The United States flexed its superpower authority Sept. 1. A US-drone attack targeted two vehicles in Somalia allegedly containing Al-Shabab leaders. This is not a vital US interest.
Elsewhere, it seems the bear and dragon want a piece of the giant. Between Russia’s inch-by-inch invasion of Ukraine and a Chinese jet fighter flying about 30-feet from a US-spy plane over international water, former super powers clearly think little of the US military force.
Russia invaded Ukraine by at least Aug. 31 when 10 Russian paratroopers were captured or found by Ukrainians lost in the woods. Some 1,000 fully armed troops followed. This followed weeks of claims that Vlad Putin armed rebels and sent his troops to fight side-by-side against Ukraine troops. This is not a vital US interest.
If Europe responds militarily, as some are now suggesting, America will be included do to NATO responsibilities. Then this becomes a US vital interest.
“We need to respond in the strongest possible way,” said the EU’s newly named incoming foreign policy chief, Italian foreign minister, Federica Mogherini. “Things on the ground are getting more and more dramatic. We speak of an aggression, and I think sanctions are part of a political strategy.”
REMEMBER THE MUNICH AGREEMENT
Even then, American troops should only be a part of any military action. US expenses, soldiers and weaponry should only equal the average of those put forward by other NATO members. Let Europeans handle the European problem. They should remember the appeasement policies of the 1930’s and consider when Moscow is infringing on their territory.
Military officials held talks on rules of behavior at the Pentagon in late August after the United States denounced a Chinese fighter pilot flew acrobatic maneuvers around the US Navy’s P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine and reconnaissance plane Aug. 24. The P-8 is a vital US interest.
China claims sovereignty over the stretch of mineral-rich South China Sea and to the east of mainland Southeast Asia set it directly against US allies. That is a vital US interest.
SHARE POWER OR FIGHT
President Obama needs to either disengage in international military conflicts or ask Congress to declare and fund war. If the country goes to war, the United States should draft citizens. Men and women should be drafted. Obama’s pick-and choose strategy costs the United States too much in prestige and the treasury. Between China thumping its chest in the East, Russia gobbling up land inch-by-inch in the West and militant groups creating chaos in other parts of the world, America needs to clarify its position.
The president would do well to consider warnings from two of his predecessors, George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower, in righting America’s path. Washington encouraged the United States to follow the path of neutrality in his farewell address. That worked for Washington in the 1790’s.
Several philosophical revolutions and two world wars later, Ike faced a different world as he left office. Eisenhower recognized the merging academic, business and military industry taking over the US budget. It was the classic case of the golden rule: He who has the gold rules.
Eisenhower knew war. He knew the danger of a nation being unprepared for war. He knew the power of a strong deterrent. Eisenhower also knew controls were necessary were necessary.
“Our arms must be mighty, ready at a moment’s notice, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destrction.” Eisenhower warned. “… We must warrant against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”
Congress doesn’t, just consider the annual appropriation request from the White House. Congress adds billions of dollars in pork on unnecessary military items, and then approves Congresses appropriation, thus keeping the military industrial beast alive at the cost of future generations.