In response to recent remarks by U.S. Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Mark Alexander Milley about the increase in military contacts between the U.S. and Russia, the Pentagon said, “These contacts are only to de-escalate tensions and resolve the conflict in Syria.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Friday of the chief of staff’s recent remarks, “I think, as you know, the U.S. Department of Defense has suspended military cooperation with Moscow both politically and legally because of Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Our communications with Russia’s military counterparts are now limited to more than a dozen operations that reduced the risk of misjudgment or non-conflict military operations such as in Syria, where the U.S.-led coalition maintains air and ground channels to avoid armed conflict with the Russian army, the spokesman said.
John Kirby stressed that the U.S. military continues to communicate with the Russian military on the ground.
Mark Alexander Milley, the U.S. Army chief of staff, recently said the United States should seek further military talks with Russia.
The U.S. Army chief of staff said the United States should consider ways to expand military contacts with the Russians, including allowing any country to monitor another country’s military maneuvers.
He also suggested closer U.S. contacts with Russia to increase transparency and reduce the risk of conflict between the two countries.