There are parallels between Russia's military push into Ukraine and the terrorist attack in Benghazi, says Fred Fleitz, chief analyst for the global forecasting and intelligence service LIGNET.
Fleitz told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV that White House claims that the intelligence community didn't believe there was a threat to Ukraine are not unlike those made about Benghazi before four Americans were killed in Libya in September 2012.
"This sounds strangely similar to Benghazi, where the Obama administration tried to blame its policy failure on the intelligence community," Fleitz said.
"I suspect all the data was there for the right decision to be made on Ukraine. Those decisions weren’t made. Russians [were] preparing for invasion going into the Olympics."
Pete Hoekstra, a former congressman and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, agreed.
"That’s a great analogy, because in Benghazi, the intelligence community knew that that was a hotbed for radicalism, it was a dangerous area," he said.
"They couldn't necessarily predict the day, the time that an attack was going to take place, but what they could tell the folks at the State Department, and they probably did, you guys are crazy for establishing an annex in Benghazi. That is just a target-rich environment."
Fleitz says the U.S. response to Benghazi may have even spurred the Russians to push into Ukraine.
"The Russians have been encouraged to engage in their invasion. Not just by Benghazi, but because of the retreats by the U.S. around the world," Fleitz said.
"Look at the red line we laid down for Syria that we didn't enforce. On the Iranian nuclear program . . . they won't shut down any of their equipment. They won't give up any of their rich uranium."
While the U.S. plans to increase a military presence in Poland and the Balkans to reassure NATO, its options are "very very limited" as far as stopping Russian aggression, Hoekstra said.
"If the president really wanted to make a statement, let's go back to the Czech Republic, let's go back to Poland, let's put in place the anti-missile defense system that the president pulled out as part of the reset way back in 2009," he said.
"Let's negotiate with them and say, hey, this time we're really serious about it . . . A lot of these other things, putting sanctions in, there's no indication at all that Europe's going to go along with that.
"If Europe doesn't go along with that, the U.S. imposing just by ourselves sanctions, that's a lot of bluster with no impact."
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