James Stavridis, Saudi Arabia, Nato discussed on Hugh Hewitt
Welcome to. on this Friday September twenty seventh please welcome back live admiral James Stavridis who is the former allied supreme commander of NATO and just a regular weekly guest on the show now role welcome back I know you've been globetrotting I want to cover three things with the your your your visit to Saudi Arabia what the E. three did it about Iran this week and then your time in Ukraine when you were the Supreme Allied Commander so I got a parcel my time quickly can you first tell us about what you saw when you're in Saudi Arabia I think it was there you were there after the attack by a run on Saudi Arabia Hugh I actually landed as the drones hit and off in the distance you could sort of feel the thunder in we knew that I knew at that moment this was going to be a huge event I mean this is does center of gravity of the global oil industry and certainly I would say that immediately you got a sense in Saudi Arabia of extreme seriousness of extreme nervousness I had a chance to meet with several of the cabinet ministers are there but one hundred percent focused on this and it's an existential threat to the Saudis so they are looking for US support I think the administration is making a smart move sending some troops over there to connect calm the situation a bit but it's it's another indication of how dangerous this is in the Middle East and you know I've been talking about it for months no I have no I it was my reading that the Saudi defenses had been built to protect against attacks from Yemen but these came from a different direction widely believed to have been from southern Iran are there are for example patriot missile batteries that can be deployed to protect that flank of the Saudi complex absolutely and the patriot is in place around the perimeter of many of these oil field but the problem is you decide drones are smaller lighter quicker when combined with. cruise missiles they can also create a saturation of fact in frankly the the oil fields need to be re balanced in a military sense so they can protect against what I have called the new strategic cry ad which is on me and vehicles cyber in special forces that's really the threat to these oil fields not these big lumbering cruise missiles now in terms of the president's response today which is banned diplomatic not kinetic do you believe we are outside of the zone where economic responses likely or are we still in that zone we're out of his own for the moment and observed that the Iranians have been quite careful actually not to attack any US personnel there been no U. S. deaths here in to my knowledge there have been no Saudi deaths here so the Iranians are moving quite cautiously making Connecticut tax against tankers again see oil field where we ought to worry Hugh in terms of a kinetic responses if your radiance cross that line if there's American troops killed or their mariners killed or Saudis killed in the U. R. field I think that's a different ball game the Iranians haven't gone there yet I don't have real separatists in the super heated greenhouse of washing the seat that some things get missed I was in New York yesterday the U. N. son amazing thing this week the E. three United Kingdom Germany and France came towards us these are the Iran I think that's the most important story of the week what do you think about it I totally agree and unfortunately it did get buried under everything happening in Washington this is a big deal this is what we've been waiting for I've often referred to the U. K. Germany and France as the swing voters in this relationship between the US and Iran here to for those three had maintained face if you will. well with the broken agreement fourteen new color rising a rant now at the U. and because of the attacks on the Saudi oil fields all three of them had said this is unacceptable we will join the United States to put diplomatic pressure on for the first time I can see a diplomatic path forward because of this it's a huge story right now in terms of that how does that manifests next they kept a little wiggle room a hedge their bets a little bit do we expect them to formally withdraw from the J. C. P. O. a and say start over because they said sort of two things one of those was come talk about long range missiles the export of chair regional instability but maybe the J. C. P. O. A. isn't dead yet well I think it dad but maybe they just don't want to do it diplomatically it is dead in and it's a tire debate about whether it was a good deal or a bad deal that matter it's it did deal so at this point you got to play the ball from where it is on the field I think mark chrome the president of France is the leader in that troika and is going to push it forward hopefully we'll see breaks it resolved one way or the other that'll get the distraction of breaks it off the plate so the Brits and then I think you'll see the next British government whoever it is I mean in that's the moment to watch so I think late October early November hopefully breaks it in the rear view mirror at that point watch for the troika to completely break with the old deal and come to the negotiating table to pressure a rant that's the only path forward here the only switch to your time in spring allied commander two thousand nine to two thousand thirteen I think you would laugh before the protests in Kiev in November of twenty thirteen I know you were gone when Russia invaded in twenty fourteen but can you give us a sense I assume you travel the Ukraine you've been everywhere right like thirty five different places in Ukraine what a mess of a country it is hard to follow this between four different. that's a cuter three different presidents a bunch of different scandals what would you crane like when you were the allied