Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer advocated strongly for the U.S. government to provide weapons to Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, arguing they are necessary to deter Vladimir Putin and that a full-scale war may otherwise erupt in the future.
Krauthammer spoke on a Fox News panel Friday with Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers and conservative columnist George Will, discussing the tensions between Ukrainian and Russian forces on the nations’ shared borders. With Crimea officially absorbed today into the Russian Federation, observers are nervous that portions of eastern Ukraine may soon be invaded by Russian forces.
Will noted that Putin doesn’t seem particularly cowed by American sanctions against his inner circle and financial sector. “It seems to me if you listen to Putin’s language and watch his body language, it’s obvious that he’s having the time of his life,” he said. “And he thinks he’s winning.”
Krauthammer explained that the point of America’s involvement in the region is “to add something on the scale that would deter [Putin] in calculating the cost and the benefits. And he’s obviously not sure which way to go. You can do it by sending the Secretary of Defense tomorrow to Kiev to give them large numbers of weapons.”
Will agreed, claiming you “trigger military action by relying on economic incentives. Nothing in modern history, it seems to me, demonstrates that dictators — Mussolini, Hitler, the rest — that dictators are economic creatures calculating costs and benefits in terms of how their stock market is or how their portfolios are. These are atavistic, difficult people that are not simply calculating machines.”
“That’s precisely why you supply the Ukrainians with weapons,” Krauthammer responded. “That when Putin thinks of taking these parts of Ukraine, which are only partially Russian, would be very much higher than it was in Crimea.”
“With the possibility that the whole thing goes up, and it becomes a big fight,” host Bret Baier replied.
“You want to deter an invasion,” Krauthammer explained. “If this happens, all bets are off and we really are in a difficult situation, which could end up in a war in the Baltics or a war with the Poles. You want to deter that.”
“And you don’t want to say that it’s a provocation if you gives arms to the victim of aggression,” he added. “That is illogical and ridiculous.”
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