TREY GOWDY (HOST): Why to you think that Putin is doing this? What is his end game?
DOUGLAS MACGREGOR (GUEST): Well, Vladimir Putin is carrying through on something that he has been warning us about at least for the last 15 years, which is that he will not tolerate U.S. forces or their missiles on his borders, much as we would not tolerate Russian troops and missiles in Cuba. And we ignored him, and he finally acted. He was not going to allow Ukraine under any circumstances to join NATO. What's happened now is that the battle in easter Ukraine is really almost over. All the Ukrainian troops there are being largely surrounded and cut off, you have a concentration down in the southeast of 30 to 40,000 of them, and if they surrender within the next 24 hours, I suspect that the Russians will ultimately annihilate them. That's why Zelensky is meeting with Putin's representatives right now. The game is over and he's going to have to negotiate the best deal that he can get. And we've already told him, the president of the United States has, that if he opts for neutrality for Ukraine, we'll back him. And I think that Vladimir Putin will do that for western Ukraine. That is Ukraine beyond the upper river. But behind it in the east where he is now, I'm not sure what he has planned there, whether he forms another republic, annexes it into Russia, because historically it has been Russian. But the territory western Ukraine is not. He knows that and he is happy to live with that as a neutral state.
GOWDY: I am not a military expert. I'm not even an expert on geography, but if he takes Ukraine, and Ukraine abuts Poland, then he's going to have a NATO country abutting him. So if that's what he doesn't want, then isn't he going to just have to keep going until he runs out of NATO countries?
MACGREGOR: I guess I should say it again. He has no interest in crossing the west – the Dnieper and heading west to the Polish border. I think you're going to find from these negotiations, he's quite willing to neutralize that territory on the Austrian or the Finnish model. Right now, Russia already touches Estonia and part of Latvia. White Russia, of course, touches Lithuania. He's not interested in going to war with us, and he has an army that's too small for that purpose. And he knows that his economy is smaller than that of South Korea's. So this is not something that he's looking for. We are imputing to him things that he does not want to do in our usual effort to demonize him and his country. We need to remember that Ukraine is fourth from the bottom of 158 countries in the world as corrupt. Russia is perhaps three or four places above them. This is not the liberal democracy, the shining example that everyone says it is – far from it. Mr. Zelensky has jailed journalists and his political opposition. I think we need to stay out of it. The American people think we should stay out of it. The Europeans think we should stay out of it, and we should stop shipping weapons and encouraging Ukrainians to die in what is a hopeless endeavor.
GOWDY: So when you say stay out of it, you mean no sanctions, no military aid. Just let Russia take the portion of Ukraine they want to take.
MACGREGOR: Yes, absolutely. I see no reason why we should fight with the Russians over something that they have been talking about for years. We simply chose to ignore it. And more important, the population there is indistinguishable from their own. You know, the thing that's so disturbing is that on the one hand, we will not send our forces to fight, but we are urging Ukrainians to die pointlessly in a fight they can't win. We're going to create a far worse humanitarian disaster than anything you've seen thus far. If it doesn't stop.