commander in charge of NATO you know it was actually relatively hopeful in the sense that it was the Ukraine that was not invaded by Russia there was certainly always of bubbling sense of problematic behavior by Russia trying to intrude and you may not know this you but the Russian Black Sea fleet even in those days was actually stationed on Ukrainian soil and so it was a complex relationship but therefore the Ukrainians just wanted to be with NATO and wanted to be with the United States certainly plenty of corruption floating around and that was what we tried to do in the military zone was dry the corruption out but we saw the Ukrainians deployed forces to Afghanistan with us they sent a ship on counter piracy missions very capable proud people who are just being beaten by a bully in the form of Vladimir Putin we to continue to work with them and stand with them and that's something I'm very proud of in my time that NATO was building that military relationships and ensuring that the Ukrainians got the support they needed my successors following the invasion have continued that same track as Ukraine is a vital country in Europe it's not a NATO member but it's strategically vital tell me how you would try and light back commences shadow of corruption are a we are focused on their oil and natural gas company right now is having on toward influence in America were focused on. got well who fired and why and what is the Lynskey said the president trump but if you're running a a combined arms campaign such as NATO how do you keep that people with briefcases the cash from the door. well it's the old line send money guns and lawyers and it's actually true what you want to do in the military contacts is get your military lawyers talking to the legal teams of the minister of defense the legal teams of the military operators and and showing them what so Kay and what's not okay you do want to send guns because that's your motivation you want to send that military aid so you have to have that capability. and and certainly you've got to. ensure that you have the ability to leverage them show them what's right and then you can in fact go to the Ukrainians for example and say we have got to see an appropriate use of the aid we're sending you and show us where that aid wind that's entirely legitimate in fact it's required by law so the military has a role in anti corruption we've done that you not only in Ukraine but in for example Central America in Colombia in Afghanistan and there are varying degrees of success all close by saying the one star officer who headed the anti corruption campaign in Afghanistan for me was named HR McMaster I'm going to him yeah no doubt did you deal with I want to see his name correctly your yeah I'm not yeah not a cold which did you deal with Yanukovich at all yes I met him interestingly years earlier when I was serving as chief of staff to secretary of defense don Rumsfeld and we went to Ukraine and had a meeting with Yanukovych who is eight T. H. U. G. Doug and he is you know in his doctor in Moscow now and I don't think he's coming back anytime soon I don't like this president insulin ski I think he is a breath of fresh air in that country and I am cautiously optimistic if we stay with Ukraine we can help them push back on what's happening in southeastern Ukraine the one thing that's lost forever in my view Hugh is Crimea that's not going to come back well I agree with that and indeed Khrushchev gave Crimea to Ukraine am I correct and so that was historically part of imperial Russia and it will use force but it was certainly not a reversion to something that wasn't a norm for centuries that's exactly right and we ought to remember free invasion the population of Crimea was eighty percent plus Russian very supportive of Russia when I traveled in Crimea as opposed to the rest of Ukraine you really got to feel that you weren't so much in Ukraine you were really in a part of Russia and so I think it's that accompli it's a it's a it's it's illegal under international law we ought to condemn it but realistically that's not gonna get reversed in my view no address every this is a very different difficult question it took about five years after Tiananmen massacre for America and China to get back to normalcy we're now about five years out after the use of illegitimate forced to see this Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine is there a rule of history about how long civilized countries punish B. as section I don't want to let the Russian section I'm just curious of your study of history is revealed rule under which the world generally adjust to the reality even after its outrage real has been expressed I think there is a tactical answering a strategic answer I think tactically it probably is about five years that's kind of the the cycle of these kinds of things but I think strategically there are places where the United States for example has imposed sanctions on Cuba for decades and decades and decades of following a revolution there so I think if it's a tactical advantage at Tiananmen Square I think that is probably a five to seven year cycle if it is a regime that is repugnant unlike Cuba or North Korea I think sanctions can go on for decades and they should last questions the Ukrainian military run by professionals or that run by politicos. it's run by professionals interestingly many of them were initially trained in the old Soviet Union although that generation is now bleeding out and you're starting to see colonels and one star generals who have served in NATO and been part of the NATO Ukraine operations so uniformed military pretty professional gotta stay on them send money guns and lawyers but stay focused on it and that can be part of solving the corruption issues in Ukraine. James that route is always a pleasure.