At the heart of a free society is the ability to engage in civil discourse about, among other things, the defense of one’s civilization. This is not, unfortunately, possible in America at present. Today we are living in the age of political narratives that are nothing more than lies told to serve some political end.
The current narrative is that the national security of the United States requires the defense of Ukraine against Russian aggression. Much as we abhor the suffering of Ukrainians, most especially children, however, a free Ukraine is not necessary for the defense of the United States.
The goal of American foreign policy is the peace and tranquility of the American people. It is, after all, the purpose for which our government is constituted. Our social compact is with each other as Americans. We do what is good for us and for our children.
We do this not out of selfishness, but out of the common sense that it is in man’s nature to defend one’s own, beginning with himself, his family, his community, and his country. Americans have demonstrated an admirable quality of fighting elsewhere on this planet for other people at other times. But even then, we were demonstrating a principle of American grand strategy that has served this country throughout its history: we want to fight wars somewhere else than in America.
Americans Fight Elsewhere So We Don’t Fight Here
The idea of fighting wars in other countries—France, Germany, Belgium, the island chain that led to the conquest of Imperial Japan, Korea, Vietnam, even Iraq and Afghanistan—meant we were not waiting until war came to the cities of the United States. We would rather fight on someone else’s territory in the simple belief that our homes would, at least for the time being, be safe from the ravages of war.
Also, fighting on or near the enemy’s territory meant we would have to be defeated and displaced from that position before war could be made on the United States directly. This is the kind of strategy that puts the well-being of the American people first. It has also, in the process, defended the West and liberated millions of human beings. But that was not our purpose. Our purpose was our own defense.
To be clear, Russia today does not have armed forces that are sufficient to invade and wage a successful war in the United States. Witness their current progress in Ukraine.
What Russia does possess is a nuclear arsenal that is capable of destroying the land-based nuclear forces of the United States, American cities and their populations, and American military bases abroad that do play a strategic role in the defense of the United States. They also possess advanced ballistic missile defense systems to protect Moscow and strategic positions throughout Russia.
The Russian S-400 and S-500 air and missile defense systems can deploy nuclear-tipped interceptors to ensure that the Russian homeland is defended from American ballistic missiles. What about America?
The U.S. Is Unprotected Against Russia and China
For all of our tough talk about America’s military might, the United States does not possess a missile defense capable of stopping Russian or Chinese ballistic missiles. We are also not able to stop a ship-launched ballistic missile should the Iranians or any other nation choose to serve as a surrogate for such an attack.
Although President Reagan proposed a missile defense 40 years ago, a comprehensive, multilayered missile defense system from land, sea, air, and space has never been completed. Not coincidentally, the Democratic Party has opposed building such a defense throughout this period, never more so than by Joe Biden as senator, vice president, and now as president.
Biden’s predecessor, Barack Obama, famously told Russian President Medvedev in 2012 to tell Putin not to worry about American missile defense, because Obama would have more “flexibility” after the election. This was Obama’s way of saying that he could not publicly come out against missile defense during a campaign year, but not to worry since he was not going to build one against the Russian arsenal anyway.
Russia Knows We Can’t Protect Ourselves
America’s Democratic elites, especially those in the White House today, have intentionally left us vulnerable to nuclear attack in the belief that war, especially nuclear war, was not possible. This was underscored by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announcing to the world that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”
But the Russians believe quite the opposite. They believe that war is man’s permanent condition and that nuclear weapons are merely one more aspect of war that must be mastered. The mere fact that they possess the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, are modernizing it with hypersonic reentry vehicles, and have built a missile defense to protect the Russian people, is evidence of this.
It is therefore not surprising that Russia does not take threats from the United States seriously. They know both that we do not possess a national missile defense and therefore won’t escalate hostilities beyond a certain point, and even if we did—out of a gross strategic miscalculation—we are ill-prepared to fight and win such an exchange. However sound Theodore Roosevelt’s admonition to “speak softly and carry a big stick” may have been through most of our history, speaking softly and carrying a big shield—as in ballistic missile defense—is a sounder corollary in the nuclear age.
Using Russia to Avoid Talking about China
Moreover, we have witnessed the political theatre of the U.S. intelligence agencies and the Democratic Party’s use of Russia as the prime threat to American freedom. However dangerous Russia may be, Communist China is the real threat to America. It has a population literally ten times that of Russia, a modern and advanced military, nuclear weapons, and an industrial capacity and GDP that is 7.5 times larger than Russia’s. No serious person thought the constant vilification of Russia was done for anything other than domestic political advantage in the left’s war against Donald Trump.
In retrospect, the focus on Russia looks more like a way for the U.S. Congress, controlled by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, to avoid addressing Communist China and their theft of American intellectual property, and its commercial expansion throughout the world through its Belt and Road Initiative. This does not even include the declaration by the Communist Chinese on May 13, 2019, of a People’s War against the United States.
That declaration was in response to the Trump administration’s demands to negotiate better trade deals. Within six months of that declaration, the Covid-19 virus was spreading from Wuhan, causing the loss of nearly 1 million American lives, wreaking havoc on the U.S. economy, and creating the conditions whereby a U.S. presidential election could be stolen. In the face of all this, nothing has been done to hold the Chinese Communist Party to account.
Weakness Provokes Aggression and Contempt
Russian intelligence may well have believed that a nation that was not going to hold Communist China responsible for its malfeasance was going to find some way to dance out of whatever political and economic fallout may occur over a Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Russians watched while Biden as Obama’s vice president had seen Ukraine as a country to exploit. Witness his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings. Also, given Biden’s long-time opposition to national missile defense, the Russians no doubt see Biden as someone who will not run the risk of nuclear conflict.
This kind of weakness is provocative and dangerous in the extreme. It is also incredibly cruel given that the United States under the Biden administration has consistently given tacit support for Ukraine to become part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This has given Putin domestic political cover to invade and has given the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people the impression that they would be defended.
Finally, given the sorry fact that our government has left the American people vulnerable to ballistic missile attack, it would be irresponsible not to recommend that citizens and states immediately build preparedness. This means Americans should be preparing now for how best to provide for themselves and their families, for states to make sure they can maintain civil order, and for the federal authorities that are still loyal to the Constitution to make sure that our electric grid and strategic infrastructure are defended. This should be done in any case, for the simple reason that our national survival requires it.
Our enemies see weakness everywhere in Washington. It would be good to demonstrate to them the resolve of the American people, and to do so immediately.