The Ukraine, Russia, And The USA – With General Jerry Boykin: What should America be doing where Ukraine is concerned? Has Putin committed international war crimes list? Will Putin touch any NATO countries? What does Putin fear most? Is there anyone behind the scenes that could influence Biden in the right direction? Tune in to hear General Jerry Boykin discuss the important answers to these questions and much more!
Air Date: 03/15/2022
Guest: General Jerry Boykin
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith and the Culture
This is the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, we’re taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. Thank you for joining us today. You can find out more about us at our website, wallbuilderslive.com. That’s where you can get archives of the program. You can make your one-time or monthly contribution and you can learn more about us.
My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And I’m here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders, and Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders.
We thank you for joining us, as I said, hot topics of the day, we look at them from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective, no matter what the topic may be. And today, we are still talking about Ukraine, because that is the hot topic everybody is talking about. We want to get some perspective from some folks that know a whole lot more about this than I do.
And one of the absolute best experts on the planet is General Jerry Boykin. He has been there in the battles. He has been there leading the battles. He’s been there, both in Special Forces as the General over those special forces and just a phenomenal, phenomenal record and someone that brings biblical wisdom to the equation as well. Always good to have General Jerry Boykin with us. General, thank you for some time today.
Welcome General Jerry Boykin
Hey, Rick, thank you. It’s just a real pleasure being with you.
Well, you know, David, and Tim, and I, all three, look up to you so much when it comes to military issues. Man, you’ve been there, seen that, done that just about everything there is to do. And so with this whole Russia-Ukraine situation, we just wanted to get some wisdom from you, and what you see in the situation, what you think America should be doing and could be doing, and just kind of your assessment. So thanks for coming on and sharing with us. What are you seeing right now? And are you surprised that Ukrainians have been able to hold out as long as they have?
You know, I would describe this as a war of gross miscalculations. And those miscalculations were on the part of Vladimir Putin. I think every assumption that he went into this with has been invalidated. And if you look at the situation, realistically, you have to conclude that even if he takes Ukraine, it’s going to be a hollow victory for him, because he has alienated himself from the Russian people as well as from some of the oligarchs which keep him in power. He has unified Europe.
He’s unified NATO. And there’s this Grand Army that he was going to showcase and put on display has been a miserable failure in every operating system, from intelligence, to communications, to command and control, to logistics, and to leadership, has been a major failure. And now, I would say, he is destroying the cities now because he is left with that is really the only practical option at this point for him, and that is going to ensure that he is only international war crimes list.
The US Response
Wow! How about our response as United States? You know, the economic sanctions, obviously taking a toll, the help were given on the ground, there’s private groups also helping, how would you assess our response as a nation and what we could be doing differently?
Yeah. Listen, I’ve been proud of the nation as a whole. I wish I could say that for the leadership of the nation. I think the President and his administration have been slow in stepping up and providing the leadership that was essential. And I think that when they have done the right things, in many cases, they’ve kind of been pushed into it generally by the Congress.
Because there’s been a number of things I should know too initially, and then Congress just pushed them until they eventually agreed, like the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, for example, and then embargoing their oil and so forth, those things who were late to the party.
But I think the American people have really rallied around the Ukrainians. And you got a few knuckleheads out there that think that we shouldn’t have anything at all to do with them. And I don’t think we should have any boots on the ground, nor should we be flying a no-fly-zone right now. But I do think that we as a nation have an obligation.
Because where does this stop? If we don’t stop it, now if we don’t get involved with our allies, and stopping Russian expansion, where does it go next?
So I think America is playing a key role in this and in some cases with a reluctant administration. The Secretary General of NATO making real clear that if Putin expands his thing and gets into an Article V situation that NATO gets involved, you think there’s any chance Putin actually steps outside Ukraine and touches any other country? Do you think he’ll hold himself and take that one into heart?
I believe at this point, that he will stop and Ukraine. Now, I don’t know that he went into this thinking that. I don’t know that he went into this with the intention of letting that be his only target. But I think his military has stalled. It’s been since been so miserably embarrassed by his performance. I think that because of that, I don’t think he wants any of NATO right now. I don’t think he wants to take on NATO right now with the combined power that those 30 nations represented, which Article V would trigger, which means it’s all of them. It’s all 30 nations. And they have to contribute something. So I think that he’ll stop.
The question is had he gone through in a blitzkrieg either way, had it gone through the Ukraine and taking control of it, would he have stopped there? And I’m not sure that he would.
