December 07, 2021

Biden-Putin Call: Analysts Say US President May Still Have a Chance to Derail Ukraine Invasion

Featuring Jim Townsend

Source: Fox News

Journalist Thomas Barrabi

With a massive build of Russian troops near Ukraine’s border, Russia’s Vladimir Putin is indicating a willingness to risk a military conflict, but analysts say while the threat is serious, an invasion is not certain.

The threat of an invasion will be the central subject of President Biden’s video call with Putin on Tuesday. Biden is expected to warn of dire consequences should Russia follow through with a military offensive, while Putin is expected to reiterate his ultimatum that NATO should not allow Ukraine to join its military alliance.

The outcome of the video call could have major implications as Putin weighs the potential costs of a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine. Jim Townsend, a former Pentagon official and adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program, said Putin is an "opportunist" who sees an invasion as one of several potential pathways for achieving his goals in the region.

...

The outcome of the video call could have major implications as Putin weighs the potential costs of a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine. Jim Townsend, a former Pentagon official and adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program, said Putin is an "opportunist" who sees an invasion as one of several potential pathways for achieving his goals in the region.

"If he feels the response from the West is not going to be as painful as we think it is, then he’s got that option to invade," Townsend said. "But if he’s going to get indications from the West that he’s going to get out of it [something] he finds valuable, that could make him change his mind, too."

U.S. intelligence officials conclude Russia is planning for a military offensive by as soon as early next year. A senior administration official said Russia’s plan includes 100 battalion tactical groups and an estimated 175,000 military personnel, half of whom are already near the border. Intelligence officials have also noted an uptick in Russian propaganda aimed at disparaging NATO and Ukraine’s government.

Read the full story and more from Fox News.

Authors

  • Jim Townsend

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    James Joye Townsend Jr. is an adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program. After eight years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for European ...