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The State Department’s announcement it plans to reopen the U.S. embassy in Kyiv is a turning point that signifies American commitment to Ukraine’s defense, the former commanding officer of the U.S.S. Cole told Fox News on Monday.
“I believe it is going to be a turning point because it’s really signifying that the United States has committed to a free and sovereign Ukraine despite what Russia is doing today,” Cmdr. Kirk Lippold told “Your World.”
“That example is going to also push others to make sure that they continue their support and continue to give Ukraine what it needs to push the Russians back and out of that country.”
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He added it appears the U.S. intelligence community often knows Russia’s plans in advance, but the Department of Defense “needs to react” in getting Ukrainians supplies.
“We have been late to the party almost every single time,” he said. “While they’re getting the supplies they need, they’re late, they’re not as effective, the Russians are making advances, and every day we delay are days the Ukrainians die as a result.”
“So we need to do better in tying our intelligence community and the Department of Defense together to push that material to them quicker, along with our allies.”
Lippold also criticized Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin for comments that the United States wants to see Russia “weakened.”
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“I don’t think he should have said that,” Lippold said. “While that may be an objective, all that is doing is feeding into the narrative that Putin and Russia want, that they are being surrounded; that they are under attack [and] that NATO is in fact trying to weaken Russia on the world stage,” Lippold said.