President Obama has become “the emperor who’s got no clothes” when it comes to his standing in the international community on security, according to Daily Telegraph Defense Editor Con Coughlin.
In an exclusive interview on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV Thursday, Coughlin, author of "Churchill's First War: Young Winston at War with the Afghans,"
said the U.S. policy on Ukraine is being heard through Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
“Obama's become the emperor who's got no clothes,” Coughlin said. “People see right through him, and when it comes to sort of standing out for international security issues, you fear that people aren't listening to him.”
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In Ukraine, Coughlin said, Hagel and Kerry “have made it very clear they want to see Ukraine's sovereign integrity protected and not violated by the Russians.”
“But if the Russians were to do that, you just wonder what America and its western allies would do by way of retaliation,” he added. “I certainly don't see the prospect . . . of NATO or the West initiating military action against the Russians. I don't think they want war with Russia and also their options of imposing economic sanctions are limited because most of Europe relies very heavily on Russia for its energy supply.”
“The West has got itself in quite a fix over this,” he said.
Coughlin also explained the Russians raising their flag in Crimea, where there a majority of ethnic Russians, “is a classic tactic, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the next thing they do is invite the Russian army in to save them from Ukrainian nationalists.”
“The Russians are very good at using agent provocateur to stir up trouble,” he said.
Coughlin said his new book was sparked by his years of reporting on Afghanistan.
“When I was interviewing Gen. David Petraeus, he pointed out that when he was devising to deal with the Taliban, he was re-reading Winston Churchill's account of his war, his first war, hence the title of the book, fighting the great-great-grandfathers of the Taliban in the 1890s,” he said.
“It's just amazing how history repeats itself. There was Churchill at the age of 22 fighting the very same people that we are fighting today and it seems that no lessons have been learned.”
Coughlin noted a young Churchill was “very gung-ho.”
“One of Churchill's finest quotations comes from that period when he said nothing is more exhilarating in life than to be shot at without result,” he said. “But after six weeks of very bitter fighting, when some of his very close colleagues were cut down standing virtually by his side, he came to have a very different understanding of the horrific nature of modern warfare.”
“He was very much aware of just what a bloody and messy business war is.”
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