As Vladimir Putin moves Russian troops to the border with Ukraine to warn against making its neighbor a NATO member, former Supreme NATO Commander James Stavridis is urging a firm NATO response.
"When NATO speaks collectively, Russia is forced to listen," Stavridis told Sunday's "The Cats Roundtable" on WABC 770 AM-N.Y., urging the U.S. to pick up its intelligence, cybersecurity, arms support to Ukraine, and "marshaling NATO" amid Putin's defense buildup.
"Those are the key steps that has to be undertaken, and they need to be done forcefully and quickly if we are going to stop this."
Putin's moves are far more than defense of his country's border, but an offensive, Stavridis added to host John Catsimatidis
"I'm worried, John," Stavridis said. "We often use the expression, 'Vladimir Putin is saber rattling.' I gotta say the saber is definitely out of the sheath, and it's being a waved around pretty much in the face of the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian President [Volodymyr] Zelensky."
Stavridis continued Putin is making trademark moves pointing to his past offensives.
"Putin has somewhere around 90,000 troops massed on the border," he said. "He is reportedly supporting – and there's tapes that show this – a coup attempt in Kiev. This is right out of his playbook from 2008, when he invaded Georgia, still has troops there, and 2014, when he invaded Ukraine the last time and still has troops there."
President Joe Biden and his Pentagon need to do more than merely watch it all unfold, according to Stavridis.
"We've got to pay very, very close attention and we've got to emphasize to Putin that he is going to pay a significant price if he undertakes another invasion of this sovereign country," he said.
Then, after building up intelligence and cybersecurity, Congress and the Biden administration need to support Ukraine with weapons to defend its border.
"We've got to get more lethal weapons in the hands of Ukrainians so that they can defend themselves," Stavridis concluded. "Ukraine, a nation of 40 million with very weak armed forces, is not going to attack Russia. It's going to come the other way.
"So, we ought to be providing high levels of weapon systems they can use to defend themselves."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.