US defense chief: ‘Tyranny and turmoil’ in Russian invasion

Nov 18, 2022, 7:30 PM | Updated: Nov 19, 2022, 6:57 pm
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III delivers remarks at the Halifax International Securit...

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III delivers remarks at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax on Saturday, Nov.19, 2022. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press via AP)

              Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand, right, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hold a bilateral meeting at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax on Saturday, Nov.19, 2022. (Andrew Vaughan /The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III delivers remarks at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax on Saturday, Nov.19, 2022.  (Andrew Vaughan /The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III delivers remarks at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax on Saturday, Nov.19, 2022.  (Andrew Vaughan /The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand, right, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III hold a bilateral meeting at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax on Saturday, Nov.19, 2022. (Andrew Vaughan /The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III delivers remarks at the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax on Saturday, Nov.19, 2022.  (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press via AP)

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin warned Saturday Russia’s invasion of Ukraine offers a preview of a world where nuclear-armed countries could threaten other nations and said Beijing, like Moscow, seeks a world where might makes right.

Austin made the remarks at the annual Halifax International Security Forum, which attracts defense and security officials from Western democracies.

“Russia’s invasion offers a preview of a possible world of tyranny and turmoil that none of us would want to live in. And it’s an invitation to an increasingly insecure world haunted by the shadow of nuclear proliferation,” Austin said in a speech.

“Because (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s fellow autocrats are watching. And they could well conclude that getting nuclear weapons would give them a hunting license of their own. And that could drive a dangerous spiral of nuclear proliferation.”

Austin dismissed Putin’s claims that “modern Ukraine was entirely created by Russia,” calling it a vision of “a world in which autocrats decide which countries are real and which countries can be snuffed out.”

He added that the war “shows the whole world the dangers of disorder. That’s the security challenge that we face. It’s urgent, and it’s historic.

But we’re going to meet it. … The basic principles of democracy are under siege around the world,” he said.

U.S. President Joe Biden last month declared that the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is at the highest level since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis; Russian officials have raised using tactical nuclear weapons after suffering massive setbacks in the nearly nine-month invasion of Ukraine.

While U.S. officials for months have warned of the prospect that Russia could use weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine in the face of battlefield setbacks, Biden administration officials have repeatedly said nothing has changed in U.S. intelligence assessments to suggest that Putin has imminent plans to deploy nuclear weapons.

CIA Director Bill Burns recently met with his Russian intelligence counterpart to warn of consequences if Russia were to deploy a nuclear weapon in Ukraine.

Austin said nuclear weapons need to be responsibly controlled, and not used to threaten the world.

“Ukraine faces a harsh winter. And as Russia’s position on the battlefield erodes, Putin may resort again to profoundly irresponsible nuclear saber-rattling,” he said

Austin also compared Russia to China, saying Beijing is trying to refashion both the region and the international system to suit its authoritarian preferences. He noted China’s increasing military activities in the Taiwan Strait.

“Beijing, like Moscow, seeks a world where might makes right, where disputes are resolved by force, and where autocrats can stamp out the flame of freedom,” he said.

Austin called Putin’s invasion the worst crisis in security since the end of the Second World War and said the outcome “will help determine the course of global security in this young century,” Austin said..

Austin said the deadly missile explosion in Poland this week is a consequence of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “war of choice” against Ukraine. “The tragic and troubling explosion in Poland this week reminded the whole world of the recklessness of Putin’s war of choice,” Austin said.

On Tuesday, two workers were killed when a projectile hit a grain-drying facility close to Poland’s border with Ukraine. While the source of the missile is under investigation, NATO officials have said they suspect it was fired from a Ukrainian missile battery.

Officials from Poland, NATO and the United States have blamed Russia for the deaths in any case, saying a Ukrainian missile would not have misfired had the country not been forced to defend itself against heavy Russian attacks that day.

Russian officials have cast the conflict as a struggle against NATO — though Ukraine is not a NATO member even if it has been receiving aid from NATO member states.

Austin said NATO is a defensive alliance and poses no threat to Russia.

“Make no mistake: we will not be dragged into Putin’s war of choice. But we will stand by Ukraine as it fights to defend itself. And we will defend every inch of NATO territory,” Austin said.

A Polish investigation to determine the source of the missile and the circumstances of the explosion was launched with support from the U.S. and Ukrainian investigators joined the probe on Friday.

Andriy Yermak, head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, said in an interview broadcast live at the forum that “It’s not right to say it’s a Ukrainian rocket, or a Russian rocket, before the investigation is over.”

In its 14th year, about 300 people gather each year at Halifax International Security Forum held at Halifax’s Westin hotel, where about 13 Ukrainian refugees now work.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Family says coyote attacked toddler outside LA home

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A coyote ambushed and injured a 2-year old girl outside her Los Angeles home in a daytime attack before her father chased the animal off, her family said. Home security video obtained by KTLA-TV shows the animal grab and drag the toddler across her lawn and sidewalk, just seconds after her […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Former Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe sits for a photo in the living room of his house in Tucson, Ar...
Associated Press

Longtime Arizona GOP Rep. Jim Kolbe dies at 80

PHOENIX (AP) — Jim Kolbe, a Republican congressman who represented a heavily Democratic region of Arizona for more than two decades and was a proponent of gay rights, has died. He was 80. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement that Kolbe died Saturday. Ducey ordered flags lowered until sunset Sunday. Kolbe served in […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Saturday’s Scores

PREP FOOTBALL= WIAA Playoff= Class 1B= Championship= Liberty Bell 50, Neah Bay 12 ___ Some high school football scores provided by Scorestream.com, https://scorestream.com/ Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Fan buying famed ‘Goonies’ house in Oregon, listed for $1.7M

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — The listing agent for the Victorian home featured in the “The Goonies” film in Astoria, Oregon, said this week the likely new owner is a fan of the classic coming-of-age movie about friendships and treasure hunting, and he promises to preserve and protect the landmark. The 1896 home with sweeping views […]
18 hours ago
New Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna is sworn in by the Honorable Samantha Jersey, Presiding ...
Associated Press

New LA sheriff vows accountability, integrity for department

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The new head of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department vowed Saturday to usher in an era of integrity and collaboration after his predecessor’s tenure was marked by clashes with other public officials and allegations that ganglike groups of deputies ran amok within the agency. Robert Luna took an oath of office […]
18 hours ago
In this photo provided by the Royal Collection Trust/© His Majesty King Charles III 2022 on Saturd...
Associated Press

St. Edward’s Crown moved out of tower ahead of coronation

LONDON (AP) — St. Edward’s Crown, the centerpiece of the Crown Jewels viewed by millions of people every year at the Tower of London, has been moved to an undisclosed location for modification in preparation for the coronation of King Charles III next year. The move was kept secret for security reasons until the operation […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
US defense chief: ‘Tyranny and turmoil’ in Russian invasion