Lawmakers: Ukraine tensions prompt Cold War fears
July 20th, 2014
02:30 PM ET
4 months ago

Lawmakers: Ukraine tensions prompt Cold War fears

(CNN) - Deadly violence, ongoing tensions and the deliberate downing of a passenger airplane. Though that turbulence is happening far away from American streets - in Eastern Ukraine - why should Americans worry?

One reason: renewed fears of a return to Cold War relations between the United States and Russia.

Two powerful members of Congress spoke on the matter during separate interviews on CNN's "State of the Union."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Does she believe that U.S. and Russian relations are now at Cold War levels?

"Yes," the California Democrat said bluntly.

Meanwhile, Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, was asked if U.S. security is under any threat because of the situation in Eastern Ukraine.

"Oh, I mean, sure it is," the Texas Republican said. "And I think this is a game changer, what happened, the downing of this commercial flight by separatists tied to Putin. I think Putin is responsible and complicit for what happened."

He continued: "Why is that important to Americans? Because I believe ... that we are, Mr. Putin is returning to a Cold War mentality. When I was over there, you could see its nationalistic pride, a sort of resurgence to regain the glory of the old days as the Soviet Empire."

However, McCaul explained a crucial difference.

"It's not the al Qaeda threat," he said. "But it's the threat of brute force. It's the threat that could involve submarine warfare. We know that Russia's more fully engaged in every aspect of that type of warfare. And that concerns me from a homeland security standpoint."


Filed under: Congress • Dianne Feinstein • Mike McCaul • Ukraine • Vladimir Putin
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Please please, one more war is needed, cold or otherwise. Keep that military/industrial complex running as fast as humanly possible. After all, we've got stockholders and bloated executive salaries to worry about. To hell with dead bodies, who cares except those left behind, they're not money.

    July 20, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. drake mallard

    Remember when Republicans were saying Obama needed to be more of a strong leader like Putin. When the were praises every aspect of this Russian leader... and calling Obama weak...Now that it is apparent Russian backed forces shot down a civilian airliner flying in Ukrainian airspace, we should remember all the right wingers who were so supportive of Putin’s move into Ukraine last year. For example, Palin, Buchanan, McCain, Graham, Limbaugh, Rubio and Rogers, among others, all talked about how much they admired Putin’s willingness to take bold steps in international relations.No.. really.. you can't make this stuff up.

    July 20, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    -so this Texas idiot, Michael McCaul, wants another war with Russia? Nonsense. Does this idiot of Texas even know the distance between Russia to USA? If they send submarines, do we keep quit? We blow up. He knows. It is EU that has to deal by cutting Russia's Oil. We need to encourage them to use less Oil. Russia will be in trouble financially. I was telling, Russia needs BREAD–not wars. People there know it.

    July 20, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his close friend Silvio Berlusconi, along with Bashar al-Assad and Raúl Castro will be discussing the Constitution right to carry a concealed weapon at this Summers NRA convention in the city of St. Petersburg, Florida .

    Freedom is never having to say your sorry ?

    July 20, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Thomas

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his close friend Silvio Berlusconi, along with Bashar al-Assad and Raúl Castro will be accepting lifetime achievement awards next week in St. Petersburg, Florida .

    Freedom is never having to say your sorry ?

    July 20, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Kevan Sangster

    Trust a Texas Republican to bring up homeland security – another pre-cursor to a call for military aggression by the US? Americans are no more likely to be harmed by the Ukraine conflict than that in Gaza, but I don't see any anti Isreali rhetoric coming from Mr Paul. Seriously, these opinions are viewed by the rest if the world as ridiculous and mildly dangerous.

    July 20, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. Bill from GA

    The big difference between the Cold War of previous decades and now is that in the 60's and 80's the American people and our Congress put country ahead of politics. Now any event is seen as an opportunity for righties and lefties, everyday citizens and politicians, to blast those with a different point of view.

    Rep. Michael McCaul's comments today had to include an attack on our President, and, as part of the solution, we HAD to change our laws on exporting crude oil. The article fails to mention, but of course, McCaul is from TEXAS.

    July 20, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Tommy G

    One reason: renewed fears of a return to Cold War relations between the United States and Russia.
    --

    Welcome to the infamous Obama and Hillary Clinton "Russian Reset" people!! Obama was slappin' this guys on the knee offering up more flexibility after his re-election. Well here you have it! What are you all complaining about?

