General Mark Milley declared on Wednesday that he was not inclined to deem Russia's shooting down of a U.S. drone as an act of war. He commented, "Occurrences take place."
On Wednesday, Milley, who has been the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since 2019, conducted a briefing at the Pentagon to provide the press and public with information about what had transpired and what the Defense Department would be doing moving forward.
GEN. MILLEY stated that he would not deem the situation an act of war, adding that "incidents occur."
—The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 15th, 2023
“I won't regard this as an act of war,” Milley declared. “Incidents do occur, and we are certainly not aiming for a conflict with Russia. We should investigate this event and then move on. Nevertheless, we will keep affirming our rights in international airspace.”
Milley discussed the likelihood of being able to retrieve the drone, noting that it descended into water that was thousands of feet deep, making it likely to be hard to reclaim.
MILLEY stated that a retrieval operation would be challenging from a technological point of view, due to the fact that the object likely sank to a great depth.
The Daily Caller tweeted on March 15, 2023.
General Milley commented that the depth of the water was likely around four or five thousand feet and that it would be a few days before there were exact details on the consequences and what remnants were in the area. He also noted that the sinking would have been to a great depth, making any technological salvage operation hard.
Milley declared that if there was a realistic chance of recovery, or if it seemed wise to do so, the leadership of the Defense Department would take action in the near future.
Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia's Security Council, declared on Wednesday that the Russian government is keen to reclaim the drone. He expressed his optimism for a positive outcome, adding, "I don't know if it's feasible, but we'll have to try our best and see what happens."
The US military declared that one of the two Russian planes had brushed against the drone's propeller, which resulted in it crashing into international waters. Ned Price, a State Department spokesman, named the occurrence a "blatant infringement of international law."