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The Interview: Could the U.S. Have Prevented the Invasion of Ukraine?

A former army general argues that Washington could have reacted earlier and employed more of its diplomatic resources to keep Russia at bay.

Retired brigadier general and former defense undersecretary Anthony Tata joined Roundtable to discuss security issues past and present. In this segment, he analyzes the United States’ strategy in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Tata argues that the United States was late to respond to signs of the invasion that Putin demonstrated early as September, when he began moving troops to the Ukraine border.

“The time to influence this was back in September, October and November, December of last year,” he says. “During that window, we did very little through diplomatic or information messaging or military movement. We didn't do the sanctions until after the invasion began.”

Tata believes that the U.S. hasn’t yet exhausted the diplomatic route.

“There's a thing called the Normandy format that actually worked in 2014 to stop the conflict in Crimea, where they had Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France meet in Normandy to work through this, and they got it done, even though it resulted in Russia owning Crimea,” he says. 

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“They tried it again back in January and it didn't work. America's really been nowhere on the diplomatic front, which is very concerning to me.”

Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

General Anthony Tata, Retired Brigadier General, U.S. Army