Joint Chiefs Chairman Discusses Russia’s Threat

On May 22, 2024, Air Force Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed the ongoing threats from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the importance of alliances in an era of Great Power competition during an interview with NBC’s Courtney Kube at the Atlantic Council’s Commanders’ Series.

Gen. Brown emphasized that the National Defense Strategy identifies concerns from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and violent extremists, all of which are actively collaborating. He warned that Russia’s actions in Ukraine serve as a global warning. “When you have a conflict in one part of the world, it doesn’t necessarily stay in one part of the world,” he stated.

He highlighted how Russia’s invasion could inspire similar actions from other nations, like China towards Taiwan. The global response to support Ukraine sends a strong message. Recently, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III convened the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, with 50 nations committed to supporting Ukraine. Brown remarked, “Just one small conflict can broaden into a much larger conflict. That’s why it’s so important.”

The conflict in Ukraine has significant implications for national sovereignty and the rights of nations, particularly given Ukraine’s proximity to four NATO members. Brown pointed out, “It’s part of my job to think about global events and their potential sparks elsewhere.”

Discussing the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, Brown explained the focus on providing Ukraine with necessary defense capabilities, including air defense, antiarmor systems, tanks, and artillery. He also mentioned Ukraine’s ability to attack Russian positions using non-American systems, highlighting the ongoing dialogue on this matter.

Brown noted Ukraine’s significant progress against Russian forces, reclaiming 50% of the territory initially taken. This success is due to Ukrainian resilience and international support. As new draft laws come into effect, Ukraine will further strengthen its military capabilities with proper equipment and training.

While there isn’t a single weapon system that will turn the tide, Brown emphasized the importance of combined capabilities. He anticipates U.S. service members returning to Ukraine for training purposes once the conflict subsides.

Gen. Brown underscored that adversaries like North Korea, Iran, and China are actively supporting Russia in various capacities. He stressed the need to prevent the spread of conflict and remain vigilant about interconnected global threats.

When asked about overlooked concerns, Brown highlighted the importance of maintaining a broad perspective and understanding the long-term implications of global events. He prioritizes identifying potential future developments and their impact on security.

Overall, Gen. Brown’s insights underscore the complexity of current global security challenges and the critical role of international alliances in addressing them.–News Desk