The United States needs to “write Crimea off” after the invasion of Russian troops following last month’s Ukrainian uprising, retired Maj. Gen. Bob Scales said.
“They are now part of Russia. Paint them red. They have been reintegrated into the Russian republic. And there is absolutely nothing that we can do about it,” Scales, a retired Army major general, told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday, referring to the peninsula in Ukraine.
The important thing at this point was to anticipate what Russian President Vladimir Putin will do next, Scales said.
“From a military perspective, what’s important is what happens next, because of what’s at risk now. You have Russian minorities in Eastern Ukraine. You’ve got Russian minorities in Moldova, in Estonia. And all of those central European leaders are nervous,” he said.
There are numerous options for the United States from a military perspective, but Scales said he did not think President Barack Obama had plans to use forces in the conflict.
“The essence of any type of military activity in this region is to have a viable contingency plan, to have it worked out with your NATO allies. And frankly, that simply hasn’t happened,” Scales said.
Speaking on the crisis in Ukraine, Scales argued that “there should be a military option on the table.”
“Everyone I’ve seen on the news media this whole last few days talks about, ‘well, the first thing we are going to do is we’re gonna take the military option off the table,’” Scales, a former commandant of the U.S. Army War College, said: ”Oh, really? That’s our greatest advantage right now. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin doesn’t care about economic sanctions. He doesn’t care about what the E.U. thinks. The only thing he respects is power and he knows that America still is more powerful than he is.”
“I think we can commit as a demonstration,” Scales elaborated. “For example, let’s start that AMB initiative with the Czech Republic and Poland tomorrow. We have a perfect right to put ships in the Black Sea. Let’s put some ships in the Black Sea. Poland is one of the best maneuver areas in Central Europe. The U.S. military, the U.S. Army, maybe even the Marine Corps, ought to move into Poland to do maneuvers, perhaps stay awhile. We should move tier 1 and tier 2 Special Forces into the Ukraine — if the Ukraine asks for our support — so we can train their troops. Remember October ’73 when we kept Israel from collapsing by flying in high tech gear and high tech weapons? We could do that in the Ukraine.”
Source: Daily Caller/Newsmax