and with the weather coming in, it would definitely be a suicide mission to try to advance at all," said Rasmussen.
The pundit was commenting on the recent forecast
offered by the Pentagon General as to how much time Ukraine’s military had at its disposal until the mud and winter set in.
“There’s still a reasonable amount of time, probably about 30 to 45 days’ worth of fighting weather left, so the Ukrainians aren’t done, this battle’s not done. And they haven’t achieved – they haven’t finished the fighting part of what they’re trying to accomplish,” US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said in a joint interview with UK Chief of Defense Staff Sir Tony Radakin for British state media on Sunday. Milley also assured that Ukraine was showing “very steady progress” and a “depth of combat power” on the front lines.
“We’ll get the cold as you mentioned. It’ll start uh, the rains will come in, it will become very muddy and it’s be very difficult to maneuver at that point, and then you’ll get to deep winter, and then at that point we’ll see where things go. But right now, it is way too early to say that this offensive is failed or not failed,” Milley said.
The West would like to see this offensive continue," Earl Rasmussen said, even if “realists are saying that this is not working out.” That is why we are witnessing the US ramp up aid even more.
"Right now, the indications are that the West is going to increase, kind of escalate more to some degree, or at least try to sustain the situation," he maintained.
US President Joe Biden has provided Kiev with $43.7 billion in military aid since Russia launched its special operation in Ukraine, as per the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Just recently, the US announced a new $600 million security package for Ukraine to include munitions in addition to equipment augmenting air defenses.
There is talk about sending Ukraine longer-range missiles
, such as the Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS), there has been a scramble to try to get F-16 fighter jets
that the Zelensky regime has been clamoring for, the pundit recalled. Kiev's American bosses might pressure the Ukrainians to continue with the offensive for another 30 days, and maybe even into the winter, Rasmussen added.
Trying to paint the stuttering counteroffensive in a 'better' light, the West has been engaging in rhetoric such as, "Oh, they broke through the first line of defense!", said the expert.
“We know that they may win a couple hundred meters into a small town… a village... Then they pull back.. so there have been no armor-type vehicles or heavy equipment that have reached beyond the first line."
As for the tactics of Russia’s military, "they have 3 to 5 lines of defense, and if Ukraine forces do break one of those lines, then just more losses will take place
,” said Rasmussen. He also pointed to the troubles that Ukraine is having with the draft
amid the huge losses of manpower.
Bearing in mind the massive outflow of fighting-age men from the country, alternative media and even some legacy outlets have been reporting
of draft officers grabbing men off the street, heightened restrictions on travel abroad, bribes used in cases when people seek to dodge being sent to fight.
US officials estimate that up to half a million troops have been killed or wounded in Ukraine to date, with Russia's MoD calculating that Kiev lost over 43,000 troops during the summer counteroffensive alone.
Meanwhile, there is a feeling that there are “two different camps” taking shape “in the background,” Rasmussen added, pointing to the recent G20 summit
“Despite what the West attempted to do, there is a pretty strong pushback. You saw no direct condemnation of Russia out of the G20 statement... Perhaps they saw their support weakening," the pundit said, adding that there is “pushback going on in Congress regarding continuous funding.”
The summit’s declaration demonstrated a “balanced position on the Ukraine conflict
,” Russian G20 Sherpa Svetlana Lukash had stated, adding that half of the group's members refused to accept Western narratives. Western powers had failed to hijack
the intergovernmental forum’s agenda to focus on the Ukraine crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the two-day gathering.
In the US, a majority of people do not support the current policy of sending more money down the Ukraine sinkhole. Bearing in mind the looming 2024 presidential elections
, the Biden administration is under pressure domestically from a chorus of voices
urging that attention be instead focused on domestic issues.
“I think that we are finding that support is actually starting to dwindle and fragment behind the scenes,” Earl Rasmussen said.
Blame Game For Counteroffensive 'Debacle'
As for the West’s attempt to shift responsibility for the failure
of the counteroffensive on Ukraine itself, it was to be expected, said Rasmussen.
Last month, reports started to surface that US strategists “advised Ukraine” to pump more troops to “punch through” Russian defenses and minefields, even if it cost large numbers of soldiers and equipment. Senior NATO military officials, including Pentagon Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Christopher Cavoli, and British Chief of Defense Staff Tony Radakin reportedly held a video call with Ukrainian command to push for a change in focus.
The US has been unabashedly saying that they had been working with the Ukrainians, “planning this offensive” for months, arming and training the military, said the expert. But we have now heard criticism from the West saying that “the Ukrainians are not courageous enough or basically aggressive enough in the offensive.”
“We've got an election season coming up here: people running for president. They need to shift the blame. They do not want to take the blame, so they'll point fingers: "We gave you everything you wanted, trained you… We're the ones driving the train behind the scenes. We've got military tech people there, we've got intelligence being provided, we've got the politicians probably in continual contact, he said.
Just recently, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken embarked on a two-day surprise visit to Ukraine, where he announced $175 million-$200 million
in new US aid. Blinken also said that Washington had noticed "good progress" in Kiev’s counteroffensive
. In effect, Ukraine’s much-heralded counteroffensive
, which got underway on June 4, has made almost no gains against heavily entrenched, multilayered Russian defensive positions
So, referring to the US-spearheaded Western patrons of the Kiev regime, Earl Rasmussen concluded:
“Are they trying to shift the blame? Absolutely. They do not want to take the blame for this debacle themselves.”