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 Pentagon says Obama 'too timid' on Putin, - The Daily Beast

The U.S. Department of Defense calls Russia an ‘existential’ danger to the U.S., and the White House isn’t exactly thrilled.

In recent weeks, there's been a dramatic, if little noticed, shift in how the Pentagon talks about the world. Russia-once dismissed as a military has-been-is now being regarded as an enemy with the potential to do "existential" damage to America. Censor.NET reports citing The Daily Beast.

Everyone from the incoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on down is raising the alarm about a Russia that is revamping its nuclear arsenal, launching ultra-sophisticated cyberattacks, and, of course, stirring up trouble in Eastern Europe. And that talk is not sitting well with the staff at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Russia is just one of myriad threats, White House officials say-calling it a top threat is a step down a slippery slope toward the risk of conflict. And the talk from the Pentagon about arming the Ukrainians, so they can resist Putin? The White House is having none of it. Putting more weapons in the hands of Russia's enemies would only create an excuse for more Russian violence, the White House worries, just as they are trying to secure a sustainable cease-fire.

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The Ukrainians and America's NATO allies in the Baltics "need to see us take action right away," a senior defense official said. But the administration's approach is to avoid "getting involved in any kind of conflict…They're being a little too timid."

Of course, nobody wants a wider war with the Russians; that's a recipe for courting Armageddon. "But is giving lethal defensive weapons to the Ukrainians really going to do that?" the senior defense official asked. "Remember, the Russians don't want to go to war with us, either."

The questioning of the Russia threat has exposed an administration-and at times a Pentagon-divided about how to respond to threats to the United States. While the White House is seemingly focused on the nuclear deal with Iran-a deal forged with Moscow's cooperation-the commanders are increasingly worried about the return of the Russian bear.

Top defense leaders believe that calling Russia a top threat paves the way to arm Ukrainians confronting Russian forces. Politically, they want the administration to recognize Russia as a top threat so they can devote the proper budget, sourcing, and troop resources to it. So far: no dice.

"The administration thinks the ranking of threats is not the most productive way to devise a strategy. But we are saying, 'How else do we allocate increasingly limited resources?'" a second defense official explained.

Read more: Pentagon to send better radar to Ukraine, - Wall Street Journal

 
 
 
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