The U.S. could get Russian President Vladimir Putin's attention by using sanctions to target Russian industry in an effort to stave off further aggression into other countries beyond Crimea, said Gen. Jack Keane.
Targeting Russia's financial, energy, and mining industries would be "a strong response that would get their attention," said Keane, a retired four-star Army general.
"We need to focus on industries. I know the administration has that on the table as a plan. But, we should be executing it," Keane told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" Friday.
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President Barack Obama on Wednesday ruled out the use of U.S. military force in the Ukrainian conflict.
Putin signed a law Friday officially declaring Crimea a part of Russia, as Ukrainian Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk signed a trade and political deal with the European Union, Fox News reported
Keane called the U.S. response to the Russian takeover of Crimea "unbelievably weak up to this point." In addition to "ramping up" economic sanctions against Russia, he also suggested the U.S. should be providing military support to Ukraine.
"The Ukrainians came to this country and asked for military assistance, and we denied them that. We should be providing them with defensive weapons, trainers, and also humanitarian flights into Eastern Ukraine," he said.
Expanding support to Ukrainians would enable the U.S. to "demonstrate to Putin our resolve, and, importantly, to demonstrate our resolve to the Ukrainians," he explained.
Keane predicted Putin's long-term strategy was to target NATO countries, especially in light of the tepid U.S. response to Russia's invasion of Crimea. He called for the United States to shore up "historic Russian countries" and move troops into them "so they know that NATO is going to stand by."
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