Robert Gates And Gen. James Jones Urge Caution, But Fail To Denounce Nazi Coup In Ukraine

Robert Gates And Gen. James Jones Urge Caution, But Fail To Denounce Nazi Coup In Ukraine

March 10, 2014 • 10:17AM

In appearances on Fox News Sunday and Face the Nation, respectively, both Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General James Jones urged caution in order to avoid war over Ukraine, but failed to publicly address the fact that the crisis has been brought on by a Nazi coup against the elected government of Ukraine. Neither was willing to criticize Obama for provoking the crisis.

Gates came the closest by indicating that Putin was responding to the policy of expansion of NATO. He concluded by noting that Crimea is gone.

“There really aren’t any direct military options that we have. I think that some of the sanctions that are being discussed and the actions being taken, whether its limitations on visas or travel, on potentially freezing assets of specific individuals, frankly I don’t believe are going to be any deterrent for Putin.

“He may retreat tactically from time to time, but this a part of a longer term effort to stop the expansion of NATO, but more importantly, bring the states of the former Soviet Union back under the influence of Moscow, and frankly I don’t think that he will stop in Ukraine until there is a government in Ukraine, in Kiev that is essentially pro-Russian.

“I don’t think that he wants to recreate the Soviet Union precisely because he doesn’t want to have responsibility for economic basket cases like Ukraine is at present.

“I think he does not want to send troops into eastern Ukraine. I think that he would prefer to achieve his goals without that kind of blatant use of military force outside of Crimea, and frankly, I’d be surprised if he did do that.”

When asked, Do you think Crimea is gone? Gates answered: “I do.”

Retired Marine Corps General, Jim Jones, who is a former NATO military commander in Europe and served as President Obama’s national security adviser, also cautioned against knee-jerk overreactions, but insisted that the onus is on Putin, when in fact it is the Obama administration which backed Nazis to carry out a coup in Ukraine. Part of the dialogue between Charlie Rose and Gen. Jones follows:

ROSE: So what should the president that you served do now in Ukraine?

JONES: Well, I think a lot of the things that are happening on — between the United States, bilaterally with Russia, but also the international community, is pretty much what needs to be done. I think you — you don’t want to knee jerk and overreact. But you want…

ROSE: What would you call knee jerking and overreacting?

JONES: Well, a lot of the things that we’re talking about, you know, in terms of some of the tit for tat gestures that only tend to exacerbate the situation. This is a strategic question, I think, that has long-term strategic consequences. And it’s more about economies and about the future of the region than it is about troop displacements right now.

ROSE: What could cause this thing to fall and get out of control?

JONES: Well…

ROSE: So that one thing leads to another, leads to another, leads to another and all of a sudden, we’re looking at a hot cold war?

JONES: I think precipitous moves that preclude people from being able to step back from it and you get to the point where you get boxed in.

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