Choosing war is the most important policy decision Washington makes on behalf of the American people. War profoundly affects the domestic economy, and the human carnage it creates is not limited to foreign soil. Yet, the last time American voters compelled a fundamental policy shift away from war was in 1968, when Nixon promised to end the Vietnam conflict and devise an honorable exit.
Once again, Americans must choose. Will Americans continue to support an escalating proxy war in Ukraine, a byproduct of Washington’s pursuit of global hegemony? Or will Americans demand that Washington defend America’s borders, maintain a republic that upholds the rule of law, respect the cultures and traditions of nations different from us, and trade freely with all nations, even as it protects America’s economic prosperity, its commerce, and its citizens?
The American financial and economic system is at risk of failing catastrophically. And Ukraine is losing the fight with Russia. Unless Americans demand new directions in foreign policy now, as they did in 1968, they will surrender control over their lives and incomes to the Washington elite’s orgy of spending on a dangerous proxy war against Russia and the arbitrary exercise of state power against American citizens at home.
After World War II, the United States emerged with the world’s most dynamic and productive scientific-industrial base, a highly skilled labor force, and a culturally strong, cohesive society. By the time Dwight D. Eisenhower turned over the presidency to John F. Kennedy, there was no matter of strategic significance anywhere in the world over which the American superpower could not assert a decisive influence. American military power was everywhere.
Washington was enthralled with its ability to intervene at will in the affairs of nations and peoples that Americans had not previously encountered. Captivated by the illusion of limitless power, Presidents Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson wasted no time looking for opportunities to reshape the world in America’s image.
The Vietnam War sobered up the American electorate, but after America’s Cold War victory in 1991, presidents have blurred the distinctions between war and peace. In the resulting confusion, the reckless pursuit of global military hegemony and the moralizing internationalism that inspired intervention in Vietnam regained its old popularity.
Washington’s ruling class has ignored the top priority in all matters of national strategy: first and foremost, the enduring imperative to preserve American national power. As America’s leaders committed American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines to endless interventions in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean Basin, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and sub-Saharan Africa, America’s share of global GDP fell from 40 percent in 1960 to roughly 24 percent in 2022.
American workers lost ground as U.S. multinational corporations cut their workforces and sent jobs to China and other parts of Asia. Virtually all the material benefits associated with economic growth in the last fifty years went to Americans in the upper half of the income distribution.
In a report called “Joint Operating Environment 2008,” the authors warned the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.” The report did not command the attention of the Obama administration and Washington’s current political elites seem no more interested today than they were in 2009.
Against this backdrop of social, political, and economic decay, the president and Congress are effectively ignoring the disintegration of civil society in Mexico. Mexican drug cartels (with the assistance of enablers in Cuba and Venezuela) are not only invading America with impunity. The cartels are also exposing Americans to criminal violence in their own country.
Yet it is not the metastasizing cancer of criminality on the Rio Grande that is the strategic focus for President Biden and his compliant congress. It is the proxy war in Ukraine.
When it comes to defense spending and donor money, Mexico cannot compete with Russia or China. Washington takes it as a matter of faith that a divided Ukraine on the model of a divided Germany will support a new Cold War with Moscow for decades. Adding China to the new “axis of evil” is simply icing on the cake for defense hawks and their donors.
Is Washington serious? Or is the new, budding Cold War paradigm simply a clever way to guarantee a steady stream of funding for Defense and lucrative donations for the Hill? Are the new threats abroad also designed to silence dissident voices at home and command domestic obedience from the American People? These are fair questions.
If the threats south of the border must be ignored, then Washington should face up to the American military’s shortage of quality manpower, the woefully inadequate size, and general decrepitude of America’s regular Army. War with a continental power like Russia, just as true security along the Rio Grande, demands powerful land forces-in-being.
Moscow will not put up much longer with Washington’s aggressive actions to stymie Russia in Ukraine. Moscow is not in the grip of Hitlerian lust for conquest, but Washington’s weaponization of Ukraine is an existential threat to Moscow.
To paraphrase former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, any American president or politician who is willing to risk a high-end conventional land war with Russia should have his head examined, or at a minimum, deserves serious psychiatric care. The same must be said of anyone in Washington who wants to engage in nuclear brinksmanship with Moscow.
It is time to choose again. What kind of Republic do Americans want? What kind of foreign policy do Americans want?