Pershing Square Capital Management CEO Bill Ackman is urging the Biden administration to be prepared to take action beyond economic sanctions if the conflict between Russia and Ukraine does not resolve itself, including potential military intervention.
"We are fighting an economic war but only selectively shutting down their banking system. We are not using every economic means at our disposal. And I hope Russia stops this onslaught, but I don’t see how Putin saves face," Ackman wrote in a lengthy Twitter thread on Monday. "We need to be prepared for what comes next which means we need to start thinking about intervening military."
"Had we set up a show of force at the beginning of the war that we were prepared to execute on, we might have deterred Putin. We let Crimea, Georgia, and more happen, which got us here," he continued. "Isn’t it time we set a real red line?"
He warned that the United States cannot "sit back and allow hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians and perhaps millions to die."
"I don’t want to live in that world and you don’t either. @POTUS, it is in your hands," his thread concluded. "You can fix the errors of the past and protect our future. With all due respect Mr. President, the time is now."
Ackman clarified in a later tweet that he is not advocating military intervention. However, he emphasized that action needs to be taken in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin threatening to use the nuclear option.
"We need to set a red line on the use of nuclear weapons to deter their use," he said. "If the unthinkable happens, I see no alternative to our entering the war."
Ackman's comments come as Russian and Ukrainian officials met for talks Monday amid high hopes but low expectations for any diplomatic breakthrough, after Moscow ran into unexpectedly stiff resistance when it unleashed the biggest land war in Europe since World War II.
Outgunned Ukrainian forces managed to slow the Russian advance and Western sanctions began to squeeze the Russian economy, but the Kremlin again raised the specter of nuclear war, reporting that its land, air and sea nuclear forces were on high alert following Putin’s weekend order.
The Associated Press contributed to this report