Former CIA operative Robert Baer believes NATO is heading for direct war with “unhinged” Vladimir Putin and says it “everyone suspects” whether it is going nuclear
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A former CIA agent claims the West is headed for a direct war with “unhinged” Vladimir Putin, who could well go nuclear.
Robert Baer believes the situation will “probably get a lot worse” as Putin pursues “Russian fascism” and no one predicted how far he would go.
The ex-CIA agent, who discusses Putin’s threat in his new book “The Fourth Man,” said the US was left flat with Russia’s invasion of Crimea and then the attack on Ukraine that began on February 24. .
He told the Express: “What we have today is worse than anything during the Cold War.
“There is no doubt that the West had to support Ukraine, but at the same time we are heading for a direct conflict between NATO and Russia.
“Whether or not it becomes nuclear is a gamble.”
He added: “Everyone knew about Putin’s so-called finding of God and his embrace of what could be described as Russian fascism, but on the other hand, no one foresaw that his delusions would translate into a land war and genocide without end.
“If Putin is really as unhinged as he seems, it will probably get a lot worse.”
Baer is also unsure whether there is any truth to whether Putin is suffering from cancer or some other illness.
Many reports have referred to Putin looking swollen in recent months, which could indicate he was taking steroids.
During Russia’s Victory Day parade last month, Putin looked frail and used a blanket to keep warm, in stark contrast to the macho image he has cultivated in the past.
AFP via Getty Images)
Mr Baer said: “As for Putin’s health, I will say nothing more than to say that while I was with the CIA, I listened to our doctors predict the demise of several tyrants, but when they finally died, the timing as a surprise.”
The former CIA agent believes it was a mistake by the West to underestimate Russia after the end of the Cold War.
“After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the CIA viewed the KGB as a defeated force and stopped spying,” Baer said.
“It turned out to be a serious mistake, because in the 1990s the KGB was planning its return and infiltrating wherever it was needed.”
He believes that Russian espionage services operating in the US also managed to ensure that the West missed what happened.
“KGB moles in America have also done a tremendous amount of damage, worse than the Cambridge Five,” he said.
“So no wonder the CIA has missed the KGB hardliners behind Putin and their plans to turn back the clock, including folding Ukraine back into the Russian Empire.
“By the way, the more I learn about Putin’s rise, the more I believe he fronted a silent KGB coup rather than a mistake by Yeltsin.”
The infiltration had weakened the United States’ ability to predict Putin’s moves, Baer claimed.
He said: “The immediate impact of the CIA’s failure to keep the Russian pulse is that it has been unable to connect the dots, namely Putin’s 2014 takeover of Crimea with his decision to to invade Ukraine in February.
“Not really understanding Putin’s ambitions and then not reacting decisively to Crimea is tantamount to President Obama and European Munich.
“As for Trump, Putin was all the more encouraged by Trump who never stopped talking about leaving NATO. Not to mention that Putin thought the US was run by an illiterate, nativist fool who had managed to return the United States to isolationism.”