Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore: ‘If Ukraine Is Conquered by Military Force and Atrocity, Then the Rules Will All Change Worldwide

May 22, 2023

Live from Music Row, Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest host Gulbransen welcomed former governor of Virginia, Jim Gilmore to the newsmaker line to breakdown the ramifications on the world if Ukraine is conquered. 

Gulbransen: On our newsmaker line right now, we have a good friend of mine calling in, the former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore and also U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe under President Trump. How are you doing, Jim?

Gilmore: Good morning, Aaron. Thanks for the chance to talk to Nashville.

Gulbransen: I wish they could shorten that. The OSCE name, that’s a mouthful at 5:30 am in the morning. (Laughter)

Gilmore: It is. We just call it OSCE. Your listeners can look it up and take a look at the background and everything Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Gulbransen: Of course, you basically spent two years there essentially predicting that the war in Ukraine would happen. I’m paraphrasing that, but that’s basically what I saw based on watching what you did over there. Can you give us an update on what’s going on in Ukraine right now?

Gilmore: The ambassadorship was a very good opportunity for diplomacy. It’s an international organization with 57 countries in it, and in fact, it includes everybody in Europe and goes out into Central Asia. It includes Russia and Ukraine, and also, of course, crosses the Atlantic to Canada, and the United States. So it’s a very large international organization devoted to security arrangements in Europe.

But that’s been breaking down for a really quite a long time. When I was there though, the effort was being made to secure the peace and to prevent the Russians from trying to do what I think have changed their mind and are now trying to do, which is to reassemble the Russian Empire.

And you could see it going on. I tried to open some discussions with the Russians late in my tenure. Of course, when Biden was elected, he withdrew all the Republicans worldwide, and I was one of those. That’s okay, I understand that. But OSCE, I think is an opportunity for diplomacy that at this point is not as effective as it could be.

The key point is that the Russians are trying to reassemble the old empire. Vladimir Putin is being very aggressive. He’s building up his armed forces, and of course, he invaded Ukraine. He actually literally invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine. And he’s made it clear from his writings that he doesn’t think that Ukraine should exist as a nation.

And the rules that we have internationally are, we’re not going to invade each other and try to destroy each other through war crimes, atrocities, mass rape, murder, and destruction. And we’re seeing that right now. So this has been a building for quite a long time. It’s actually a quite dangerous situation, Aaron.

Gulbransen: You are @Gov_Gilmore on Twitter. What was different under the Trump administration versus the Biden administration? What led up to this in the transition? Because obviously, you have a lot of people ready for the president right now, including the former president that have their opinion on this. So what’s the truth there?

Gilmore: I think that there were some things that President Biden did when he came in that actually invited the war. But since that time and since the early mistakes like the Afghanistan catastrophic withdrawal, the halting efforts at negotiations if you will, with the Russians, which didn’t do anything except empower them and invite them to believe that the West would not respond if he committed an invasion.

Nonetheless, President Biden has done a complete 180 reversal and is now ascending materials finances and military materials to Ukraine in order to try to have it survive. And in addition to that, the Western allies also are doing the same.

The Germans, the French, the Americans, and the British people all throughout Europe are trying to help Ukraine resist this invasion and this war of conquest that the Russians are engaged in. But I think that the big picture is this you have to recognize that if Ukraine is conquered by military force and atrocity, then the rules will all change worldwide.

And at that point, the other countries of Eastern Europe are going to be threatened. The Baltic states are certainly going to be threatened by their NATO allies. Poland understands this completely, which is why they’re so engaged in this conflict. And I think that the danger there is that all of Europe will be influenced negatively.

A big strategic point is that the United States has a stake in the friendship and liberty of Europe, and if they have to be looking over their shoulder for the rest of our days. It’s going to influence the politics and the relations with the United States. And the United States cannot allow a hostile power to dominate the politics and the thinking of Eastern or Western Europe.

And that was what my experience was when I was in Vienna as the United States Ambassador. Also, there’s a danger that it will trigger a war in the Western Pacific with China and Taiwan. Then at that point, you’re in a worldwide problem, which I think it would be good to try to avoid a victory at this point by the Ukrainians to preserve their own independence as a way of averting a much larger war up the road.

Gulbransen: There are a lot of others, but you see the Ukraine and Taiwan situation as being maybe not linked, but there are parallels there, right?

Gilmore: I think they are linked. At this point, China has indicated a desire to take over Taiwan. And that would be their main biggest step towards the domination of the Western Pacific. We are the ones who have allies in the Western Pacific, not China.

Not only are we very warm of course with Taiwan and committed to the independence and freedom of those people, of which there are millions of people, there are 40 million people in Taiwan.

But the Japanese are key allies there. If it looks like American leadership is going to falter, there’s a danger of the loss of our allies, and I think that the Chinese and the Russians do not believe they can carry out their long-term ambitions without neutralizing these allies. Right now, the United States is in the right position.

We are extending freedom and we’re doing the right thing. And I think that we should stand by our allies and prevent this war from emerging. The people in Tennessee, we don’t want a war. What we want to do is to stop a much larger war that may be coming up the road.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Jim Gilmore Speaking on the Ukraine War at the Madison Hotel in Harrisonburg, Virginia” by Jim Gilmore.