Pete Hoekstra: Too Late to Put Putin Back in Box

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 04:53 PM

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Tensions among Russia, Ukraine, and Ukraine's Western allies continue to increase, and the Obama administration continues to struggle to contain Russian President Vladimir Putin, says former Rep. Pete Hoekstra.

"The thing that we have to worry about is not about getting Putin back into a small box, but we have to start worrying about how big this box, how big this problem environment is that he's going to create in Europe," Hoekstra told John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newxmax TV.

"Where does he go next? Does he go into Azerbaijan? Does he go into the Baltic states? Exactly what are his total aspirations in Ukraine? This is about not pushing back, this is about how do we restrain his efforts over the coming months." Hoekstra said Monday.

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With the threat of Russian expansion looming large, the U.S. can take two quick, bold steps to curb the Russian president's power, said political strategist Dick Morris.

The first would be to immediately reverse U.S. policy and announce the installation of missile defense systems in the Czech Republic and Poland that are capable of shooting down long-range Russian nuclear missiles.

The second would be to approve 10 already-proposed liquid natural gas processing plants in the U.S. to enable future shipments to Europe, thereby reducing European dependence on Russian gas.

"Approve 10 of them right away and send a signal to Russia that starting in [2017], you're out of business economically because we're going to drown Europe in natural gas," Morris said.

Hoekstra, former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Russia has been emboldened by President Barack Obama's complacency.

"The bottom line is that for five years this president has misread Russia, has misread a lot of our enemies," Hoekstra said.

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