The state of world crises can be summarized in a single sentence: While Russia and China rapidly and substantively build their military might to unprecedented levels of strength and skill, the United States and its allies continue to slash their funding on defense.
The net effect is obvious and worrisome. Both China and Russia, and their surrogates Iran and North Korea, have taken note of this new world order, and are acting without the balance of power restraint that has prevented a world war since 1945.
The Obama Administration has engaged in a suicidal game of “let’s pretend.” Consistently, in the face of all reality and evidence, it continues to discount the clearly rising possibility of major conflict. It virtually ignored China’s assault on the Philippines in 2012, in which Beijing’s naval vessels claimed portions of Manila’s exclusive economic zone. It completely failed to respond to Moscow’s assault on the Ukraine with the two most important effective tools at its disposal: a cessation of the budget cuts to the U.S. military, and the development of federal land energy assets that would have diminished Russia’s main source of income, gas and oil sales.
The President talks tough. He announced a pivot to Asia, but doesn’t have the naval assets to make that strategy anything more than just talk. He announces his support for NATO, but withdrew all American tanks from the European continent.
The White House has announced its plans to reduce the already antiquated American nuclear arsenal, and continues to oppose the full implementation of an American anti-ballistic missile system. However, it refuses to make an issue of Moscow’s own developed ABM system. It accepts, without protest, the Kremlin’s ten to one advantage in tactical nuclear arms.
When the USSR began placing theater nuclear missiles in Europe during the latter half of the 20th century, President Reagan countered with the U.S. Pershing missile. Moscow saw it would gain no advantage, and an agreement by both sides was reached stopping deployment of such weapons. The Obama Administration didn’t follow this example, and now Russia’s ISKANDER missiles, unopposed, threaten Europe. While Putin has committed over $700 billion to new armaments over its already large budget and China spends vastly more each year, the White House continues to seek defense budget cuts.
It’s not a question of hawks or doves, or even of domestic budget priorities. It’s reality vs. let’s pretend.