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Ash Carter: Russia Is a ‘Competitor’ In Way It Hasn’t Been Since End of the Soviet Union

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Defense Secretary Ash Carter stated that “we are going to have a competitor in Russia” as long as Vladimir Putin holds power and that after the fall of the USSR, “thinking about Russia as a competitor, was not something that we had to do” in an interview set to air on Tuesday’s “Charlie Rose Show.”

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Carter said, “[A]fter the Soviet Union ended, there was a long period of time when, in the Department of Defense, thinking about Russia as a competitor, was not something that we had to do. And now, since what happened in Ukraine a year and a half ago, it’s quite clear that, at least as long as Vladimir Putin is running the country and has the intentions he says he has, we are going to have a competitor in Russia. That has meant for us in Defense, and for the Europeans, and for NATO, having to create a new playbook, that we haven’t had for a quarter century.”

Carter also described Russia as a country that the US doesn’t expect to have a war with Russia, but has to “deter” it by showing it will regret any war it gets into with the US “for the very long term.” He further named Russia as a country that is “causing more problems” in the Middle East.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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