Today, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Armed Services Committee, joined America’s Newsroom on Fox News and Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC to discuss Russia’s attacks on Ukraine.
Click here to watch America’s Newsroom and click here to watch Andrea Mitchell Reports, or read highlights from the conversation below.
On the failure to deter Putin:
“There is bipartisan concern that the sanctions announced don’t go far enough. The President seems unwilling to consider kicking Russia off the SWIFT system. And until we really go after the Russian energy sector, I fear there are loopholes big enough for you to drive a Russian tank through in the sanctions regime. And finally, I view the last few months as confirmation that relying on the threat of sanctions alone combined with some sternly worded statements has failed. It’s failed to deter Putin. So we need to learn from that failure. And I worry that what we saw yesterday, both in the President’s speech, as well as in the briefing afterward, is that we still continue to put all our hope in this basket of sanctions alone. Until you put hard power in Putin’s path, he’s not gonna back down.”
On this moment being a wake-up call for Biden and NATO:
“This invasion should be a massive wake-up call to the Biden administration, as well as all NATO member states. I appreciate the President’s call for reinforcing Article Five, and for bringing further hard power to NATO’s Eastern Front. But that’s not going to help the Ukrainians fighting for their lives on the ground right now…Putin clearly wants a quick and costless victory en route to Kyiv. Our job right now is to turn this into a painful and long slog for Putin, to turn it into his version of Afghanistan that expedited the downfall of the Soviet Union after they executed an invasion in 1979. We still have options. What we lack is the will and courage to execute those options.”
On what we should expect to come:
“I’m concerned that his appetite doesn’t end in eastern Ukraine. Given the limited resistance he’s faced thus far from the West, why wouldn’t Putin try and take over all of the country and use it as a staging ground to threaten NATO member states, particularly the Baltic states and Poland?… We have to wake up. This is a ruthless thug we are dealing with, and we may tell ourselves a fantasy that wars like this can’t happen in the 21st century. But obviously, that is not true. It’s a dangerous world. And American hard power is the only thing that preserves the peace.”
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