Retired Gen. Jack Keane warns that the current Ukraine situation between Russia and NATO resembles the worst of the Cold War.
Russian officials have said they are not planning to invade Ukraine but will no longer "tolerate" NATO's eastward expansion and "gradual invasion" into the country. Roughly 100,000 Russian troops have amassed near their border with Ukraine.
Keane, former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army, told Fox News that NATO needs to send Russian President Vladimir Putin a clear message that it will not allow expansion into Ukraine.
"The mission of the United States and NATO during the Cold War was to deter Russian aggression and expansion. And if that fails, win a war against the Soviet Union," Keane told Fox News on Monday.
"The mission now of NATO is deter Russian aggression and expansion. It's the same mission. It's just we're not doing it quite as well as we should be doing. Russia put 90,000 troops on Ukraine border in the spring, and we did what? What did NATO do? Nothing."
Keane said the U.S. should have sent service members to NATO for deployment to Poland and the Baltics "to reinforce those countries" following Russia's spring actions. That would have helped "make certain that Putin gets the message that we're not going to take any further expansion."
"And I would have given Putin a laundry list of significant military capacity that I intend to put into Ukraine unless he de-escalates and gets those troops off the border," Keane told Fox News.
The general said that Russia's latest movements likely resulted from President Joe Biden’s disastrous troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"Why is Putin back in the fall and winter? Was the accelerant also Afghanistan and the fiasco that that showed the United State weakness that we walked away from a 20-year ally because we didn't want to take any more American casualties?" Keane asked, on Fox News.
Keane also said he doubted that the Biden administration's threat of economic sanctions scared Putin.
"I don't think that Putin believes the French and the Germans are going to go along with it," Keane told Fox News. "And do you think the Chinese, who are Russia's No. 1 trading partner, is going to reinforce the United States and shut down all the exports and imports that are going back and forth between those two countries? I doubt it.
"I think our deterrence that we've claimed, economic sanctions, has a hallowness to it."
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