Russian President Vladimir Putin's State of the Nation announcement that his country is pulling out of the New START international nuclear treaty, along with his statement about no longer recognizing Moldova as a sovereign nation, are setting the stage for a new offensive in Ukraine as the first anniversary approaches, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt told Newsmax on Wednesday.
"You're going to see the Russians turn up the jets, now that they've gotten those conscripts into place," Holt, a Newsmax contributor and former NATO deputy military adviser, told Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "What we're looking at here is they are casting aside the last remnant of any type of international agreement on nuclear weapons, deployments, and proliferation."
The pullout from the Obama-era nuclear treaty, he added, is "very symbolic about Russia's intent to break away from the international system in total over its grievances stemming from the war and the sanctions packages that have come forward."
However, when paired with his comments on Moldova, the pullout from the START treaty comes to mean more, said Holt.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and his administration must do a better job in explaining to the American people that backing Ukraine against Russia continues to be in the national interest of the United States, stated Holt.
"They should be trying to explain that every single day," he said. "We've seen a lot of military material and dollars go overseas, but we haven't seen what they're being spent on. We haven't seen what the efficacy is of the actual equipment that we've spent our money on."
The war is also becoming "background noise" to many Americans, because there is so much happening at home, including the "astonishing events" from the southern border, China's incursions to domestic airspace, and the East Palestine train derailment, said Holt.
"What I'm concerned about is this war will not only come front and center. It will start to expand into other parts of Europe," he said. "We don't see the State Department or diplomacy arm getting out there and encouraging all parties to get to a table to start a dialogue, and so we also logistically don't see us doing things efficiently, like bringing in decisive air power. We just seem to be in fits and starts and tapping brakes in this war."
Meanwhile, Holt said he disagrees with Biden's comments in Poland about NATO being more united than ever, although he understood the president had to make a statement of unity considering the war in Ukraine.
"The NATO I worked in, where I was the deputy representative from the United States of America was much more unified than it is today," he said. "Europeans are hurting across the entire continent, and they're very, very concerned about their weapons stocks and their own readiness internally in their countries."
Holt also commented on reports that air raid sirens that sounded during Biden's stop in Ukraine on Monday were staged, after CNN's Alex Marquardt reported that he'd been in Kyiv for five days and had not heard an explosions or air raid sirens until Biden arrived. CNN's chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward, however, said the sirens were because of MiG activity over Belarus, reports Mediaite.
"I think maybe they told the president, 'Look, we're gonna have this air raid sign to signify, you know, the significance of your arrival or something like that,'" said Holt. "Whoever planned that on the protocol side, it was poor, poor taste."
Holt also Wednesday said the United States must pay attention to Moscow's upcoming summit with China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, and with Chinese leader Xi Jinping later on.
"I think it's a precursor to a new and much more lethal offensive that the Russians have planned, especially when you look at destabilization operations in Moldova and Serbia," said Holt, adding that he believes Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea are "very much locked arm-in-arm and they've got the globe covered. Our weakness in the United States has fueled their rise."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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