Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, on Sunday blamed the Biden administration’s bungle of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan for casting America’s image as one of “weakness” — and setting the stage for Russia's threatened invasion of Ukraine.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” McCaul blasted the White House response to Russia President Vladimir’s aggressive stance as "tough rhetoric but not a lot of action."
“You have to put things on the table, like sanctions,” he said. “You have to talk about more arms sales, weapon sales to Ukraine, and this Nord Stream [natural gas pipeline], the idea the president waived mandatory sanctions on Putin's pipeline, I don't know how that's in the national interests of the United States.”
“It just emboldened and empowered Putin to start completing his pipeline,” McCaul asserted.
But it all stems from the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer, he said.
“I think people, foreign adversaries like Putin, President Xi [Jingping] in China, the Ayatollah [in Iran] and Kim Jong Un [in North Korea] all view that as a moment of weakness,” McCaul declared.
“We are not projecting strength as [former President Ronald] Reagan talked about but rather projecting weakness, which historically … always invites aggression and I think you're going to see a lot more of it.”
McCaul added he believes were now in a new Cold War with Russia.
“I do, because I think Putin again smells weakness here,” he said. “He knows that if he's ever going to invade Ukraine, now is the time. I hope he doesn't make that miscalculation but the fact is, if he does invade Ukraine, what is the United States, what is our commander in chief prepared to do to stop it? I'm not seeing a lot of details or action that could deter him from that critical step. This would be the largest invasion in Europe since World War II. That's how big of a deal this is.”
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