‘Reason for Living’: Ex-CIA Chief Calls Putin ‘Gift to NATO’

NATO has significantly expanded its military presence along Russia’s western borders in recent years, while accusing Moscow of posing a threat to the military bloc.

Retired US Army Iraq War commander and Obama-era CIA director David Petraeus has voiced his support for the ongoing US and NATO military buildup in Eastern Europe, saying the Russian leadership has given the alliance a “new reason for living” since the end of the Cold War.

“Let’s keep in mind, if you will, that Vladimir Putin is the greatest gift to NATO since the end of the Cold War. [He] has provided a new reason for living, if you will, for NATO. And indeed the US is continuing to be the backbone, in many respects, of the force, not just there but in other places around the world”, Petraeus said, speaking at the Raisina Dialogue conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Petraeus praised President Trump for continuing the Obama administration’s plans for a NATO military buildup in Eastern Europe, including “plans for troops in the Baltic states, aircraft in Eastern Europe, an armoured brigade of the United States’ return to the European continent for the first time in a number of years…new NATO command structures being approved.”

At the same time, while agreeing with the panel’s assessment of Russia as a “geopolitical disruptor,” Petraeus argued that “the rise of China” has been the far bigger “disruptor” to the established world order in recent years. “Whether China has…

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