Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, on Sunday lamented the United States has been projecting weakness since the troop withdrawal in Afghanistan — and continues even as Russia is “tightening the noose” around Ukraine.
In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” McCaul said the nation should adopt the Reagan policy of peace-through-strength.
“From Afghanistan forward, we have sent a message to our adversaries that we are projecting weakness, not strength,” he said. “One thing Reagan talked [about] — peace through strength, going back to Chamberlain and Hitler. If we're projecting weakness, it only invites aggression. Historically, you know that. …I talked to the administration. I want to stop this from happening, but I'm very concerned about the aggression I'm seeing.”
“I think this has been a passive deterrence, right?” he said of the Biden administration stance so far on Ukraine. “I don't see Putin changing his course of action. It's getting very aggressive. The noose is tightening around Ukraine.”
According to McCaul, if the United States doesn’t do “something strong right now,” Putin may very well invade Ukraine, which will have… global ramifications here..”
But time is running out for action, he warned.
“Time is of the essence,” he said. “I'm working on a bill I've introduced to get …an assistance package of lethal aid to Ukraine,” he said. “That's important.”
“But what's also important is the message of deterrence. We need joint exercises in Poland, the Baltic states, Romania, Bulgaria to show Putin that we're serious,” he continued. “Right now. He doesn't see we're serious and that's why the buildup is taking place.”
McCaul said the issue involves far more countries than Ukraine.
“It's about China. It's about President Xi [Jingping] and Taiwan,” McCaul said. “It's about the Ayatollah and the bomb. It's about North Korea that just fired off two missiles… hypersonic weapons. I think this has broader global ramifications. “
“We're seen as weak right now because of President Biden, his comments about a limited invasion was somehow acceptable, and that NATO was divided,” McCaul said.
Putin's goal is to divide and weaken NATO. He's accomplished some of that,” McCaul said.
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