Rather than engaging in "one debate after another" about what weapons systems to send to Ukraine, the Biden administration needs a strategy to bring the country's war with Russia to an end, former National Security Adviser John Bolton told Newsmax in a wide-ranging interview.
He also said in an interview airing Sunday on Newsmax's "Wake Up America" that President Joe Biden was "wrong to begin with" when he claimed sending advanced weapons to Ukraine would be tantamount to starting "World War III."
"Those statements represented successful deterrents from the Russians, precluding us from giving the kinds of weapons that would make a difference for Ukraine much earlier," Bolton said. "This war, now 11 months [long], has caused enormous destruction in Ukraine and casualties and huge financial damage to the civilian population."
Biden last week announced the decision to send 31 advanced M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, in a reversal from months of arguments from the administration that the machinery is too difficult for Ukrainian troops to maintain and operate.
"What we need is not one debate after another about what weapons systems to send, Polish MiGs, Abrams tanks," Bolton said. "We need a strategy to bring the war to a successful conclusion. I don't think the administration has given us that yet."
And if Biden can't explain what the U.S. objectives are, that will "undercut American support for assisting Ukraine," Bolton warned.
Further, Bolton said that even though the tanks are being announced now, they won't arrive until spring or summer, and Russia could mount an offensive this winter before the advanced weapons arrive.
"I don't have any reason to believe the offensive will be militarily more successful than the rest of what the Russians have done, but it just shows you can make a decision in Washington or European capitals with a lot of political fanfare, but it doesn't have any military impact until a lot of time lapses," he added.
Meanwhile, Bolton said he does think the supply of MiG fighter jets to Ukraine's forces should be on the table, as the pilots there already know how to fly the Russian-made aircraft.
"I don't think we should treat time as a variable that doesn't matter more to one side than the other," he said. "It very much matters to the Ukrainians. The objective is to show Russia and the world that unprovoked aggression doesn't work. Doing it in a delayed piece-by-piece manner doesn't match that objective, either."
Bolton also discussed the threat being posed by China, telling Newsmax that many Americans don't see how broad it is.
"It's not just political and military, but economic through [China's] Belt and Road initiative in Latin America and Africa," Bolton said, also noting the threats along China's borders in east and south Asia and with India.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Bolton said, should put China on notice that the United States expects it to do more to stop North Korea's nuclear weapons expansions, as that is a "direct threat to us, Japan, and South Korea."
But the Biden administration has "let this slide for 2 years, during which time North Korea has increased its ballistic weapons," said Bolton. "North Korea's threat is something China has fooled us about for many years … I think it's time for Blinken to call China's bluff on this."
Bolton also addressed the news about classified documents being found on properties associated with President Joe Biden, and also with former Vice President Mike Pence, and said there are questions about how they got there and what would happen if they fell into the hands of adversaries.
"It shows we have a problem with the out packing of presidents and vice presidents when they leave office," he said. "It should be subject to much greater concern about classified documents."
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