Rus Closes on Liman, Kupyansk, Ukr Alarm; Big Rus Missile Strike Odessa Port; Latin America Rejects EU on War; Milley, US Officials Blame Kiev for Failed Offensive
Alexander Mercouris
The Duran (July 19, 2023)

[partial Video Transcript]

1:12:41 “Yesterday, and it was none other than General Mark Milley, the Chairman of he US [Joined Chefs of Stuff] and he talked at length about how The Offensive, the Ukrainian offensive was going to be long, prolonged, difficult, all of these things. He talked again about the value of combined arms tactics. He ridiculed the idea that supplying F-16s is going to change anything. He said it would take years and years and years for Ukraine to acquire an Air Force in any way comparable to the one that Russia has. And he also said that the real problem that Ukraine is facing is not the Russian Air Force but the the mine fields that the Russians have created, and he again said that the right way to reach all these mine fields, to breach all of these defenses, is through these vaunted combined-armed tactics that we hear about so much.”

1:13:47 “And to my mind, both sides are making some kind of point. It is no doubt the case that the Ukrainians are reverting back to the old-style tactics: light infantry assaults covered by artillery which the Americans were advising them in the spring to abandon. But the Ukrainians are surely right that these combined arms tactics that the Americans are talking about make absolutely no sense on these battlefronts. They’re hardly the appropriate types of offensives to carry out against these dense mine fields, these enormous Russian fortifications, these heavily equipped and – as it if now clear, disciplined and well-led Russian troops – when Ukraine tried to use these offensives – these offensive tactics, these so-called combined-arms tactics – whenever it has tried to use them, at any point over the course of this offensive as in the first few weeks, also at the time of the Vilnius Summit – the result has been a disaster. Even the US accepts that 20 percent of Ukraine’s armored vehicle fleet devoted to the offensive was destroyed in the first couple of days. A further 10 percent was destroyed in the ensuing days, making that a third of the armored vehicle fleet lost as a result of this resort to combined arms tactics.”

1:15:56 “And, I’m going to say that not only are the two sides, the Americans and the Ukrainians talking past each other, but it’s now clear that we’re into a blame game. Both can see that the offensive is going to fail. And what each is doing is preparing to blame the other. The Ukrainians are blaming the Americans for not supplying the F-16s and the other Miracle Weapons. They’re not Miracle Weapons. They would not have changed the battlefields. Milley is absolutely right. There are insuperable problems operating F-16s, and this is always, in fact, a bad idea even though it’s likely at some point that it will be implemented. And the Americans are blaming the Ukrainians for not sticking with their combined-arms tactics -- which the Americans supposedly taught them -- even though the Ukrainians are absolutely right that whenever they’ve used those combined-arms tactics, they have failed and failed disastrously.

1:17:20 “Each side, I am sure, understands the force of the other side’s argument. This is no longer the case about discussing tactics or strategy. It is about pinning blame. The Americans are going to say Ukraine lost because it didn’t listen to the advice it was given. The Ukrainians are going to say that they lost because the Americans didn’t give them all the equipment they needed. When recriminations like this start – and the indications of that are now very clear – that tells us that we’re approaching the point when the final admission about the failure of this offensive is acknowledged by all the parties. The only question then – the only military question then – will be, firstly, what to do with this increasingly dangerous Russian offensive in the North; and, secondly, how much longer can the war go on? How much longer can Ukraine survive, given, as I’ve said, that the clock is now remorselessly ticking out on it? And what do the Western powers do?

1:20:10 [End of Video]