Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, the top uniformed military official, warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has placed the “global international security order” that has been in place since the end of World War II is now at risk.
In a Tuesday interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto, Milley said, “What’s at stake is the global international security order that was put in place in 1945.”
“That international order has lasted 78 years, it’s prevented great power war, and underlining that entire concept is the idea that large nations will not conduct military aggression against smaller nations, and that’s exactly what’s happened here, an unprovoked military aggression by Russia against a smaller nation,” Milley added
“If this is left to stand, if there is no answer to this aggression, if Russia gets away with this cost-free, then so goes the so-called international order, and if that happens, then we’re entering into an era of seriously increased instability.”
To date, the U.S. and other allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), European Union (EU) and elsewhere around the globe have imposed dozens of new sanctions against the Russian government as punishment for the invasion. The U.S. and NATO have also sent weapons, supplies and funding to Ukraine to help it fight Russian forces. As of Friday, the Ukrainian military claimed Russia had lost around 23,000 troops, 189 planes, 155 helicopters, 986 tanks, thousands more vehicles and weapons systems and eight naval vessels.
When asked if he thought continued U.S. military support for Ukraine put the U.S. at greater risk of conflict with Russia, Milley said “I actually think it’s the opposite.”
Milley’s Tuesday comments came just before Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin called for more military support for Ukraine. Austin applauded the weapons that western nations have given to Ukraine so far but said more would be needed of a “crucial” upcoming phase in the fighting between Ukraine and Russia.
“I applaud all of the countries that have risen and are rising to meet this demand, but we don’t have any time to waste,” Austin said. “The briefings today laid out clearly why the coming weeks will be so crucial for Ukraine, so we’ve got to move at the speed of war. And I know that all the leaders leave today more resolved than ever to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression and atrocities.”
On Thursday, President Joe Biden put forward a request to Congress for $33 billion more in funding support for Ukraine, covering military aid as well as humanitarian and food support.