The Warning Shot Across America’s Bow

“The U.S. now confronts graver threats to its security than it has … perhaps ever.”

Mark Alexander

“There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” —George Washington (1793)

Robert Gates served as the 22nd Secretary of Defense (2006-2011) and previously as Director of Central Intelligence, including the post-Ronald Reagan years during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

I have crossed paths with Secretary Gates many times over the years at War College briefings and other venues. I put far more credence on his assessment than anything we are currently hearing from Joe Biden and company.

You may recall his assessment of Biden’s abject ineptitude, asserting correctly that Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue” over the course of his career, and noting also Biden’s opposition to “every one of Ronald Reagan’s military programs to contest the Soviet Union.”

Indeed, as “leader” of the free world, Biden has repeatedly demonstrated his penchant for being wrong.

Remember when candidate Biden was promoting himself as the foreign policy expert with “the experience to lead“? According to the Biden campaign: “We live in the most dangerous moment in a generation. Our world, set on edge by an erratic, unstable president. This is a moment that requires strong, steady, stable leadership. We need someone tested and trusted around the world. This is a moment for Joe Biden — a president with the experience to lead.”

Biden declared that Barack Obama chose him as a running mate because of his foreign policy expertise.

On the campaign trail, he insisted: “Right now, we don’t really have a foreign policy. I’m not being facetious — we don’t have a foreign policy.” And as a consummate liar, he repeated this fabrication: “We are embracing thugs like [Vladimir] Putin and Kim Jong-un. This president’s talking about love letters with a butcher.” Biden insisted that we need a president “who can truly unite this nation at home and someone who can command the respect of world leaders on day one.” He concluded: “Day One you gotta be able to stand up and the world know you know what you’re talking about. Know you know what you’re saying. And know you mean what you say. We have to set aside our divisions and come together as Americans.”

And how did that turn out?

First, our global adversaries witnessed his disastrous surrender and retreat from Afghanistan, and as a consequence, the resurrection of the Taliban and their Islamic State and al-Qa’ida allies.

Then, empowered by Biden’s incompetence, came the bloody and totally predictable invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin, posing a much greater threat to the U.S. and NATO.

And now it’s the invasion of Israel by Iranian-backed terror surrogate Hamas, an invasion enabled by Biden’s appeasement.

Hamas rose again because, as was the case in Afghanistan and Ukraine, power does not tolerate a vacuum or a vacuous appeaser like Biden. He empowered Iran by releasing billions of dollars to this rogue regime in exchange for six hostages, and by ignoring Iran’s sale of 1.5 million barrels of oil daily to its ally, the Red Chinese, despite sanctions.

And now Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant face the additional strategic challenge posed by Iran’s other terror surrogate, its Lebanese Hezbollah cells, attacking from the north.

Meanwhile, Biden was busy this week distracting the short attention spans of his Demo Party constituents by promoting the 50th birthday of thug George Floyd in an effort to reinvigorate his “systemic racism” charade. Biden trotted out his “police reform” rhetoric, declaring, “I will continue to do everything in my power to fight for police accountability and urge Congress to pass meaningful police reform and send it to my desk.”

Then it was off to Israel for some regional “shuttle diplomacy,” but Hamas short-circuited that plan by launching the first of many propaganda campaigns, this one claiming the IDF targeted and bombed a Gaza hospital. Despite copious evidence to the contrary, the Leftmedia talkingheads and scribes dutifully repeated that propaganda because, after all, you can trust Islamic terrorists!

For the record, Israel and Iran both know that the IDF incident report can be corroborated by our intelligence overwatch assets in the region, but that did not stop Iran’s foreign minister from declaring: “Time is running out very fast. If the war crimes against the Palestinians are not immediately stopped, other multiple fronts will open and this is inevitable.”

As is the case with Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the mainstream media dupes are churning this conflict as if it were a checkers game, when in fact it is a three-dimensional chess game — and Iran is at expert level when it comes to Western media manipulation.

And that manipulation resulted in our principal Middle East ally, King Abdullah II of Jordan, canceling his scheduled meeting with Biden, who was hoping for a photo op to appear like he has some gravitas in the region. That meeting, along with his canceled meeting with “Palestinian Authority” leader Mahmoud Abbas, should never have been scheduled — and now is just more fodder for the Biden clown show.

Suffice it to say that Joe Biden makes Jimmy Carter look like a great statesman.

Back to reality, in a recent analytical post, “The Dysfunctional Superpower,” Dr. Gates asks, “Can a divided America deter China and Russia?”

According to Gates:

The United States now confronts graver threats to its security than it has in decades, perhaps ever. Never before has it faced four allied antagonists at the same time — Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran — whose collective nuclear arsenal could within a few years be nearly double the size of its own. Not since the Korean War has the United States had to contend with powerful military rivals in both Europe and Asia. And no one alive can remember a time when an adversary had as much economic, scientific, technological, and military power as China does today.

The problem, however, is that at the very moment that events demand a strong and coherent response from the United States, the country cannot provide one. Its fractured political leadership — Republican and Democratic, in the White House and in Congress — has failed to convince enough Americans that developments in China and Russia matter. Political leaders have failed to explain how the threats posed by these countries are interconnected. They have failed to articulate a long-term strategy to ensure that the United States, and democratic values more broadly, will prevail.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have much in common, but two shared convictions stand out. First, each is convinced that his personal destiny is to restore the glory days of his country’s imperial past. For Xi, this means reclaiming imperial China’s once dominant role in Asia while harboring even greater ambitions for global influence. For Putin, it means pursuing an awkward mixture of reviving the Russian Empire and recapturing the deference that was accorded the Soviet Union. Second, both leaders are convinced that the developed democracies — above all, the United States — are past their prime and have entered an irreversible decline. This decline, they believe, is evident in these democracies’ growing isolationism, political polarization, and domestic disarray.

Taken together, Xi’s and Putin’s convictions portend a dangerous period ahead for the United States. The problem is not merely China’s and Russia’s military strength and aggressiveness. It is also that both leaders have already made major miscalculations at home and abroad and seem likely to make even bigger ones in the future. Their decisions could well lead to catastrophic consequences for themselves — and for the United States. Washington must therefore change Xi’s and Putin’s calculus and reduce the chances of disaster, an effort that will require strategic vision and bold action. The United States prevailed in the Cold War thanks to a consistent strategy pursued by both political parties through nine successive presidencies. It needs a similar bipartisan approach today. Therein lies the rub.

Folks, on our near horizon is an existential threat to the U.S. and our allies resulting from Biden’s ineptitude and appeasement. He has enabled Iran’s rapidly approaching rollout of its nuclear “Islamic bomb,” and the first line against that threat has been, and remains, Israel.

Meanwhile, on our immediate horizon posing an imminent existential threat is China. Though it is beset with its own internal economic decline, Xi and his ChiComs know the best way to divert attention from domestic problems is to rally nationalism. Thus, the potential for China’s surge across the Taiwan straits is a greater risk now than ever.

Kinda makes you long for some mean tweets, doesn’t it!

Joe Biden himself has proven to be the red flag warning shot across America’s bow. In his own words: “Right now, we don’t really have a foreign policy. I’m not being facetious — we don’t have a foreign policy.”

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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