Bolton to Newsmax: Risk of Ukraine-Russia Becoming WWIII 'Very Low' (Newsmax/"Wake Up America")
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 08 April 2022 10:51 AM
The risk of the hostilities between Russia and Ukraine becoming World War III is "very low," and President Joe Biden has exaggerated the potential of that happening to justify his decisions to deny Ukraine's requests for more aid, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said on Newsmax Friday.
"I think we are very close to a military and political tipping point here," Bolton, also a national security adviser for former President Donald Trump, told Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "We have to take it seriously, but we also don't want to over-exaggerate it; and frankly, I think that's what President Biden does."
But now, Ukraine is in a "race for time" while Russian President Vladimir Putin gets his army "off its back and recovers from the catastrophic mistakes it made in the first six weeks" of the war, said Bolton.
"I think his real objectives are eastern Ukraine and southern Ukraine," said Bolton. "While he's doing that, can the U.S. and NATO get enough weapons and other supplies to the Ukrainians to help refurbish and replenish them? They've taken a lot of hits in this."
There is much talk about Russia's losses, but "we don't hear about the Ukrainian casualties," he continued. "I think they've been substantial and they've expended a lot of weapons and ammunition."
Further, NATO leaders are offering a great deal of rhetoric about the weapons it is supplying to Ukraine, but "the metric is what's on the Ukrainian front lines, and if they don't get more, I think things could begin to go badly," Bolton said.
There has been a great deal of discussion about what kinds of weapons should be sent into Ukraine, but Bolton said he's in favor of sending any weapons system that is capable of helping in the fight against Russia, both offensive and defensive.
"The Ukrainians are fighting a defensive war," he said. "They were invaded by Russia. Some of these weapons are highly useful on the offense, too, and I hope the Ukrainians can do more on the offense in eastern and southern Ukraine."
Bolton also on Friday said it would be hard to believe that the Russian strike that hit a railway station filled with refugees earlier in the day was not intentional.
"It's hard to believe that wasn't the Russians' intention and just being completely clear-eyed about it," said Bolton. "I don't know why they're doing it. If I were the Russians, I'd want to get as many civilians out of the eastern part of Ukraine, the southern part of Ukraine … if they don't want to be there, let them go."
The former ambassador also commented on former President Barack Obama's comments that Putin is not the same person who he dealt with while in the White House.
"I first met him in October of 2001, right after 9/11," said Bolton. "I think it's the same Vladimir Putin, and I think the people who are now saying, Gee, that's not the Putin I remember, are conveniently forgetting what he did, particularly for Barack Obama.
"Did he forget the invasion of Ukraine in 2014, the annexation of Crimea, and the United States' inadequate response? That helped convince Putin he might be able to do it again without substantial reprisals."
Bolton said he believes Putin takes advantage of weak administrations, and that's the case again with Biden in the White House.
"This war may come to a halt in six or nine months, but that's not the end of Russia's aggressive intentions and its expansionist aspirations," he said. "That's why Poland, the Baltic republics, and others in Eastern Europe are so worried."
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