Ukraine, Putin, Mark Esper discussed on Sound ON


A day after Vladimir Putin blamed Ukraine. For an explosion that damaged a key bridge connecting Crimea to Russia and Putin is threatening more now after targeting civilian infrastructure, civilian neighborhoods in this latest barrage. The images are horrifying, vitali Klitschko is the mayor of key. Angry and want to depend our houses depends our families, our children. President zelensky back on the phone today with President Biden to discuss the need for more air defenses, something we discussed earlier today on Bloomberg with Mark Esper, the former Secretary of Defense. I think at this point, we need to rush anti aircraft systems long-range anti aircraft anti missile systems into Ukraine and provide Ukraine of veneer of defense because at this point, this seems to be like one of the last cards that Vladimir Putin has, and that's the long-range bombardment of civilian cities. It's quite a thought. Let's bring in John herb's former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine now senior director of the Atlantic council's Eurasia center. Ambassador welcome back. We appreciate your being here. A French president Emmanuel Macron says the attacks that we saw by Russia on infrastructure in Ukraine represent a deep change in the war. Is he right? I would say represents more maybe it perhaps a lot more of the same. This is not the first time Putin has gone after infrastructure that he's been going after civilian targets since the start of the big invasion. And the end of February. Yeah. Ukraine was able to shoot down only half the missiles fired by Russia as they read on the terminal here. We recall president zelensky's cry for help ambassador to close the skies with the words that he chose when he spoke with. Spoke to a joint session of Congress. Is this simply a matter of providing more long-range missile defense systems like Mark Esper said and if that's the case, how come we haven't already? Esther is right. Look, our policy as Moscow is conducted this war of aggression in Ukraine has been adequate, but not as good as it could and should be. Administration has sent lots of weapons to Ukraine and they deserve credit for that. But the weapons they've said have always been, you might say, the second rank. Second order. And I usually say no before they say yes before sending weapons of more sophisticated kind. So like the high Mars with range of 85 kilometers, we finally sent at the end of June, Ukraine should have had in March. But we said no until finally we said yes. And that's over a fear of escalation, right? Correct. David, they've been intimidated in my judgment by Putin's nuclear threats. Many times, we said we can't do this because we're afraid Moscow might escalate. That is a posture of weakness, which is not suitable to our interest. Finally, finally, we seem to have gotten that point right when Biden's still very strongly against the threats of nuclear strikes by Putin a couple of weeks ago at the UN and on 60 minutes. But before that, we kept saying we can't do X because again, Russia might have speculated basically. We are much stronger than Russia. We have a long history of deterring Soviet power, which is greater than Putin's power should demonstrate that now. Well, I feel like I'm asking this every day at this point and I'm sure I've asked you ambassador, do we need to not go back to the initial request for MiGs from Poland or other NATO friends that are flying these jets that would be easy for Ukraine to start flying now? Or is the concern that this spills over Ukraine's borders? Is that why the jets are off limits? Again, it comes from a certain timidity on the part of the administration, which is unfortunate, which is not served our interest. Again, look, the support we provided to Ukraine has been decent. It's been adequate, but it could be stronger and it could be if we did the right thing earlier. And if we do the right thing now, this will come to a satisfactory and faster. And we'll at the current pace. Just makes you feel like what else is behind that door there that we haven't sent already. The reluctance has really been laid bare by conversations like these. They're asking for tacos, which are missiles, which have a range of up to 300 kilometers. They're asking for more high Mars and high Mars with longer ranges, not the 85 kilometers that we're sending, but a 150 kilometers or more. They're asking for tanks to asking for armored personnel carriers. And they're asking for as former defense secretary Esper said, high range of anti aircraft defense. All these things we should be Sunday. We should be sending. Putin's army is on the ropes in Ukraine. We want to help you create recapture all of its territory sooner rather than later. Ambassador how real is the possibility of this war spilling over into neighboring countries crossing the border. Well, it would be improved to the possibility of Putin escalating. By escalating, I mean going beyond Ukraine or dropping a tactical nuclear weapon or two on Ukraine. The point is this. Putin's objective is not to take a bit of territory in Ukraine's east. It's his objective today is to take political control of Ukraine. As objective tomorrow, once he has Ukraine in his pocket, is to go after other states, including our NATO allies. So he is coming for our NATO allies, and we are bound to defend with American troops. So American interests, smart American policies to give Ukraine everything it needs to defeat Putin for us. So all we are providing is our weapons and money, not soldiers and American lives. And therefore. And deter Putin from doing the same to Estonia or another former piece of the Soviet Union. That's correct. We appease Putin in Georgia. We appease Putin when he sees Crimea in 2014. Let's stop appeasing and let's help you clean beat him. So again, we don't have to worry about our Baltic allies

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