Fox contributor Jack Keane uses Ukraine crisis to push for more increases to U.S. defense budget

Keane: “I would hope NATO wakes up and we start getting defense budgets that have teeth in them and real capabilities to deploy into eastern Europe.”

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Citation From the February 24, 2022, edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom 

BILL HEMMER (FOX NEWS ANCHOR): How long can [Ukrainian president Volodymyr] Zelensky hold on?

JACK KEANE (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): It's hard to say because, I don't have visibility of the casualties that his military forces are taking and how much ground they are giving up. I know that the early reports are that they've slowed down the Russian advance, and that's a good thing. So, I can't give you — with any degree of clarity here. Certainly, what [Russian president Vladimir] Putin is after, he wants this collapse to take place as quickly as possible, so he can reach out and exercise diplomacy, and argue for negotiations, and put the olive branch out there, so to speak. Which is pretty typical of his behavior in the past. So, yeah, he wants a quick takedown. He would love to have it in days if he could. It remains to be seen how long this is going to take. This absolutely depends on the Ukrainian military.

And, the other thing that I've always believed; there is risk here for Putin, to be sure. The international community is going to attempt to isolate him as a result of this. NATO — I would hope NATO wakes up and we start getting defense budgets that have teeth in them, and real capabilities to deploy into eastern Europe. And the United States has got to look at itself. I mean, our major threat we've been talking about, Bill, here — many times on the show — is China. And yet, Russia is imposing their will in Europe to a staggering degree that is going to have significant consequences on us, in terms of our defense budget, as well. During the Cold War, Bill, the defense budgets ran around 7% [of GDP]. Right now, they're down south of 3. There has been a 16% increase in the domestic budget this year in the United States, a 2% increase in the defense budget. And that doesn't account for inflation, so the defense budget is actually a decrease. And that's not going to be able to get us the kind of capability to deal with Putin's implied threat to NATO, Iran expanding with a nuclear weapon and getting money from sanction relief, likely in a couple of weeks, as a result of the deal I think that is going to be announced. And fueling their ambitions in the Middle East again, with hundreds of billions of dollars to do it.

And certainly, can you imagine China is looking at this? See, [Chinese president Xi Jinping] hasn't endorsed this operation and hasn't condemned it. He is someplace in the middle. But you bet ya, out of public view, he is cheering this on. Because, this contributes to his narrative — President Xi — it contributes to his narrative that the West is in decline. And it certainly, as he is going into the National Party Congress later this year to be enshrined for five more years and likely indefinitely, does this incentivize him in the next couple years to move on Taiwan based on what he is seeing here? How the United States reacts to this, and how the world reacts to this, is also crucial in what conclusions he will draw.