Former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta criticized the president’s handling of Russia and said he was sending “a mixed message” to America’s enemies in an interview broadcast on Tuesday’s “O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel.
“It’s very important when the president says something that we do it, and I think that’s one of the problems with taking the position on chemical warfare in Syria” Panetta argued.
He added “I think they [America’s enemies] are getting a mixed message as to whether or not the United States will stand by its word.”
On the US’ policy towards Russia he stated “when you deal with Putin, you have got to deal with him from strength, not weakness.” He further argued that the US has not been strong enough on Russia, declaring that in addition to sanctions, “I would have also provided military aid to the Ukrainians. I would have resurrected the whole issue on missile defense. I would make sure that NATO was strengthened in terms of the surrounding countries, and I would provide an additional energy resource to other countries to make clear to Russia that they alone cannot blackmail these countries through energy.”
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