America stronger than Russia? "I'll tell you... it will destroy them"
The US and its allies will destroy Russian troops and equipment in Ukraine and sink its Black Sea fleet, warned former CIA director David Petraeus.Source: B92, Blic
The retired general and former director of the CIA said that this will happen if Russian President Vladimir Putin uses nuclear weapons.
Petraeus said he had not discussed with national security adviser Jake Sullivan the likely U.S. response to a nuclear escalation, which administration officials said had been repeatedly communicated to Moscow.
"I'll tell you just hypothetically, NATO would destroy every Russian weapon it could see and identify, on the battlefield, in Crimea, but also every ship in the Black Sea," he told ABC News.
The warning comes days after Putin made comments that many interpreted as a threat of a bigger war between Russia and the West. Asked if Russia's use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine would bring America and NATO to war, Petraeus said it would not be a situation that would trigger Article 5 of the alliance, which calls for collective defense.
"This is because Ukraine is not a part of NATO – however, a 'US-NATO response' would be required," Petraeus said. Petraeus acknowledged that the possibility of radiation spreading to NATO countries under Article 5 might be interpreted as an attack on a NATO member.
"Maybe we can have that as a case. The other case is that this is so horrific that there has to be an answer – it can't go unanswered," he said.
Still, Petraeus said he did not want an escalation.
"You don't want, again, to get into a nuclear escalation here. But you have to show that it cannot be accepted in any way," he said.
Putin also announced a partial mobilization of military troops that could call up as many as 300.000 reservists. Russia is also suspected of causing a gas pipeline rupture that caused a large methane leak, and Putin has threatened to cut gas supplies to European countries as winter approaches. Petraeus said it was clear that Putin wanted European countries to suffer as long as they tried to isolate Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
"Well, he's trying to portray it in any way he can, in a way that looks menacing, threatening, trying to make Europe crack. He thinks he can put up with more than Europe. And, you know, the Russians have suffered Napoleon and the Nazis and so on. But I don't think he's going to be able to put Europe through. Europe is going to have a tough winter, there's going to be a lot of reduced natural gas flow, but they're going to get through it and I don't think they're going to abandon supporting Ukraine," Petraeus said.