It was reported that Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., told Newsmax that Russian President Vladmir Putin ”smells a weak hand” with President Joe Biden and the escalation of tensions along the Ukrainian border, which he didn’t under former President Donald Trump.
”What happened on Trump’s watch? Nothing,” Braun said Wednesday on ”The Chris Salcedo Show.” ”When [Trump] would say ‘if you cross a red line, you’re going to pay for it.’ He took out the Iranian terrorist Gen. [Qasem] Soleimani.
”That kind of stuff didn’t happen under [former President Barack] Obama or Biden. We project weakness. Putin can smell a weak hand. He pushes the envelope that’s unfolding now.”
Braun’s comments come the same day the United States announced it was moving 3,000 troops, including 1,000 stationed in Germany. to Romania, and 2,000 from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to Poland, as a show of the U.S. commitment to stand behind NATO countries in the region.
”I want to be very clear about something, these are not permanent moves,” Department of Defense press secretary John Kirby said at a press conference Wednesday. ”They are moves designed to respond to the current security environment. Moreover, these forces are not going to fight in Ukraine, they are going to ensure the robust defense of our NATO allies.”
The 3,000 troops, he said, are ”separate and in addition” to the 8,500 troops put on deployment alert last week in response to Russia’s sending more than 130,000 troops to its border with Ukraine.
”Collectively, this force is trained and equipped for a variety of missions to deter aggression and to reassure and to defend our allies,” Kirby said. ”Not surprisingly, we work very closely with our Polish and German allies to set the stage for these movements, and we absolutely appreciate their support.
”Again, these are not permanent moves. They respond to current conditions. We will adjust our posture as those conditions evolve.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the troops are meant only to prepare in case Russia invades but are not going to Ukraine ”to fight.”
”Our effort and our effort here is to show that we are ready for any contingency,” Psaki said Wednesday. ”Force posture increases as part of that preparedness. It’s to reassure our allies to whom we have a sacred obligation.”