So you mentioned earlier that he is in trouble to oligarchs.com, I’ve seen some protests in Russia, but that doesn’t necessarily tell me the widespread or that they’re deep. But I’m curious as to whether there’s something going on back home that’s bigger than what we see in the news that might cause him to be kind of tenuous in his position.
Is there anything that removes him? Is there anything going back there that would actually cause a change with this administration? Or is that just kind of show stuff going back home?
What Putin Fears the Most
Well, first of all, right before I got on with you, I was reading some stuff, and one of which was an article about what Putin fears most, and that is losing power. And it is, in fact, the oligarchs are probably the key thing that keeps him in power. And keep in mind that these are very wealthy men. Some of them are $20 billion in personal wealth. So, they keep him in power.
I think he scared to death of losing his position and thereby his legacy as well. But I think that what you’re seeing, and I said this, a number of times leading up to this, the Russians left Afghanistan in 1989 because of the casualties; they were sending home young Russian boys in body bags that nobody could explain why they had been killed, nobody could explain what the objectives in Afghanistan were. And ultimately, the people raised so much keen about it, that they pulled out.
Now, you get same thing here. You got conscripts in the military here. And the Russian people, the moms and dads, whose sons are being sent home in body bags are asking the question of why and they’re rising up. They’re being suppressed very quickly. Some of them have even been arrested.
And those protests are being put down. But I think there are other things going on as well as, which was really your question. And I think the oligarchs are now really starting to question is Putin up to the job that did he miscalculate everything, and convince us that this was a good thing, when in fact, everything has turned against us?
General, you have a good handle on how the United States federal apparatus works. And I’m just wondering if, when you have a strong president, and a strong leader like Trump was, it’s pretty clear what the policy is and what you’re going to do, and he can make things happen. When you have such a weak president like this in the situation where it looks like people behind the scenes are definitely pulling the strings, and making the policy, we have what appears to be a Secretary of State that’s pretty adept and other leaders.
Are there people in your opinion behind the scenes are involved in the administration that are holding this together and somehow shepherding the United States policy and position through this? I guess I’m looking for maybe some hope that there’s some others either at the Pentagon or wherever that are helping to get us through this despite the ineptitude of the President and his team itself? Any insight you could give us on that?
Well, this is part fact and park conjecture on my part. But I do believe that when it comes to NATO, we’ve got to able leadership running NATO. Remember, the Americans have always been in charge of NATO in terms of the top seat. So in this is in NATO’s area. And you’ve also got the European Command, which I think is also in abled hands. And which is separate from NATO. But the European Command is the US military portion that supports NATO.
So I think that on the military front, we’ve got good men, we’ve got people that are advising the President and the administration wisely. The question is, whether he will listen to them, or will it be just like it was in Afghanistan when he had experienced general officers giving him advice about Bagram and the material that was left at Bagram and that type of thing. And he did not listen to them and you see the disaster that occurred there. I hope that is not the case here.
General, do you think Ukraine can stand up to all this? I mean, in some ways, they’re isolated. They don’t have everything they need. They’re doing what they can and bless them for they’re acting like patriots, does eventually over time, can they save supplied, or will Putin eventually whip them over time with, as you just mentioned, much higher casualty anticipated? Does this end well for Ukraine? Can they win this? Or they can they hold out, make it Afghanistan, or will they fall?
Ukraine is Already a Winner
Well, Ukraine is already the winner, to include their president. I mean, you think about it, regardless of what happens from this point on. The world has watched an example of a free state that has been willing to pay the price. And it kind of reminds me of the things that I’ve learned from you too guys, about our founding fathers in the creation of this nation and the sacrifice our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor, and I think that the Ukrainians are going to be champions. But can they hold out and be a free people? It is doubtful. It’s very doubtful.
Now, they’ve inflicted incredible damage on the Russians, not only on their military apparatus, but on their reputation. So, in my view, the oligarchs reach a point where they pressure Putin to cut a deal and to get out before they are any more humiliated. Because you look at what he’s got there, David, what he was going to do is occupy this whole country, and ultimately, over time, he would bring the Ukrainian people sort of into the fold, they’d be happy that they were back being part of Russia. Well, that’s not going to happen. And that’s very obvious that that’s not going to happen.
And now I think that the people that keep him in power are asking questions now as to whether they ought to pursue this. And why not taking over basically, what is a rumbled country with millions of refugees? Is that what they want? Are they going to have the money to be able to put that back together? I don’t think so. So I think Putin is in trouble.