    It has been funny listening to the lefties in here accusing the Republicans of taking the country back to the 1950's when that is EXACTLY what the incompetent fools Obama and Hillary Clinton did.

    July 20, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. just too honest

    So when is Europe going to stop sucking on Putin's big fat gas pipe and smell the coffee? When he starts invading Poland to 'protect ethnic Russians'? Maybe its time to tell all Russians that still think they are Russians but living in other countries to go BACK to Russia? Otherwise your country is now subject to attack or subversion by the little man with the big gas pipe.

    July 20, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. Hey Obama, the 80s is calling!!!

    They want their cold war back!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! Isn't that the joke the inexperienced community organizer buffoon cracked wise with during the debate when Romney said Russia was our biggest geopolitical foe? Well, when is somebody going to ask Obama if he should apologize to Romney and admit he was dead wrong? Who in the press is going to have the guts to ask Obama this?

    July 20, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. Chris..E.al

    Do not fear Russia will be coming to Irans aid even more so ? There is nothing we can do about it . Its like a fish on a hook . lol

    July 20, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Chris..E.al

    Sarah P. and Mitt R. said that to deaf Ears . So let er rip skippy .

    July 20, 2014 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. frznagn

    So, how did that "reset button" work out?
    Anyone with a brain could've seen that it was a waste of time.

    July 20, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. Iamnotfooled

    I think the Obama administration is doing exactly the right thing with sanctions, no one wants war.

    July 20, 2014 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  15. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP HOWDEE GOWDEE SHOW with special guest ISSA the CLOWN

    PUKIN should get a brain and back off , he already got Crimea and that's a bout it. Maybe that's all Russia is Dustin to have , just take care of your own country. That's where the glory is PUKIN!!!!!

    July 20, 2014 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. frznagn

    The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Please please, one more war is needed, cold or otherwise. Keep that military/industrial complex running as fast as humanly possible. After all, we've got stockholders and bloated executive salaries to worry about. To hell with dead bodies, who cares except those left behind, they're not money.
    --
    This is Obama's show, not Romney's. Try to keep up with the news, Obama has been in office for 5 1/2 years now. Or are you admitting that Obama is just as much of a war monger as any Republican? If so, are you going to ask Obama to return his "Peace" prize?

    July 20, 2014 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    Putin has moved towards the cold war era, and seems to be trying to revive the old Soviet Union.

    July 20, 2014 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. SMH

    "He continued: "Why is that important to Americans? Because I believe ... that we are, Mr. Putin is returning to a Cold War mentality. When I was over there, you could see its nationalistic pride, a sort of resurgence to regain the glory of the old days as the Soviet Empire."

    Is it any wonder why most Republicans live in daily fear of their own shadows? Their political leaders spend three quarters of their already nearly nonexistent time in their offices hiding with their tails caught between their legs. It never occurred to this man that while in Russia, Russians will never be heard chanting USA! USA! USA! even though their American counterparts could be heard all the way to Russia chanting PUTIN! PUTIN! PUTIN! a few months back?

    July 20, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  19. Andre

    You mean to tell me that during the entire TV show, the only thing Sen. Feinstein said was a blunt "Yes."? I don't believe it for a moment. Perhaps Rep. McCaul's comments were just more interesting. Come on CNN, bad reporting.

    July 20, 2014 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  20. rick

    It is very upsetting. There has always been some type of war going on for last 200+ years somewhere. Longer in many places. The huge difference now is it does not take but a few minutes to be know. Compared to days.. Weeks.. Or even months for news to show it now. All we can do.. Is pray.. And try and understand the reasons.. If any. That causes them.. When humanity can stop the constant fighting for mostly minor differences of opinions. Then we can say we have become civilized. The only difference today. Is the efficiency of killing one another. And the reasons have not changed hardly in slightest. When the reasons go. Then the wars will follow. It may be a wishfull thought. But could be as simple as that. Too simple for most to concider it seems..

    July 21, 2014 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  21. Thomas

    Being a sociopath means never having to say you're sorry.

    July 21, 2014 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    It's time. It's time to construct an "Iron Dome" in Europe, but at THEIR EXPENSE.

    July 21, 2014 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Bill from GA

    The big difference between the Cold War of previous decades and now is that in the 60's and 80's the American people and our Congress put country ahead of politics. Now any event is seen as an opportunity for righties and lefties, everyday citizens and politicians, to blast those with a different point of view.
    -----------------------------------------
    That is simply not true. You're not paying attention to who always the fire shot. The right wing.

    July 21, 2014 08:35 am at 8:35 am |