February 19, 2022

Krach on Possible Russian Invasion of Ukraine Following Biden’s Remarks

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In a February 18, 2022 interview with Bloomberg TV’s Emily Chang, Keith Krach, former Under Secretary of State, comments on growing tensions over an impending Russian invasion of Ukraine

Emily Chang: The White House certainly has its hands full with Russia and Ukraine. I’m joined now on the phone by Keith Krach, former U.S. undersecretary of state, also the former chair and CEO of DocuSign Keith. What’s your reaction to the developments of the last 30 minutes

Keith Krach: Well, I think, Emily, Putin’s not one of these dictators that bluff so I think this is a very serious situation. And you know, the other big concern obviously is if he goes to the Ukraine, where does that stop? And then you’ve got the ramifications for China and Taiwan. You know, Emily, when I was Under Secretary of State, I went over to Taiwan. I was the highest-ranking State Department official to go there in 40 years. I was greeted with fighters and bombers. And you know we’ve got to protect these linchpins of democracy.

Emily Chang: How would you compare President Putin to President Xi? And why is that comparison significant?

Keith Krach: Well, they’re both totalitarian and they both use this technological authoritarianism. I think Xi, to be honest with you, is much more dangerous in the long run. He’s got much more resources. And clearly, you know what I experienced and what I saw building the Clean Network Alliance of Democracies with 60 countries, 200 telcos to defeat their master plan for 5G, he also has no regard for human life.

Emily Chang: What’s your experience, Keith, with what’s happening behind closed doors now? What’s happening in those diplomatic channels, however small they are? The president did say, even though he believes that Putin has made a decision to invade, diplomacy is still on the table.

Keith Krach: Well, I can tell you, particularly with my experience with China, they have a different honor system, and I’ve never seen China keep one agreement that doesn’t suit their purposes. And if you don’t believe me, ask the people of Hong Kong. So, you know, there’s probably a lot of head fakes going on. I think we’ve already experienced that. And it all boils down to one word. And that’s trust. And you can’t trust Putin. You can’t trust Xi

Emily Chang: You are one of the rare officials who worked under President Trump, who is continuing to work with the Biden administration. What progress have you made? I know you’re focused on the chip and supply chain crisis. What progress are you seeing on that front?

Keith Krach: Well, you know, my big responsibility was to develop and operationalize a global economic security strategy to combat economic aggression and maximize national security. And I give the credit to the Biden administration. They picked up on all those initiatives in terms of the Clean Network Alliance of Democracies. We really created a model that incorporates the trust principle and that’s using those democratic values — things like respect for rule of law, respect for property of all kinds, respect for human rights, respect for the environment. They’ve been using that against us. And in one jujitsu move, we actually used it against them. It created the model. So they’re doing that. They’re also, in regards to the semiconductor supply chain, we did the onshoring of TSMC, the largest onshoring in history at the time, $12 billion. And that’s now resulted in about $300 billion of investment in the US. The other the other big one is the USICA or the Competes Act. That was two bills that we helped design for research funding and onshoring and the Biden administration is a big supporter of it. So to their credit, they’re picking up on all those initiatives.

Emily Chang: All right. Keith Krach, former U.S. Under Secretary of State, thank you for bringing us your perspective on all of these latest developments. Appreciate it.

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