When Strength Is Needed, America Shows Weakness

President Ronald Reagan's doctrine for national security has been summarized as "peace through strength."  He believed that projecting strength discourages aggression.  He understood that the schoolyard bully never picks a fight with those who are stronger.  If his doctrine remains valid in the 21st century, we are surely inviting trouble.  Unsurprisingly, bad actors are becoming emboldened.

China has emerged as a global threat.  It's buying or building strategic real estate around the globe.  It has flooded the United States with spies — stealing our technology and observing our capabilities.  In recent years, it has begun to militarily challenge the sovereignty of neighboring Taiwan.  Japan is beginning to rearm for a conflict that it believes is inevitable.

Russia is attempting to expand its border into Ukraine.  Our president threatened Vladimir Putin with regime change, and Putin responded with nuclear saber-rattling.  His military leadership have hinted at their willingness to use nuclear weapons, and Russia has withdrawn from the New START nuclear treaty.

North Korea has become a nuclear threat and now has a missile capable of reaching America.

Iran continues to sponsor terrorism and has called for the assassination of a former U.S. president.  They're apparently unconcerned about reprisal.

Our military leadership is even starting to talk about the unthinkable: WWIII.  General Mike Minihan is talking about when (not if) it will start.

While the world seems determined to flirt with global conflict, we continue to project weakness.

Military Weakness

Our 2-million-man military, with the most advanced weaponry the world has ever seen, surrendered to a ragtag 80,000-man force armed with nothing that couldn't be carried in a pickup truck.  As part of the surrender, we donated approximately $7B of military hardware to that force (the Taliban).

After 21 years of a war we refused to win, our military stockpiles are depleted.  What we have left is being consumed by endless donations to Ukraine.

Military recruiting is missing its targets — by disturbing margins.  However, in spite of falling recruitment, the military is purging its ranks of "extremists" (that is, conservatives) and those who resisted the COVID vaccine.  Rather than rebuilding the war-fighting capabilities of our armed forces, the general staff is pushing Critical Race Theory and transgender pronoun discipline.

Economic Weakness

Our spendaholic politicians have accrued over $31 trillion of national debt.  Interest alone on that debt is now the fourth largest line item in the federal budget.  The stock market has lost over $7 trillion in value, in just the last year.  Spiking inflation is devaluing retirement accounts and driving Americans to drain their savings to make ends meet.  We won't be able to meet the financial demands of a global crisis because our piggy bank holds nothing but IOUs.  Over $1 trillion of those IOUs are held by China.

Intelligence Service Weakness

Our intelligence services were completely surprised by the speed with which the Taliban retook Afghanistan after our departure.  They were also surprised by the resilience of Ukraine.  A war they predicted would last only a few weeks has lasted for over a year.  We shouldn't be surprised at their failure to understand international threats.  They've been distracted by "domestic terrorism" snipe hunts and attempts to influence U.S. elections.

Industrial Weakness

In the past, America was feared by its adversaries because of its sheer industrial might.  During WWII, we built over 300,000 airplanes and 99 aircraft carriers.  Now we can't keep store shelves stocked with basics like baby formula.  Unloading ships in a timely fashion seems to be a skill beyond our ability.

We've sacrificed the reliability of our electric grid in a quixotic attempt to control the weather.  In pursuit of renewable power sources, we have allowed far more reliable sources to become vulnerable to sabotage and poorly maintained.

The Biden administration has depleted our strategic petroleum reserve in a failing attempt to control prices at the pump — something the reserve was never intended for.  The reserve is now at its lowest level since 1984.  At the same time, the administration has restricted domestic energy production.  We are now energy dependent on some of the most unstable regions in the world.

In a shortsighted effort to cut consumer costs, America has outsourced many of our strategically important supplies to other countries — many of which are threats to us. We are now dependent on China for rare earth minerals and many pharmaceuticals.

Sovereign Weakness

We have thrown our borders open as if it is morally wrong to control who comes to America.  It gives our adversaries the impression that we're uninterested in defending our country.  A joint Yale and MIT study estimates that over 22 million illegal aliens are currently in the United States.  That number increased by over a million in just the first year of Joe Biden's administration.  At best, that's millions of uninvited people burdening our already straining social systems.  At worst, it's thousands of enemy infiltrators, here to spy, terrorize, and sabotage.

Leadership Weakness

We are being led by a president who is clearly losing his faculties and a vice president who never had any to begin with.  Biden has called his own constituents fascists and threatened them with military force.  There is credible evidence that he and his family are financially beholden to China, Russia, and Ukraine.  He's backed up by a military leadership that's more concerned with making the armed forces "woke" than they are with building war-fighting ability.

Ideological Weakness

Our greatest weakness of all is that we are a divided nation.  We are no longer simply politically divided.  We are ideologically divided.  We aren't arguing about the best ways to make America a free and prosperous country.  We're arguing about if we even want to be a free country.  Forty-one percent of Americans now support socialism.  In addition, our major institutions are siding with the "who needs freedom" ideology.  These include:

  • News and entertainment media
  • Government bureaucracies
  • Academia
  • Corporate America

Osama bin Laden said, "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse."  He attacked America because he considered us a "weak horse."

Given the above observations, are we stronger now than we were when the towers came down in 2001?

The Chinese balloon that flew over our country may have been more than an intelligence collection operation.  It may have been both a test and a message.  Were the Chinese testing our "peace through strength" spine?  What did they conclude when we allowed the balloon to complete its mission before shooting it down?

I think we know their conclusion from the message they gave us at the end of the operation.  China demanded an apology for shooting down its balloon.  Clearly, the Chinese didn't expect an actual apology, but the arrogance of such a demand was the message: you failed the test, and we have no fear of reprisal from you.  They defeated our air defenses with 18th-century reconnaissance technology, and then they gave us the middle finger when it was all over.  Peace through strength indeed.

John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho.  He has written for American Thinker and American Free News Network.  He can be followed on Facebook or reached at greenjeg@gmail.com.

Image via Max Pixel.

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