Today on Secure Freedom Radio, Frank Gaffney spoke to Dakota Wood, a former leader in the Marine Corps and the Senior Research Fellow on Defense Programs at the Heritage Foundation.
Together, they assessed the threat posed to America by Russia. Wood stated that while terrorism is seen as a more immediate threat, Russia is a long term concern given their nuclear arsenal.
Gaffney asked Wood about Putin’s recent behavior with regard to military action. Wood responded:
“He’s really trying to keep the eastern part of Europe destabilized and the western part intimidated and the mechanism to do that is to have these very short notice snap exercises where large numbers of forces are mobilized in proximity to the Baltic states… to do very provocative actions in the Baltic Sea with submarine movements into territorial waters of Sweden and Norway.”
Wood suggested that Putin is sending a very aggressive message to powers in Europe and other regions.
Their focus then turned to China. Wood said that while China’s focus in recent years has been on domestic and internal security issues, they have become much more outward thinking and that their military investments indicate an expansionist vision.
“As China has matured its economy, it’s become more dependent on external sources for energy like oil for example that comes out of the Persian Gulf… It needs a navy that can protect its economic interests, it needs an outward looking military that can coerce its claims in the south and east China seas and it’s being very muscular in how it invests accordingly.”
Gaffney brought up the little discussed development of thousands of miles of hardened tunnels China has built. Wood suggested the significance of the tunnels is that they provide an area where things can be done in secret, away from public view and satellite surveillance. He also said the tunnels give China a way to protect assets from a strike.
Meanwhile, Wood suggested, China is also believed to be expanding their capability to weaponize space in a way which could ultimately affect U.S. satellite capabilities.
This point led Gaffney to ask about North Korea’s recently reported satellite activities such as passing one over the Superbowl. Wood responded:
“This latest launch again interpreted not just as a usable satellite but the missile technology that makes that possible, that extends the range of their ballistic missile capability to something like 13,000 kilometers covers the entire United States and on down into central America. Combine that with their nuclear program, they would then have a missile capable of taking a nuclear warhead to any target within the United States.”
Someone owes Mitt Romney an apology.