It's hard to see how Ukraine can defeat Russia without having much-needed air power in addition to the wide slate of advanced weaponry being sent through the $2 billion aid package being readied by the United States, retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier Gen. Blaine Holt told Newsmax on Wednesday.
"I don't see how you can win this war decisively without air power, but we are increasing the lethality [of weapons] so that is an escalation," Holt, a former deputy military representative to NATO, said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "We're taking the diameter of HIMARS [rockets] from 80 kilometers up to 150 kilometers and then the Ukrainians are still asking for the attack ones so that they can get up to 300 kilometers."
But, Holt, who is now a Newsmax contributor, said he wants to know what the administration's ultimate strategy is, which must be known if the money is to be spent.
The aid package, he said, has "something missing in it that all the other packages have missed, "and that's what's the diplomacy? Where's the deterrence? What's the strategy for getting these particular weapons to the battlefield? Are they going to expel the Russians? Are they going to be decisive?"
Holt's comments come after President Joe Biden said Monday that the United States will not provide the F-16 fighter jets Ukraine has been seeking. According to a Ukrainian Air Force spokesman, it would take the country's pilots about 6 months to train on the Western fourth-generation fighter jets.
Meanwhile, back in the United States, Americans' interest in the war in Ukraine "ebbs and flows," said Holt.
"The Russians are showing no signs of stopping," he said. "We keep hearing this nonsense about them running out of missiles and weapons and stuff. Apparently, they're not. So I think Americans are getting very interested in the fact that we don't see any off-ramps. We don't see anybody trying to create an off-ramp. I'm kind of wondering where the State Department is, besides taking victory laps because North Stream 2 blew up."
Holt also spoke out about Biden's comments in a speech in New York City on Tuesday, when he said that climate change is a bigger threat to humanity than nuclear war, calling such talk "ridiculous."
According to The New York Post, Biden told a small group of supporters on New York City's Upper East Side, after heading an event nearby on rail infrastructure, that "[Global warming] is the single most existential threat to humanity we have ever faced, including nuclear weapons."
His comments come less than four months after he told other New York City donors that the world was close to nuclear "Armageddon," The Post noted.
"It's the climate frenzy that is the girding thing of everything," Holt told Newsmax. "Why can't we get fertilizer? Why can't we get the right feed for our chickens? Why do we have to drive some car that somebody else thinks is appropriate for us? It's all about control."
Instead, Washington needs to focus on the nation's real problems, said Holt, "like border security and inflation. What's going on in our schools? This transgender nonsense? Censorship against my favorite team. It's all ridiculous, and we need to get the country refocused."
Holt also Wednesday discussed Ukraine's call to ban athletes from Russia and Belarus from the next Olympics, and called it "very regrettable that the games have always found some path to politicization."
"The athletes just want to get out there and compete and honestly, the entire idea behind the Games is so we get a sense of each other," he said. "We get our community together and we don't go to war with each other."
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