I think so too particularly with your tack line:
"The goal is to protect your attacker, then yourself!" --MS
"Oh, really. Me says that's BS!" --AV
The way I read MS's statement is that the GOAL of training is to acquire the skillset whereby one could protect oneself without inflicting (serious) injury to the attacker. The GOAL has no time bar. If the GOAL is BS, then why bother stepping on the mats.
David, MS was certainly not meaning that when that was said. Anyway, there are more than one goal or milestones in that kind of situations: first goal, protect yourself; second goal, if possible
, don't maim your attacker; last goal, if possible
, don't kill him.