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Former US Defense Secretary clarifies whether Putin has territorial ambitions beyond Ukraine

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Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told ‘One Nation with Brian Kilmeade’ on Saturday what Russian President Vladimir Putin should do to secure Ukraine and install a puppet government.

ROBERT GATES: He doesn’t have enough troops to put down a rebellion among millions of people in Ukraine, so he’s going to have to keep a significant military force in Ukraine. He will probably have to increase it if he wants to hang on to this country, even if he imposes a puppet government, he will have to maintain forces there to keep this government in power. So I think between having his hands full in Ukraine and the risk of a real war with NATO, I think he will be very careful before doing anything that crosses the borders of NATO countries .

Now I think that in the Baltic States it is possible that he uses intelligence means – cyber, covert operations, etc. – to try to create unrest in these countries. Thirty percent of the population in Estonia and Latvia are both Russian. And so I can see him trying to create problems in the Baltic countries, but I don’t see him invading, and I just want to make one final point. I think what’s really important here are the troops that the United States has sent, and it’s not just the 101st Airborne and the 82nd Airborne, they’re sending heavy armored brigades. It’s a serious thing, and that’s what it takes to send a signal to the Russians that crossing a NATO country is serious. And I think sending in even more of those armored brigades would be a good idea.



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