In the first stage is the invasion, we’ve heard reports that that the Russian soldiers themselves have been told that the Ukrainians are going to be cheering when they come in, this is what the Ukrainians want, this is… Was that kind of this propaganda stuff for the Russian soldiers? Or did they actually have intelligence that bad that they actually thought Ukraine would be happy to join back into Russia? Was that miscalculation? Or was that just propaganda?
Yes, propaganda. And, look, the Russians, they have propaganda targeting different audiences. They have propaganda targeted at the Russian people back in Mother Russia at their own people out on the frontlines, at the Europeans, at the Americans and at the rest of the world. And they’re masters in it. They’re very good at it. And so what you just described and thinking that they were going to be welcomed with open arms, I think is absolutely true. I think that is exactly what they put out to him.
But keep in mind, when they first marshaled on the borders there and then Belarus, those young conscripts did not know where they were going. That’s Fact. They did not know where they were going, thought there was another big exercise, and then all of a sudden, their buddies getting killed in the tank ahead of them and then reality sets in.
And you’ve had a lot of defections. I mean, that’s one of the embarrassing things. They’ve had defections. We’ve had people surrendering without a fight. And David, and Rick, have you guys seen the video of the Russian soldier who was taken captive by the Ukrainians and they fed him and gave him tea and he began to weep, because this was not at all what he expected? And he just standing there weeping because they’re feeding him. I mean, this tells a story, a powerful story in terms of the difference in culture between those two nations. They are not one nation or one people.
You know, General, we’ve used the term nuclear option loosely over the last 10 years with regard to political moves and that sort of thing. Here, we’re talking about a real nuclear option. Is there any intel, or obviously, we’re everybody’s concerned about Putin’s ability to use that if he wanted and whether he’s got mental issues that would cause him to do it? What would you say to that issue?
Well, their doctrine is that the use of a tactical nuclear weapon is permissible. That’s their doctrine. And that doesn’t mean the rest of the world agrees with it, nor would except that.
I think that if they get bogged down in the cities, the best thing they can do is isolate your city. But if you go in there, and you try to take over the cities, you’re going to get bogged down, and then you’re going to have to get out and extricate yourself and your troops. One of the temptations might be a tactical nuclear weapon.
If that happens, it’s the same with chemical biological weapons, that’s a red line. That’s when NATO’s got to get involved. We cannot accept that. That is a Rubicon that he cannot cross. And that’s when, I think, will trigger a reaction by Europe and the NATO nations.
General Jerry Boykin, thank you so much for your time. I know a lot of people are calling on you right now and our WallBuilders audience, certainly appreciate you coming on with us.
Well, it’s a privilege to be with you guys. You’re your champions, and some of my favorite people. So God bless you.
Thank you, sir. Sure. Appreciate it. Appreciate the insight, really good stuff. Jerry, thank you.
Glad to be with you anytime.
Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back a WallBuilders Live.
A Moment from AMERICAN HISTORY
Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.
And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.
I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History.
In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman; friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. And special thanks to General Jerry Boykin for joining us. Back Tim Barton now, and Tim, of course, I mean, I’ve seen general booking on a lot of shows talking about this one. I know a lot of people are after him.
It’s an honor to have him on our program. And what a wealth of experience he brings to the table on this having been the guy on the battlefield and also the General in charge of the battlefield at other times, but also now so involved with public policy and looking at a national, how do we handle this as a nation. I just was thrilled to get a chance to ask him some of those questions and get his input.
Yeah, I’ve heard him on a few other places as well, which is one of the reasons we said we got to get General Boykin on and we need to share some of this insight with our audience. You know, he said a few things, even in this interview that are not conventional thoughts and wisdom. Part of the notion we hear with Ukraine and Russia, the Ukrainian people are just doing so well, and he just flat out says, Putin really messed up on this one. He really miscalculated, and if there’s one assessment how poorly he’s done.
And I think it’s interesting from an American perspective, since we’ve been engaged in a war, so to speak with some of these Islamic terrorist extremists for the last 20 years, we’ve been able to learn a lot of lessons over the last 20 years. And certainly, if you look back those first couple of years, with the war over in Afghanistan and Iraq, and this war on terror, there definitely were some learning curves for Americans at times, but just for him to have kind of the sight, the wisdom, the ability to see and go, Putin is really not doing a good job here, it’s just a little bit of a different take. But I think there’s a lot of kind of interesting insight that he provides additionally just perspective of what’s going on, in the midst of this war.
