China, Foreign Policy, Realist Theory

New Nationalism News

April 17, 2021

Afghanistan Withdrawal

President Biden’s announcement of our withdrawal from Afghanistan by September is correct for the simple reason that we achieved our objective of defeating Al Qaeda and killing Osama Bin Laden, as I previously argued. Even if the Taliban regain power, we can control any threat through immigration, trade and other sanctions. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/14/us/politics/biden-afghanistan-troop-withdrawal.html

War with China & Russia?

Meanwhile, this article raises the possibility that China and Russia would coordinate attacks on Taiwan and Ukraine.  However, it also argues against American military intervention in either war.

USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group in South China Sea

We still need to show that the US will defend our interests and allies in Asia. Thus, the USS Theodore Roosevelt is currently executing a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) in the South China Sea to challenge China’s militarization of this shipping lane in clear violation of international law.   

https://www.cpf.navy.mil/news.aspx/130841

The Myth of a Rules-Based Order

When I was in China, the Shanghai Admiralty Court trumpeted the fact that China had signed the International Law of the Sea Treaty in contrast to the US.  Chinese militarization of the South China Sea in clear violation of the treaty shows, as this article says, we live in a world of great power rivalry and not the globalist dream of a rules-based order.   

https://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2021/04/12/the_myth_of_a_rules-based_world_772304.html

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.