General Jack Keane: Obama Is Disengaging From the World, Making Us Less Safe
KEANE: "The fact of the matter is when American leadership is strong in the world, Bill, the world is actually a safer place and probably a better place. And when it is weak and it has been for a number of years, the world is by far a more dangerous place. Our friends don't know if we will back them up and they are prone to do something rash and our adversaries clearly become more assertive, more aggressive take advantage of that weakness. And therefore it's more dangerous, it's more volatile, it's more prone to conflict."
HEMMER: "Out of Ukraine, O'Reilly was going about a series of events around the world, and he mentioned Syria, Iran and now the matter with Russia. Do you see the thread that connects all of these events?"
KEANE: "Yea, totally. This is generally a disengagement from the world. It's an unstated but actual reality in terms of foreign policy by the president. And you see that manifestation in the lousy negotiations over chemical weapons in Syria, the lousy negotiation with Iranians over nuclear weapons. It isn't acting on solid intelligence in Benghazi. We know who did it but we have not captured them. The rise in the Middle East and now in Africa. All these things are real. And Putin is taking advantage of American weakness to further his goals."
HEMMER: "All right. General, I just want to go over to the map. We did this the other day. And we just want to refresh the minds of the viewers. Crimea is where it all started, right? Southern Ukraine, they had their vote, the cessation happened. They advance at one time and this is where we believe the Russian army has gathered over the past several months now, all these areas just on the eastern border of Ukraine. Now it has moved into the Ukraine -- advance it one more time, again. from the eastern sides. Leeland Vi. who's reporting live now from Donesk in the far eastern part of the country. But these are the cities where the wild fires could catch, and that's something no one wants to see. We had an analyst last hour saying Geneva isn't worth the paper it is written on. Is it or not?"
KEANE: "I think it is too early to make that statement, frankly. We would like it to hold. But we have to be highly skeptical. And I certainly agree with his thoughts on that. The fact of that matter is that Putin made a statement he doesn't control these separatists who are occupying these buildings in eastern Ukraine. And we all know that's nonsense. They're actually special operation forces that are clearly under his command and operating under his instruction. So that would give credence to the fact it might not work."
HEMMER: "What does Putin do now then? Does he kick back? Does he let matters cool down and then make a move?"
KEANE: "The real issue -- and you pointed it out on the map, Bill -- is the 40-50,000 troops on the other side of that border. He will not move those troops. They are there the intimidate the government in Kiev to move away from integration into Europe, and to move toward a closer cooperative relationship with him, which is what he had when he had his stooge Yanakovich there. That is what this has been all about from the beginning. those troops will stay there and the intimidation as well."
HEMMER: "Will it work?
KEANE: "Yes, in the long run it probably will.
HEMMER: "Wow. To what degree then? What part of Ukraine?"
KEANE: "We will probably not to occupy, but he will have a relationship with eastern Ukraine that is different than what we have right now. I think the combination will be made by the government in Kiev because they truly feel that they are on their own. We are not doing much of anything to help them. They wanted military aid and other things and we are not providing that. And our sanctions are feckless and weak and not imposing much curbing much of Russian behavior for sure. The Europeans want no part of this whatsoever, as we all know."
HEMMER: "General, thank you. Jack Keane, we'll pick it up next week."