And even the idea of what do we do next and where is this going to go next? And what is hopefully happening behind the scenes? You notice he didn’t give any silver bullets there in terms of oh, yeah, there’s a couple of people I know on the team that are definitely going to make this thing fly, right? There’s definitely concern that we have an inept administration in place. And I was really intrigued by the fact that he actually mentioned NATO having some pretty good captains at the helm versus our own administration. Now, that was very intriguing to me.
30 Committed Nations
It was very interesting. And he was very quick to point out that America, and America’s military officers are the leaders of NATO. However, he was very clear that it’s NATO he put some competence in, which certainly seems to indicate that it’s not the administration, or unfortunately, even some of the American military generals right now. So I also noticed when he said that and thought, oh, that’s interesting.
And as my dad has mentioned, we’ve had the opportunity to be over in Poland and Ukraine, and we actually met with some of the NATO officers, and there definitely are some competent officers that we were able to meet with. And we’ve been able, over the last several years, to be a part of some congressional delegations over these nations. And so we’ve been able to see and experience things that certainly a lot of Americans have not had an opportunity to see and experience, including some of just NATO operations in the bases over there.
I think is really interesting as he pointed out that he has some competence in NATO, also, where he said initially that it would not have surprised him early on if Putin was thinking, man, let’s take Ukraine, and then the week after that, let’s go somewhere else. And that certainly would have had; had Ukraine been a quick victory for Putin, as General Boykin said, if he’d moved on quickly after that, it would have been to a NATO nation.
And if you get to a NATO nation, if you do any kind of warfare, any kind of bombing, any kind of killing of people in a NATO nation, and that’s an Article V, flip with a switch, that there’s 30 nations in NATO, and now all of a sudden, those 30 nations are committed to protect and defend each other on whatever level these nations can contribute.
A Possible Blessing
It’s interesting that this stall and delay from Russia and Ukraine actually could be some level of blessing that maybe they can slow down this notion of world war three. And again, with him expressing competence in NATO, there’s a lot that we don’t know about that’s happening on the ground. We do have friends over on the ground, and we had the opportunity to talk to some of them periodically.
Just it’s very interesting to see what’s going to unfold and how some of what’s happening is actually maybe voting a little better for the world, not actually for Ukraine long term. Although, as he pointed out, they’re already the winners: and the fact that, that they’ve been able to hold our pressure this long, the fact that they look like the heroes, if Putin does in appointing it’s going to be a hollow victory on some level.
So really, I think what he said just so much great insight to give us perspective on where things are, and even why maybe we can have some peace at night, that maybe there is a stall and delay, where if things would have escalated more quickly, it certainly could have turned into a World War III moment.
The Ukraine, Russia, And The USA – With General Jerry Boykin
Yeah, and I mean, I’m definitely no international expert at all. This is outside my wheelhouse. But it seems like from who I’ve listened to including Boykin today, there’s always a chess game right it with all of these international issues. And the balance at this point is for NATO and America not to be so involved that it creates World War III with Russia but also to be involved enough to prevent Russia from going beyond Ukraine to a NATO nation which then does kick off potentially World War III. So it is a delicate, delicate situation.
And it’s one of the reasons you know that everybody’s so uptight right now about who’s at the helm of the United States, who’s handling our negotiations, all the different things that are a mess. And it was encouraging to know that that that General Boykin thought that some of the American leaders at NATO could provide some of that, I’m trying to take the right word, I guess, steady hand on the wheels. That’s kind of been my perception of it. As we close out today, does that sound about right to you? I mean, is that kind of where you think we are in the chess match?
Yeah, I totally agree. And certainly, from that interview today, that’s the perspective we came away with. And I would say, this is really one of the reasons why as Christians, we need to be praying fervently in this situation. Certainly, over in Ukraine, there’s a lot of Christians in Ukraine. And so we need to be praying for our Christian brothers and sisters in Ukraine that God helps and protects them. And really, I mean, our Christian brothers and sisters around the world, we’re praying for them.
This is a great example of the reality that elections have consequences. And when you look at President Trump, even though people can say he’s bombastic and they didn’t like his tweets, there was stability on a greater level in the world than we’re seeing right now. And so certainly, in the midst of elections, having consequences, part of those consequences can be in the instability of issues like this we see around the world when we have weak leadership in America.
Yeah, no doubt about it, and certainly, we’ll keep our eyes on this. We’ll have some more special programming on this as it unfolds. We sure appreciate you being with us today. Don’t forget to visit our website today at wallbuilderslive.com. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.