The author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America” told the audience at a roundtable event at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that the world was seeing his playbook unfold "right in front of our eyes.”
A former U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency officer, Koffler, 56, said, “Putin’s ultimate goal with Ukraine is to bring it back under Russia’s control as part of his strategy to reintegrate former Soviet states into a supernational type of alliance, not unlike the former Soviet Union."
“In the Russian military doctrine,” she continued, “Russia for centuries has relied on what they call a strategic buffer, a strategic security perimeter of which Ukraine is big part…and as long as conflict persists Ukraine cannot be part of NATO.”
The intel officer said that “Putin’s plan right now is to reestablish control of post-Soviet states minus the Baltics, because the Baltics are part of NATO. Putin fears NATO. There’s nothing worse [for him] than the superior fighting capability of the U.S. and NATO forces.”
For that reason, she does not believe he will attack any of the NATO states, Finland or Sweden.
Koffler said Putin believes that there’s a long-term bipartisan U.S. policy to prevent Russia from emerging as a dominant power in Eurasia.
The timing of the Ukraine hostilities, Koffler said, was because Russians assessed President Biden as more predictable than former President Trump. They feared Trump because of “his unpredictability and the disconnect between his words and actions. So, it is possible that Putin would’ve waited if Trump were in office, because he just couldn’t predict what Trump would do.”
Commenting on Putin’s “miscalculations” on a lot of things in this conflict, she concluded that “it’s embarrassing for him as a former intelligent operative” that he was outmaneuvered by the “savviness” of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.