The United States is trailing in its research into hypersonic weapons technology, and it may not have the capabilities to shoot them down until the 2030s because of the cuts to the program by the Obama administration, Fred Fleitz, a senior fellow at the America First Policy Institute and a former National Security Council chief of staff, said on Newsmax Saturday.
"We're struggling to catch up," Fleitz, a Newsmax contributor, said Saturday on "Wake Up America." "The Russians and the Chinese have invested heavily in it."
His comments come after Russia this week targeted Ukraine with hypersonic missiles just days after the United States scrubbed a test of the weapons in Florida.
"There are reports that North Korea has developed a missile," said Fleitz, explaining that the weapons are a "ballistic missile that shoots up high into the atmosphere, but its warhead glides back to Earth at extremely high altitudes and is maneuverable."
As a result, they're "very hard to shoot down," said Fleitz. "The U.S. may not have the capability to shoot them down until the 2030s, and that is because of the Obama administration."
Meanwhile, retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Blaine Holt, a former deputy military adviser to NATO and now a Newsmax contributor, said there has been no transparency over the past year about how the money the United States is allocating for the war in Ukraine is being spent.
"We didn't deter this war," he said. "We had lots of opportunities to do that."
But now, Holt continued, while there is "zero effort" being undertaken by the State Department, "it's getting more dangerous and the stakes are going up. If you look at Lviv last night, they were rocketed by 136 suicide drone attacks."
He added that he believes there will be a "rough weekend" in Ukraine ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow next week, and Russia will "lay a real blow on Ukraine."
Fleitz also Saturday discussed an opinion piece he wrote for Newsmax, in which he said that Russia's downing of a U.S. drone last week is not worth going to war.
He noted Saturday that during former President Donald Trump's administration, some of his advisers wanted the U.S. to bomb Iran after a drone was shot down.
"Trump said, 'Look, I'm not going to kill 100 to 200 Iranians when they shot down an unmanned drone,' and I think that's the same case here," said Fleitz. "There are Republicans in Congress who would like us to attack Russian jets in response to this. That would be risking a nuclear war. I think that would be a real mistake."
The Russians, he added, "are trying ot provoke us. They're trying to challenge President [Joe] Biden. I think we should continue to fly these drones over the Black Sea, maybe with a U.S. military escort. But look, we're getting close to a situation where miscalculation could cause a military conflict with Russia."
Holt also on Saturday discussed the news that China is supplying Russia with assault rifles and other military-grade equipment, but the retired general said the logistics support has likely been going on for some time.
"We're just starting to see the camouflage come off of that relationship," he said. "A very emboldened XI Jinping, now that he has put away and secured his third and forever life term, he's getting much more bold around the world; so we're going to see more of this. We're probably going to see a very, very big week of China and Russia togetherness."
He added that he's concerned as well about a planned phone call between Xi and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, as the Chinese leader "will have tremendous leverage with a nuclear-armed Vladimir Putin right by his side. I hope that they'll consider those risks before they take that call. "
Fleitz, meanwhile, commented that he thinks Xi hopes to strike a peace deal with the eventual goal of seizing Ukrainian assets.
"I don't think Zelenskyy is ready to make a deal like that, but I think the Chinese [are] going to press pretty hard," said Fleitz. "What troubles me is that the U. S doesn't have an alternative. The Ukrainians have a peace plan. China has a peace plan."
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