The United States needs to find ways to expand military contact with Russians in a wide range of efforts to increase transparency and reduce the risk of conflict. ..
Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Russia’s corresponding General Staff of the Armed Forces, General Valerie Gerasimov, in Finland for six hours on Wednesday. Millie spoke with two reporters who accompanied him back to the United States, and now military contact between the two powers has become senior leaders such as the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman, and the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe. He said it was limited.
But he said the United States might consider allowing the chief of military service to form stronger relations with Russian responders-it is not currently allowed. That way, for example, Navy leaders can reach out to avoid conflict when tensions are occurring at sea.
“We want to increase certainty, reduce uncertainty, increase trust and reduce distrust, increase stability and reduce instability, to avoid miscalculations and reduce the likelihood of a great war. We need to implement policies and procedures to ensure that, “Millie said. .. “That’s the basic thing we should do and I’m trying to do it.”
Allowing observers for exercises and other changes is worth investigating, he said. “We may not do that, but at least we need to see it,” Millie said.
Millie refused to elaborate on the content of the meeting with Gerasimov, but a statement from co-staff seemed to suggest that transparency was discussed. The statement said the conference was focused on the military, “both sides are calling for greater transparency to reduce misunderstandings and increase stability.”
Millie’s comment on Thursday assures Chinese counterparts that the United States will be stable during the last turbulent month of President Donald Trump and will not suddenly war or attack China. He is in the midst of anger at the phone he made.
Millie argued that calls to reassure the enemy and ensure strategic stability were routine and “fully within the scope of duty and responsibility” of his work.
However, Trump labeled his call to the Chinese as rebellious, and some MPs called on him to resign. But when the debate broke out in Washington, DC, Millie was doing the same thousands of miles away. At a series of conferences in Europe, I spoke with military responders, both allies and adversaries.
Relations between the United States and Russia were unstable.
Relations between Washington and Moscow plummeted after a period of cooperation on post-Cold War nuclear security and other defense issues, especially after the Russian army invaded the former Soviet Republic in 2008. Tensions increased with Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Military intervention in eastern Ukraine.
More recently, the United States has blown up Russia’s attempts to interfere with US elections, linking Moscow to widespread cyberattacks. This includes the SolarWinds spy campaign, which exposes 80% of email accounts used by the US Attorney’s Office in New York and several other departments.
In response to the Ukrainian invasion, the 2016 parliament severely restricted military cooperation with Russia. The law prohibits “military-military cooperation” until the Secretary of Defense proves that Russia has “stopped occupying Ukrainian territory” and “aggressive activity.” The law was later amended, stating that it would not limit military negotiations aimed at “reducing the risk of conflict.”
Millie said Thursday that military-military contact with Russia had worked in the past to ease tensions. Although not specific, he said there were “several incidents between us and the Russians in the last two years” that triggered the call between Millie and Gerasimov.
He said such calls were made with the full knowledge of the administration and often at the request of the White House. In such cases, he said the phone was successful in calming things down. “If I couldn’t get to know him a little earlier, that would never have happened,” Millie said.
Despite all the friction between the two countries, the United States also finds that it is seeking some possible help from Russia to fight the militants in Afghanistan.
The United States is struggling to secure base rights and other counterterrorism assistance in countries bordering Afghanistan. And there was a signal that the United States wanted Russia to ease its opposition, allow it to be better monitored, and strike if necessary. Al-Qaeda and Islamic State militants may try to attack the United States again.
_____ AP National Security writer Robert Burns contributed to this report.
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