President Barack Obama is risking a nuclear war against Russian President Vladimir Putin the minute he decided to deploy American fighter jets on the border between Turkey and Syria, according to Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii.
The deployment of a specialized expeditionary targeting force announced on Tuesday and the president’s vocal objection of President Bashar al-Assad, Mr. Putin’s strong ally, could lead America into a nuclear standoff with Russia, Gabbard said.
“Russia’s installation of their anti-aircraft missile-defense system increases that possibility of – whether it’s intentional or even an accident event – where one side may shoot down the other side’s plane. And that’s really where the potential is for devastating nuclear war,” Gabbard told Defense secretary Ashton Carter as quoted by the National Review.
Russia and U.S. are old-time foes since the Cold War era. The prospect of a nuclear war between the old-time enemies had been ripe since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March of 2014. The enemies were said to be fighting a proxy World War 3 in Syria.
In October, Mr. Putin and Mr. Obama expressed willingness to work together to fight the ISIS in Syria. However, this fusion was averted when Turkey shot down a Russian bomber on Nov. 24 over Turkey-Syria airspace. Turkey is participating in Syrian airstrikes as part of a U.S.-led coalition. Before the incident, Russia and U.S. signed an agreement, sharing flight paths of aircraft in Syria. When Turkey attacked the Russian bomber, Mr. Putin felt he was betrayed by Mr. Obama. It did not help that the U.S. president hinted of blaming the Russian president after the incident.
Gabbard’s warning of a possible nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia were made after Carter’s speech before the House Armed Services Committee on Dec. 1. The Defense secretary announced that Mr. Obama approved of deploying a specialized expeditionary targeting force. The most advanced U.S. air and naval forces had already been deployed and U.S. troops are assisting ground operations in Syria and Iraq, Carter said.
“These special operators will, over time, be able to conduct raids, free hostages, gather intelligence and capture [ISIS] leaders. That creates a virtuous cycle of better intelligence, which generates more targets, more raids and more momentum,” the secretary said.