In author Barbara Tuchman’s book, “The Guns of August”, a picture of pre-World War I Europe is drawn that shows royal families so caught up in nineteenth century mores that they failed to see the dangers and monumental carnage coming.
Today, while we are busy trying to decide what pronouns we want to be called, deciding if young children should have a sex change operation, and calling anyone who we disagree with “racists”, Russia is building up its troops on the Ukraine border, Israel and Iran are engaging in rising altercations, and China is increasingly violating the territorial air space and waters of Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines. Each one of these could be enough to ignite a nuclear, cyber, and biological World War III.
One would think that a responsible media would be reporting these dangerous situations in headline detail. But, as I write this all I hear are stories about a religious congregation complaining about mask mandates and what the Kardashians are doing.
In the thirty years since the fall of the Soviet Union the United States has squandered much of its opportunity to modernize our military to meet future challenges. We have treated Russia simultaneously as an ally and advisory. A Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promoted a “Russia reset” while a Barack Obama orchestrated an anti-Russia Ukrainian coup d’etat. The result is that we have seen Russia build a stronger alliance with Communist China.
Likewise, we have built China’s economy while completely ignoring decades of human rights abuses. We have elevated China to an economic powerhouse increasingly capable of bending the West to its will. The result is that America’s manufacturing and industrial capabilities have been hollowed out and much of our wealth has been transferred. We now have a United States with unimaginable national debt, a crumbling infrastructure, and a defensive geopolitical posture while depending on the Chinese for raw materials and imports.
Increasingly, the American dollar is losing its value as the world’s reserve currency while both China and Russia are building up their gold reserves. The United States is losing its ability to impose economic sanctions as well as its ability to print more money without triggering rampant inflation. Expect to soon see Sino-Russian digital currencies to emerge backed by gold, natural resources, and energy that will instantly interconnect most of the world’s population.
A weak Biden capitulated to Iran by dropping sanctions. In response, Iran has promised to “respond” against the U.S. and Israel for the recent Red Sea mine attack against a vessel being used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard. U.S. warships have also entered the Taiwan Strait. China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has promised to use military force to safeguard these claims. Israel has said it will never allow a nuclear-empowered Iran to exist.
All of these are nuclear powder kegs. Thinking in terms of 20th century geopolitics will result in miscalculating and will stumble us into a global conflagration.