Pentagon Intelligence Official Says Ukraine War at a ‘Stalemate’

July 17th, 2023 - by Dave DeCamp /

US and Allied Arms Fail to Secure a
Ukraine ‘Breakthrough.’
Meanwhile, Biden Rejects Calls for Ceasefire
Dave DeCamp /

(July 16, 2023) — A senior Defense Intelligence Agency official has described the war in Ukraine as a “stalemate” and said none of the weapons the US and NATO are providing will help Ukrainian forces “break through” in their counteroffensive.

“Certainly we are at a bit of a stalemate,” DIA Chief of Staff John Kirchhofer said at a conference on Thursday, according to Bloomberg. “One of the things that the Russian leadership believes is that they can outlast the support of the West.”

Kirchhofer listed some of the weapons NATO recently began providing, including US cluster bombs and British Storm Shadow missiles. “None of these unfortunately, are the holy grail that Ukrainians looking for that will allow them to break through,” he said.

Ukrainian forces have struggled to make headway since launching their counteroffensive at the beginning of June. US and European officials told The New York Times in a report published Saturday that 20% of all of Ukraine’s weaponry deployed to the battlefield was damaged or destroyed during the first two weeks of the counteroffensive.

The officials said that the rate of losses dropped to 10% in the ensuing weeks as Ukrainian forces were approaching Russian minefields more cautiously. The officials did not offer figures on how many Ukrainian lives have been expended in the assault as Kyiv is keeping a tight lid on the number of casualties.

Leading up to the counteroffensive, the Discord leaks and media reports revealed that the US did not expect Ukraine to regain any significant territory. But the Biden administration pushed for the assault anyway as it is opposed to the idea of a ceasefire.

Biden’s Provocation Triggers Escalation:
Putin OKs Cluster Bombs in ‘Tit-For-Tat’ Response
Dave DeCamp /

(July 16, 2023) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that Russia has a “sufficient” supply of cluster munitions to use if Ukraine employs the controversial weapons.

The US has started shipping cluster bombs to Ukraine even though the weapons are notorious for killing and maiming civilians. US cluster munitions have already arrived in Ukraine.

Human Rights Watch has said both sides have used cluster bombs in the war, although Putin claimed Russia hasn’t.

“Russia has a sufficient reserve of various kinds of cluster munitions, various kinds. So far we have not done it, we have not used them, and we have not had such a need, despite a certain shortage in munitions at a certain point of time. But we didn’t do this,” he said. “But of course, if they are used against us, we reserve the right to tit-for-tat actions.”

Putin also noted that the White House said last year that the use of cluster bombs in Ukraine would be a potential war crime. “As for cluster munitions, the US administration itself through its staff gave its opinion on these munitions a while ago, when the use of cluster munitions was called a crime by the US administration itself. So, I think, this is how it should be treated,” he said.

The US is providing Ukraine cluster bombs in the form of 155mm artillery shells. The US provision of the weapons means that both sides might engage in heavy artillery battles.

Cluster bombs are so dangerous to civilians because they spread small submunitions, or bomblets, over large areas, and some don’t explode on impact, leaving a major hazard for civilians who could come across them years or decades later.

The US will provide Ukraine with hundreds of thousands of artillery shells that are each packed with 72 bomblets. According to The New York Times, the shells are expected to have a 14% dud rate, meaning about 10 submunitions per artillery shell will not explode.

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