Petraeus former CIA director Putin will not stop Our security

Petraeus, former CIA director: “Putin will not stop. Our security begins at the border between Russia and Ukraine” | Federico Rampini

“A second Trump will have more continuity than differences with Biden's foreign policy.” But unpredictability is a problem. Putin will not limit himself to invading Ukraine. And America will always have to remain in the Middle East.” So says an authoritative and impartial observer, the American General David Petraeus, who led the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan and was then director of the CIA. I interviewed him for the geopolitical forum “Open Dialogues for the Future” that took place in Udine on March 7th and 8th. Parts of this interview will be broadcast in the second episode of my show “Inchieste da ferme” on La7, the show dedicated to Trump's America. I await some excerpts from his answers.

What are the risks for Ukraine and Europe?
“Vladimir Putin will not stop in Ukraine. Moldova and Lithuania could be next. His ambitions extend far beyond Ukraine. I remind you that when Putin was asked what was the worst event of the 20th century, a century with two world wars, the Great Depression and many other misfortunes, Putin said that the worst was the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He tries to put the parts of the USSR or the Great Russian Empire back together using a variety of means. We must not be under the illusion that it will stop. That is why we must all support Ukraine, because NATO security begins at the Russian-Ukrainian border, not at the borders of NATO countries. There are many factors that will determine the course of the war, including the results of the next presidential election in the United States.”

What impact will the American vote in November have on the rest of the world?
“It is clear that the elections will have consequences. I am apolitical in the United States. I don't even register to vote, let alone support either party's candidates, but I give advice to both. If the current president were re-elected, a certain degree of continuity would be created. I disagreed with some of his decisions. I disagreed with President Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan. I feared that the outcome would not only be heartbreaking and tragic, but catastrophic. Unfortunately, this was the case. In providing resources to Ukraine, some decisions should have been made more quickly; The inability to do this with the necessary speed has cost the Ukrainians. It is now important that the aid continues and the current government strongly supports it. Overall, the current administration has done a credible job of crafting a comprehensive and integrated approach to China to ensure that deterrence in the Indo-Pacific region is robust. as well as in the reaction to Iran in general.”

And what if Donald Trump returns to the White House?
“There would be a certain level of unpredictability. We have seen his statements. But let's also remember that the approach to China was very similar, in fact there was more continuity than change between the two governments. I assume that this will largely continue to be the case. The differences could concern the relationship with NATO, perhaps also with Russia. The challenge with Trump is once again the degree of unpredictability. This was shown, for example, when, during his presidency, our armed forces were withdrawn from Syria with 24 hours' notice and returned to action a few days later.”

Biden is in serious trouble in the Middle East. Was he wrong to be drawn into a crisis in this part of the world? He had shared the Obama doctrine, which called for a “pivot to Asia,” a switch to China. Does the now energy-independent America still have vital interests in the Middle East?
“There are a lot of interests in the area. One of these is freedom of navigation, especially since it determines the supply of oil and gas to the global economy. In addition, we have important alliances with various countries in the region and also with important enemies. The most important rule in the Middle East is to be clear about who your friends are and who your enemies are. Iran clearly falls into the enemy category, as it trains, equips, finances and often leads groups such as Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, the Shiite militias in Iraq, the Houthis in Yemen and of course Hamas in Gaza. Each of these is a problem. This highlights why the United States must continue to focus on the Middle East. “Pivot to Asia” was an unfortunate definition as it implied a distraction from the Middle East. The better word would be realignment. We can better focus on the most important scenario in the world, in which the world's most important confrontation is taking place: between China on the one hand, the United States and our allies on the other. But we must always keep an eye on the situation in the Middle East.”