Retired Adm. Mike Mullen said Sunday that the US should work quickly to bring Ukraine and Russia to the negotiating table to help bring an end to the war in Ukraine.
Mullen, who served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff for George W. Bush and Barack Obama, told ABC that President Biden should “back off” his talk of nuclear armageddon and work to end the war.
“President Biden’s language — we’re about at the top of the language scale, if you will. And I think we need to back off that a little bit and do everything we possibly can to try to get to the table to resolve this thing,” Mullen said.
He said that it was up to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other diplomats to figure out how to bring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin to the table for negotiations.
“As is typical in any war, it’s gotta end and usually there are negotiations associated with that. The sooner the better, as far as I’m concerned,” Mullen added.
When discussing the risk of nuclear war, Mullen said that he has to take Putin seriously since he could use lower-yield tactical nuclear weapons and described the Russian president as a “cornered animal.”
Despite the risks, the Biden administration has not shown interest in pursuing diplomacy with Russia. Blinken has only had one known conversation with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, since Russia invaded on February 24, and the call was focused on a potential prisoner swap, not the war.