In the aftermath of the Russian annexation of the Crimea Peninsula, one lawmaker in Washington is keeping the American’s disinterest at bay.
U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday he thinks the United States should send weapons to Ukraine so it can defend itself from a Russian invasion. Up until that moment, no one with his kind of authority (including the president) had made such a suggestion.
Rogers told moderator David Gregory, “I think Americans are so far removed from this. We need to reengage with what is actually happening.” The committee chairman was speaking via satellite from Tbilisi, Georgia.
He further warned that intelligence officials believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin is "not done" in Ukraine. "It is very troubling. He (President Putin) has put all the military units he would need to move into Ukraine on its eastern border and is doing exercises. We see him moving forces in the south in a position where they could take the southern region. And we see that he's actually working what they call soft power."
The committee chairman had unflattering remarks about Vladimir Putin. He "goes to bed at night thinking of Peter the Great and he wakes up thinking of Stalin. We need to understand who he is and what he wants. We need to reengage with what is actually happening."
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama flew to Europe on Sunday to unify support against the Russian president. The use of U.S. troops on the ground in Ukraine is not an option with either the president or Rogers.
However, as Rogers put it, we need to "offer them things that they can use to really protect and defend themselves."
That suggestion includes weapons in one form or another. Rogers played that down.
"We're not talking about even complicated weapon systems. We're talking about small arms so they can protect themselves. Maybe medical supplies, radio equipment, things that they can use to protect themselves, defensive-posture weapon systems," he said.
"We need to be a little bit tougher with Putin, or he is going to continue to take territory to fulfill what he believes is rightfully Russia."
It is now Obama’s turn to convince America’s allies.
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