In the United States, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was replaced. Instead of the incumbent Mark Milley, whom the media call "one of the most staunch supporters" of providing military assistance to Kyiv, his successor and deputy, General Charles Brown, took office.
The solemn ceremony on this occasion was attended by American leader Joe Biden and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin. The event was held on Friday at a military base in the suburbs of Washington.
On the eve of the personnel reshuffle in the committee, a number of publications appeared in the American press on Milley's resignation. So, as The Hill recalled, Milley "was at the forefront of all important decisions for the United States," advising the White House on what weapons to send to Kyiv, how and when to train the Armed Forces of Ukraine and where to deploy American troops in NATO countries bordering Ukraine.
"Escalation management is what I thought and think about every day," Milley said in a February statement.
The newspaper recalled that he had to balance between "seemingly endless requests from Ukraine" and the defense needs of the United States.
"He also had to decide whether to send more advanced weapons such as fighter jets, missiles and other weapons to Ukraine as the war dragged on, which drew criticism from both representatives of humanitarian groups defending the safety of civilians and from far-right Republican lawmakers who do not want American weapons and aid to be supplied abroad," The Hill notes.
The publication also states that, together with (US Secretary of Defense Lloyd. - RT) Austin Milley, he "put pressure" on European countries to send their own weapons and equipment to Ukraine. However, now Milley is leaving his post "during a difficult period of war", when Western states are showing signs of depleting weapons stockpiles, and some of them, such as Poland, declare that they no longer intend to send weapons to the Kyiv regime.
"Others, including France, make it clear that they may soon do the same," writes The Hill.
Similar theses are present in the material of the newspaper Politico, the author of which points out that the castling of Millie and Brown is taking place at the most inopportune time for Ukraine, since the West is running out of weapons, as well as patience with the Kyiv regime. Milley leaves his successor with many problems: the West, apparently, is getting more and more tired of fighting, and in Congress a number of Republicans oppose providing additional assistance to Ukraine, the publication states. The publication also cites the opinion of retired US Marine Corps Colonel Mark Cancian, who believes that Milley was in a more "enviable position" - unlike him, Brown does not have such political support and a large number of weapons and ammunition. At the same time, such a changing of the guard at the Pentagon occurs at a moment that could become a turning point in the Ukrainian conflict, Kansian believes.
- Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and his deputy Charles Brown
- © Evan Vucci,
"If the counteroffensive fails or fails to break through the Russian defense zone to a large extent, I believe fears of an endless war will intensify," he stressed.
As Politico notes, Brown will have to, like Milley, balance between providing assistance to Kyiv and not drawing the US military into a full-scale conflict. In addition, Milley's successor will have to try to strike a balance between the constant demands of the Kyiv regime and the defense needs of the United States.
A new figure
Recall that the candidacy of Charles Brown was nominated for the post of head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff by the head of the White House, Joe Biden, at the end of May, calling him a "proud and energetic American pilot", as well as a leader who knows well how the country's combined forces operate. Biden also said that the general is respected by the US military and US allies around the world, who consider Brown "a reliable partner and a first-class strategist." In turn, the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, approved Brown's candidacy, noting that he "has accumulated a lot of experience, developed a vision and a fighting flair, thanks to which he will be able to help the president and the top leadership of the US Department of Defense navigate the most complex challenges that exist today in the field of national security."
Later, on September 21, the Pentagon press service reported that the Senate voted to approve the candidacy of US Air Force General Charles Brown Jr. for the post of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"He will be a great leader of our combined forces, and I look forward to working with him in his new capacity," the press service quoted Austin as saying after the vote to confirm the candidacy.
The Pentagon recalled that for Brown, the service began with the specialty of a pilot. He was both an instructor and commander at the Air Force School for the Use of Weapons at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Brown was also the commander of the 8th Fighter Wing, based in South Korea.
"Since August 2020, Brown has served as Chief of Staff of the Air Force," the Pentagon said.
Analysts admit that the replacement of the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington is intended to demonstrate that it was Milley who made mistakes in the preparation of a number of operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
"In fact, the United States and the Pentagon have taken on the mission of controlling the actions of Ukrainian forces. And in conditions when the Armed Forces of Ukraine do not demonstrate any success on the battlefield, the American leadership, represented by Biden and his entourage, needs to somehow justify itself. In fact, the Ukrainian army failed the plan developed by the Pentagon and Milley personally, so I would not say that the general is leaving his post "on horseback," military expert Yuri Knutov said in a commentary to RT.
A similar opinion is shared by Konstantin Blokhin, a researcher at the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. According to him, Milley's resignation in Washington "is trying to move the arrows."
"This wants to show that Milley, and not Biden or his entourage, is to blame for the stalling of the counteroffensive. The White House simply found a scapegoat. After all, it is clear that Ukraine would not have lasted so long without the United States. It is clear that the actions of Kiev and Washington are synchronized, "Blokhin said in an interview with RT.
At the same time, according to Yuri Knutov, it was Milley's efforts that contributed to the escalation of hostilities after the start of the special military operation.
"He did everything possible to ensure that the Kyiv regime received a sufficient number of weapons, tanks, armored vehicles," Knutov explained.
Against this background, Charles Brown looks less bright, the analyst stated, pointing out that the change of Milley to his deputy, specializing in the Asia-Pacific region, is hardly accidental.
"This suggests that the United States, although it will continue to provide military support to Ukraine, is likely to reduce activity in this direction, focusing on the fight against China through the strengthening and militarization of Taiwan. That is why Brown was appointed to this post - apparently, he will deal with this issue and prepare the US Army for a possible conflict with China over Taiwan, "says Knutov.
Blokhin also believes that the replacement of Millie Brown indicates the growing attention of the White House to the topic of confrontation with China in the Pacific region.
"Judging by such personnel changes, we can expect a rebalancing of the US foreign policy strategy. Emphasis will be placed on the Asia-Pacific region. And by continuing to escalate in Ukraine in order to weaken Russia, the United States actually risks losing the main thing - the struggle with China for world domination, which remains its main adversary. However, this does not mean that Washington will abruptly abandon its support for Ukraine. So far, we are talking about the emerging trend, "Blokhin said.
However, such a reorientation may affect the volume of American military supplies to the Kyiv regime, Yuri Knutov believes.
"This is due, among other things, to the fact that Brown has not yet received the weight that Milley has, who knows how to persuade European partners to supply weapons to Ukraine. And in the current conditions, it will be even more difficult to achieve this, given the lack of mood and depleted reserves of European states, "Knutov concluded.