The horrific downing of a passenger jet
in Ukraine on Thursday might finally awaken the United States to the threat posed by Russia's territorial aggression, Republican pollster Tyler Harber told Newsmax TV's
"MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.
"This is just a horrible tragedy, and maybe this is the tragedy that sets in motion what should've happened the first time with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, which is direct action to stop the expansion of his Russian empire," said Harber.
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Another round of sanctions
announced this week by the United States against Russia — before the apparent shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 — won't cut it, said Harber.
"Sure they're going to squeeze some of the economic aspects of Russia, especially in the energy- and oil- related field," he said. "But this is really not going to have a big effect. It's not like Putin is going to rush to bring the soldiers back across the border from Ukraine."
With Putin backing armed pro-Russian separatists inside Ukraine, and massing his own troops near the border, Harber contends the United States needs to become more involved militarily.
He recommended steps similar to recent U.S. actions in Iraq: "Bring in several hundred special forces, specially trained military experts and … allow them to help the Ukranian armed forces.
"I'm not saying put our boys on the front lines; I'm saying that we need to equip the Ukrainians to be able to protect the line, and right now they are completely unable to protect anything," said Harber.
"We just keep throwing these paper sanctions at Putin,
and he keeps saying, 'Oh, that's scary. That makes me angry,' but it really doesn't stop him from doing anything," he said.
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