The New START Treaty, approved during the Obama administration, was a "bad treaty from the start" and the United States isn't losing anything by Russia pulling out of it, Fred Fleitz, a former chief of staff of the National Security Council, told Newsmax on Tuesday.
"I watched how the Obama administration forced this through, despite huge problems with verification," Fleitz, who had been a staff member with House Intelligence Committee when the treaty was signed in 2010, told Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "The Russians did not have to get rid of any warheads or launchers that also limit missiles. Russia exchanged older missiles for huge ones."
Russia also last year tested the RS-28 Sarmat "Satan II" missile, which carries a payload of 20 nuclear warheads, and Fleitz pointed out that it was "permitted under the treaty."
He added that former President Donald Trump and his administration thought START should have been allowed to expire unless it was fixed, but "[President Joe] Biden was determined to get back in the agreement, mostly because Trump wanted out of it. I don't think we're losing anything here."
Meanwhile, Putin is showing "a lot of desperation" over how the war in Ukraine is going, including blaming the United States in his national address this morning for the hostilities, Fleitz, a former CIA analyst and vice chair of the Center for American Security for America First Policy Institute, said.
"We all know that this is an unprovoked war," he said while acknowledging that he worries that some in Russia may believe Putin's words.
"This war was motivated by a crazy sense of history by Putin to somehow integrate Ukraine into his country because he thinks Ukraine is not a real country," Fleitz said.
Fleitz also commented on Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang's warnings to the West about fueling the fire in Ukraine.
Qin said early Tuesday the United States is shifting blame for the Ukraine war to China, while pushing back against Washington's warnings that China may be considering supplying lethal aid to Russia, reports The Guardian.
Fleitz said he thinks Qin's warnings could also have been prompted by Biden's visit to Ukraine Monday and noted that the Chinese "have consistently tried to blame the United States for the war in Ukraine."
However, he said he thinks the Chinese are not trying to cross the line when it comes to giving lethal aid to Russia, and that China wants the Ukraine war to wind down.
"I don't think they're completely complying with the sanctions [but] I don't think they're providing weapons for the war in Ukraine," Fleitz said. "I think this is a war that the Chinese want to wind down. I may be going against the grain for others in the conservative movement."
China also sees the war as harmful to its economic interests and its country's stability, said Fleitz.
"I think they're pushing Putin to back out of it but they don't want the U.S. to get a win."
Meanwhile, Putin is "isolated" and angry at how the war is going and about Biden's trip to Ukraine, so "we're getting more irrational responses, more desperate responses," said Fleitz.
"It would be productive to say I'm just going to join peace talks to see what's going to happen, but he just doesn't seem to be willing to do that. It may be a matter of pride, but you know, he's just not there yet."
Fleitz further said he doesn't think the Russia-Ukraine war is ending soon.
"[Russia] has a record of doing badly, taking enormous losses, slogging it out, and eventually winning wars of attrition," he said. "It doesn't look like this war is ending anytime soon. They have a record of doing badly taking enormous losses, slogging it out, and eventually winning wars of attrition. Think about the Second World War. They lost more people than any other nation in the Second World War, and I think history has forgotten that."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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