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Rumsfeld: Putin Is Punching Above His Weight, U.S. Isn’t Punching At All

'We don't have a foreign policy, we don't have a strategy'

• March 4, 2014 11:12 pm

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Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sharply criticized President Obama for his handling of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian crisis Tuesday on Hannity.

The former Bush administration official said Russia's economy and conscript military is weak and unimpressive and America should be doing more to confront them in Ukraine.

"Putin is punching so far above his weight class, and the United States isn't punching at all. We don't have a foreign policy, we don't have a strategy," he said.

Moreover, Rumsfeld warned further inaction in Ukraine risks provoking other nations with territorial ambitions such as China or North Korea to make similarly aggressive moves.

Full exchange:

SEAN HANNITY: Isn't that what Chuck Hagel, when he announced we're going to go to pre World War II troop levels with our Army, isn't that pretty much what he said, we can't expect American dominance in the seas and sky and space any longer, that that is not something we can come to expect any more? Isn't that their position? And won't that void be filled by someone like vladimir putin or an alliance as we see between Putin and China, China having their own territorial ambitions?

DONALD RUMSFELD: Absolutely. Think of it. Russia has a very modest economy if you leave out energy. It has a conscript military that is not impressive. There's not a U.S. military person on the face of the earth that I’ve ever met who would think of trading our military for their military. Putin is punching so far above his weight class, and the United States isn't punching at all. We don't have a foreign policy, we don't have a strategy. The only — we don't have supporters, imagine, think back when the president went to Congress and tried to get a coalition of other countries with respect to Ssyria. The other countries backed away. And then he went to congress and the members of Congress backed away.

HANNITY: So you're basically saying this is accumulation. We can really —

RUMSFELD: Absolutely. Absolutely. And what's tomorrow? Tomorrow it could be Central Asia, it could be the Republic of Georgia, it could be Iran or North Korea, it could be the People's Republic of China. We are asking — we're telling the world we're weak — why else would Vice President Biden say we're not in decline?

HANNITY: Because we're in decline.

RUMSFELD: Exactly.

Full interview: