The United States needs to "write Crimea off" after the invasion of Russian troops following last month's Ukrainian uprising, retired Maj. Gen. Bob Scales said.
"They are now part of Russia. Paint them red. They have been reintegrated into the Russian republic. And there is absolutely nothing that we can do about it," Scales, a retired Army major general, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" on Tuesday, referring to the peninsula in Ukraine.
The important thing at this point was to anticipate what Russian President Vladimir Putin will do next, Scales said. He predicted Putin would not stop with Ukraine, because his goal is to "re-establish the Russian Empire."
"From a military perspective, what's important is what happens next, because of what's at risk now. You have Russian minorities in Eastern Ukraine. You've got Russian minorities in Moldova, in Estonia. And all of those central European leaders are nervous," he said.
There are numerous options for the United States from a military perspective, but Scales said he did not think President Barack Obama had plans to use forces in the conflict.
"The essence of any type of military activity in this region is to have a viable contingency plan, to have it worked out with your NATO allies. And frankly, that simply hasn't happened," Scales said.
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