Biden NSA Sullivan: ‘Hard to’ Say How We Could Have Acted Differently to Prevent Russia from Invading

During an interview with Bloomberg recorded on September 7 and aired on Wednesday’s edition of “The David Rubenstein Show, Peer to Peer Conversations,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan responded to a question on whether there was anything the Biden administration could have done to prevent Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and if there’s anything they wish they had done differently by stating that “it’s hard to get the kind of level of perspective” six months in, but he believes Putin was going to invade regardless of what the U.S. did.

Host David Rubenstein asked, “In hindsight, which is always 20/20, is there anything the administration could have done to prevent Putin from invading or told the allies more forcefully that this invasion was going to occur to convince them? Because it seemed as if they didn’t really believe it was going to happen. What would you have done or…think you should have done in hindsight, if anything, differently than you did?”

Sullivan responded, “Given that we’re still in the middle of this unfolding crisis, it’s hard to get the kind of level of perspective to look back and say, hey, maybe we could have done this instead of that. There is always something you could improve upon. I would never say…we did everything absolutely perfectly. But, six months into this invasion, I’m fairly well convinced that Putin was going to do this no matter what, that he considered this central to his legacy as president of Russia, and he was not going to be knocked off course. The only thing that was going to stop him was the physical might of the Ukrainian forces holding back his ability to take Kyiv, and take other major cities, backed by the weapons that we provided them. That was the strategy we executed. I think we executed it well.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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