China, Defense Policy, Foreign Policy, Nationalist Theory, Politics

The Debut of New Nationalism News

Today marks the beginning of a new feature of this website called New Nationalism News, which will curate stories from the last week that illustrate world nationalism and the strategies American nationalism should use in response.  To those of you who are familiar with the RealClearPolitics site (www.realclearpolitics.com), think of this as RealClearNationalism.  You can also follow these posts in real time by joining the associated Facebook and Twitter sites where they are also posted. Simply click on the buttons on the bottom and then follow my New American Nationalism Facebook page or join my Twitter feed.  Please feel free to suggest articles for the week as well.  

This weeks stories illustrate the increasing nationalism in Asia and especially in China.  I provide a short introduction to each for better reference and to give you my interpretation of their significance. 

While US and Western globalists tout international fraternity, Asia is requiring its citizens to reject transnational ties and choose the nationalism of their countries instead.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/asia-dual-citizenship-intl-hnk-dst/?utm_medium=40digest.7days3.20210315.rank&utm_source=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=campaign

Meanwhile, China has built the largest navy in the world.  TR would understand the significance of this to our allies in Asia and have nothing but cutting insults for liberal globalists who suggest cutting the defense budget. https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/05/china/china-world-biggest-navy-intl-hnk-ml-dst/index.html

In contrast to the Biden Administration, China refuses to sacrifice its growth goals on the altar of the Paris Accord.  As the article points out, this will allow them to increase emissions through 2030 and practically prevent achievement of effective CO reductions.  Adaptation must become the most important element of our response.https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-06/china-s-top-leaders-leave-tough-climate-decisions-to-bureaucrats?srnd=premium

The final story for today is about how China is diversifying its imports of critical materials to allow it to use trade as a weapon.  In particular, it is concentrating on sourcing its imports from fellow autocratic regimes. The US needs to pay more attention to its supply chains of raw materials as well.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/18/china-is-building-up-its-ability-to-weaponize-trade-new-report-says.html?utm_medium=40digest.7days3.20210318.rank&utm_source=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=campaign

Defense Policy, Foreign Policy

A Victory by Any other Name

War is hell, and so the only responsible goal of war is a clear and attainable victory.  This victory can take many forms. Far from being “precipitous”, President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq recognizes the fact of our victories in both conflicts. In contrast, the critics of this decision seek to deny them and expand the goals of both wars to encompass goals that history shows are unattainable in our lifetimes.

The despicable attacks of September 11, 2001 should have always been the touchstone of the definition of victory in the Afghan War. Our goals then were clear and simple – the defeat of Al Qaeda and its Taliban enablers.   We accomplished both objectives. Osama bin Laden lies dead at the hands of an American SEAL team and Al Qaeda has been decimated as an operational entity, reduced to being simply a slogan.  The Taliban were driven from power in Afghanistan and a new government installed that is more tolerant and internationally responsible.  It is not a perfect peace and the centuries-old ethnic rivalries and internal wars that defeated the British and the Russians means that the current government could fall and potentially be replaced by the Taliban. In that event, we have other levers of power to prevent another attack, such as immigration and trade sanctions. In the end, the future of Afghanistan will be up to the Afghan people. Its history proves that we cannot affect that decision any more than the British and Russian Empires could.  Our only interest is to prevent further terrorism from originating in Afghanistan and, as this article points out, our victory lays a solid groundwork for achieving this result.

Our intervention in the Syrian civil war was never necessary, but now ISIS has been defeated and no longer controls any territory.  This is a victory by any definition and justifies the complete withdrawal of all forces from Iraq and Syria.  Once again, our futile attempts to solve the religious and ethnic rivalries of the Middle East with American blood must come to an end.

After the final battle was won in the Spanish–American War, the War Department wanted Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and the army to remain in Cuba as an occupying force in clear conflict with our stated goal of supporting the Cuban people’s desire for independence.  In a letter that risked a court-martial, he said the army “must be moved at once or perish” from yellow fever and malaria.  Our soldiers must now be withdrawn from Afghanistan and Iraq to prevent similar unnecessary casualties. We can then concentrate on the new challenges of the multi-polar world and, in particular, those of China and Russia.   

Coronavirus, Defense Policy, Foreign Policy

An Embarrassment to a Great Name

Acting secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly has just submitted his resignation as a result of the mess surrounding the dismissal of the Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt Brett Crozier. Modly’s departure is undoubtedly his most gracious and professional act during the whole affair. 

The DefenseOne website provides a helpful and well-documented timeline of this sorry episode in recent Navy history.  I agree that Capt. Crozier’s use of unclassified channels for the letter and its wide distribution strongly suggests an intent to publicize the COVID-19 crisis on the ship beyond the chain of command and potentially to the media. TR’s great-grandson Tweed penned an op-ed supporting Capt, Crozier.  However, he notes that, while a similar protest by his great-grandfather during the Spanish-American War accomplished  Roosevelt’s goal, it cost him a Medal of Honor in his lifetime.  Both were the kind of calculated risks that either earn you a commendation or a court-martial in the military.

Nevertheless, the timeline makes it clear that it was Modly, not Crozier, who first interfered with the chain of command by encouraging the Captain to contact him directly and thus by-passing his commanding admiral.  Modly then inflamed the situation further by flying unannounced to the ship and calling Capt. Crozier “stupid” and “naïve” to the crew of the Roosevelt and accusing him of undermining the chain of command.  In fact, those words are a more accurate description of his own actions, not those of the captain.  

TR probably almost came out of the grave in anger over this fiasco associated with his name and beloved navy.  The damage is done, but hopefully will be repaired soon by a leader with his honor, bravery and intelligence.