U.S. Navy Admiral Craig Faller calls Russia a “wounded, weakened bear that’s just lashing out”

Craig Faller, Navy Admiral and the new head of U.S. Southern Command, claimed that Russia reminded him a “wounded, weakened bear that’s just lashing out” against democratic interests in the region. The voice of America reports this.

“I think with Russia, anything’s possible,” he said. “We’ve seen what they’ve done (in Syria), and I think we have to be prepared for what might happen in the future.”

Besides, in some countries that are not democracies, like Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua the influence of Russia and China is rather vivid. That is why the department to the secretary’s office to the National Security Council pays much attention to working on a strategic plan in order to achieve goals.

The Admiral did not answer directly to the questions, whether there is a need for the peacekeeping mission to Venezuela.

As we reported earlier, Ukraine has recognized the leader of Venezuelan opposition Juan Guaido as the head of the only democratically chosen body of the power of Venezuela, the National Assembly and the leader of the democratic opposition.

On January 23, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president. He was supported by many countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

QUESTION: “Admiral, let’s start with Venezuela. What options have you been asked to provide for the situation in Venezuela.”

NAVY ADMIRAL CRAIG FALLER, COMMANDER OF THE U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND: “We’re focused on supporting a political and diplomatic solution and as you’d expect from a combatant commander we’re working to ensure that U.S. citizens and property, our diplomats that are there are safe, and so that’s where we’ve been, our efforts have been centered.”

​QUESTION: “So we’ve heard about sending thousands of troops to Columbia — everybody has seen National Security Advisor John Bolton’s memo. Has anybody asked you to provide that particular option?”

FALLER: “Again, I would refer any questions on plans to the department to the secretary’s office to the National Security Council.”

QUESTION: “Are you working with your regional partners on a potential peacekeeping mission plan should the need arise?”

FALLER: “We’re focused on what you’re seeing right now, the human suffering, the day to day alleviation of that suffering. We did our part earlier this year with the United States Naval Ship Comfort.”

QUESTION: “But is peacekeeping forces, are those an option right now?”

FALLER: “We were looking, as I mentioned Carla, we’re at what’s happening today and the long-term efforts beyond government transition, I’ll leave that to policy and the diplomats, and we’ll be ready and on the balls of our feet to support when asked.”

QUESTION: “Since former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, when we were traveling together, he mentioned the importance of identifying a problem first. So with Venezuela, what is the problem for the United States there, and can it be solved through a military solution?”

FALLER: “Well I think looking more broadly at this hemisphere, this is our neighborhood, and we share a lot across this neighborhood: values, a respect for law, democracy, for the most part democracy, and we have common sea, land, air, cyber, space, all of the domains right here in our neighborhood and so we look at our neighborhood and there are some glaring examples of countries that aren’t democracies. Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua to name the three most glaring examples. And what you see common in these cases is the influence of Russia, and Cuba, and to some extent China.”

QUESTION: “Are you concerned that Russia might do something in Venezuela like it did in Syria? Like we saw how they propped up the (Syrian President Bashar al-)Assad regime there. Could that happen again?”

FALLER: “I think, with Russia, anything’s possible. The national defense strategy calls out competition with Russia and China specifically as areas of focus. We’ve really aligned and done a lot of thinking, planning and resourcing to those. Different cases though. China is an economic powerhouse on the rise, and they have a legitimate economic and business interest around the world. They don’t play by the rulebook though. Russia, on the other hand, is almost, you know, a wounded, declining bear that’s just lashing out, and I couldn’t predict what Russia will do, and I wouldn’t want to. We’ve seen what they’ve done, and I think we have to be prepared for what might happen in the future.”

Article Source: 112.international

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