As brave Ukrainians use heavy weaponry provided by the West to push Putin’s forces into retreat, a unique global opportunity for the free world has arisen. America and its allies once again have the historic opportunity to lead the free world and defeat another hegemonic regime.
But do our leaders see this opening and possess the ability to seize it and win?
It reminds me of President Ronald Reagan’s powerful statement, “Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.” This is the clear, principled strategy and vision we need in this age of renewed global conflict. Don’t just tie up Russian forces so they can continue to bomb innocent Ukrainians as part of a strategy to partition an already devastated country. Instead, pour weapons into Ukraine, deploy all possible sanctions, codify global alliances, and head for a Russian defeat. And yes, call for regime change. Putin’s barbaric actions against innocent civilians and other atrocities amounting to war crimes render the despot persona non grata on the world stage. A victory for Ukraine would deal a devastating blow to Putin and could be used as a catapult to weaken an aggressive China and a belligerent Iran.
But a radical shift in world politics is needed.
China chose poorly since Xi Jinping was advised by Putin before the invasion of Ukraine, and clearly gave his approval. Russia’s failed takeover of Ukraine has reignited global attention on China’s voracious desire to take over Taiwan. There is a sense of satisfaction in watching one autocrat overthrown by the incompetent actions of another. Xi will likely be forced to delay his own nefarious plans for Taiwan as a waking world watches China’s future actions. Now is the time to rally Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, as well as the countries of Southeast Asia to establish closer military, trade and economic partnerships with the States United and Europe.
We can guarantee that China is economically damaged if its expansionary policies persist, as 19% of global imports in 2020 by value transit through China, although this number has been declining over the past decade. We can ensure that its fall continues. Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, offer viable supply chain and export options and seek closer relationships with the ‘West. These countries are increasing their manufacturing and production capacities, and Japan, South Korea, Australia and Taiwan represent additional mature markets for enhanced business partnerships. Militarily, we should dramatically increase aid to Taiwan and provide a powerful deterrent to Chinese aggression. We can further strengthen military ties with our other Asian friends to deter China from further thoughts of aggressive behavior in the Pacific arena.
The Middle East presents yet another major challenge, and an opportunity. While Russia threatens Eastern Europe and China arms Asia, Iran continues to terrorize the Middle East. Missals have landed near our US Consulate in Iraq as Yemeni Houthi proxies drop bombs targeting civilians in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.
Back home, the Biden administration is trying to broker a nuclear deal with Iran. And China and Russia are sitting side by side with the Iranians at the negotiating table to help determine an outcome acceptable to the Ayatollah. Our historic and longtime allies in the Middle East, including Israel, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, are understandably outraged by the US position. Underscoring this wedge caused solely by this administration’s obsession with an Iranian nuclear deal, Saudi and Emirati leaders recently declined a phone call from President Biden as the Saudis began to consider trading their oil in Chinese yuan instead. only in US dollars.
America is best served by strengthening our relationships with our longtime friends in the region. Just as we work cooperatively with our European allies to confront Russia, we must fortify our Middle Eastern partners to isolate Iran. It’s an illogical notion that building alliances against Putin while destroying our Arab is somehow the best way forward.
Our global window of opportunity requires consistency, clarity, commitments and loyalty to longstanding alliances.
Finally, we must recognize and accept the fact that we are in a process of rapid change. and a far more dangerous world, which demands significant increases in our own military spending. Military force deters adversaries. Unfortunately, the recent budget submitted by the Administration only results in an actual increase of 1.5% over last year’s funding, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Air Force Association said last week that the Air Force “is now the smallest, oldest and least ready it has ever been in its 75-year history.”
America and its allies can win this new era of global conflict. But courage, consistency, clarity, alliances and recognition of a dangerous new world are essential.