America, We are Now in Dangerous Times

America, We are Now in Dangerous Times

© David Burton 2022

A Dangerous World

     America, we and the rest of the world have now entered a period of extreme danger. In Europe, a Russian megalomaniac has invaded his peaceful neighbor and has unleashed vicious atrocities on its defenseless civilians. The civilized world has yet to rise up in justified anger to repulse this naked aggression.

     North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, thumbs his nose at America, Japan, South Korea and the rest of the world by periodically firing intercontinental ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan and exploding atomic bombs.

     America has withdrawn from Afghanistan with its tail between its legs and left the people of that nation to the tender mercies of Muslim Taliban extremists.

     In the Middle East, we have another extremist Muslim regime that continually calls for the obliteration of the State of Israel and that great Satan, the United States of America, while it feverishly works toward that objective by developing the capability to build nuclear weapons and it periodically tests ballistic missiles that possess the capability to deliver those weapons.

     Throughout the early years he was in power, Russian President Vladimir Putin was viewed as a custodian of stability. The president’s name was synonymous with predictability and a lack of radical change, and that setup suited most of Russian society and the rest of the world just fine.
     In 2020, however, that perception began to change. Putin has since become an outright enemy of stability. He has been rewriting the rules and approving risky moves, and all for the benefit of himself and his entourage. This new, mercurial Putin is prepared to demolish the foundations on which Russia’s power has been based for the sake of his own interests, and to many it appeared as early as 2020 that he was losing his grip on reality.[1]

     Recently, an assessment of Putin’s mental stability was made. This assessment concluded that “Russian President Vladimir Putin exhibits characteristics of a psychopath who can only be deterred by a ‘credible threat of force.’” (Ref. 2)

     Dr. Ziv Cohen, a Cornell University forensic psychiatrist, said Putin scores high in the three categories associated with the mental disorder of psychopathy: aggression, narcissism and lack of empathy, which have been on full display in the autocratic leader's invasion of Ukraine.
     "He’s not crazy," Cohen said. "He’s charming, calculated and manipulative. With psychopaths, you cannot develop a common understanding. You cannot have agreements with them. They really only respond to superior power, to a credible threat of force."
     Many commentators have pointed to Putin raising the country’s nuclear force status to "special combat readiness" as a sign of instability, and a growing number of U.S. and European officials have questioned Putin’s mental health.
     Putin has a history of getting into armed conflicts with little concern for civilian casualties. He used heavy force to put down separatist uprisings in Chechnya, leveling the city of Grozny in 2000 and installing a proxy ruler. In Syria, he helped President Bashar Al-Assad retain power by destroying civilian facilities. A few years later, Putin invaded Georgia, a country that like Ukraine was once part of the Soviet Union.
     "He looks at people as tools to achieve his aims," according to Cohen. He compared him to Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Mao Zedong in terms of brutality and the way their personalities have driven their country’s entire foreign policies. "Putin identifies himself as inextricable from Russia and its legacy," Cohen said. "That’s very grandiose sense of self. He has dominated his whole country, even against the interests of his own people."[2]

     An unpredictable or unstable Vladimir Putin poses a significant threat to world peace. With the war in Ukraine dragging on, there is growing concern about Russian President Vladimir Putin's next strategic steps, the fine line the West is walking to support Ukraine, and how the conflict could ripple beyond its borders.
     Putin's invasion into Ukraine has been met by expectedly punishing sanctions from the U.S. and its allies, as well as unexpectedly effective resistance from Ukrainian fighters. At least for now, both seem unlikely to change the Kremlin's calculations or diminish Putin's determination.
     While it will take time for Russia to feel the full impact of economic restrictions levied against it and Ukraine's ability to withstand a prolonged assault is an open question, pushing Putin to the brink could have unpredictable consequences.
     "In his mind, he doesn't want to go down in history as the leader who 'lost Ukraine.” "A cornered beast, if you will, can be dangerous."
     Despite setbacks, a Russia expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says Putin is undaunted. "We've heard from Vladimir Putin himself that he thinks that this war is still winnable. He hasn't given up on his objectives. And his he seems still very determined to press on." "The indications that we have so far is that he is still really doubling down and pressing further with his invasion rather than taking a step back."
     The concern is that Putin has painted this conflict in such hyperbolic terms that it's going to be really hard for him to step back from the brink. Putin has said that the Ukrainians have committed genocide, he has said Ukraine has a desire to acquire nuclear weapons. These are some of the lies Putin has used to justify his military actions. So, when you're engaging in a war with a state with such supposedly nefarious aims, how do you reach a negotiated solution where you leave that leadership in place and you don't completely stop that country from pressing on with the objectives you've ascribed to it?
     The question repeatedly being asked is: “Should the US and allies do more?” Amid an onslaught of grim reports and haunting images from the streets of Ukraine, a "wait and see" kind of approach can feel frustratingly futile. While the crisis has prompted a rare bipartisan outpouring of support in the U.S., funneling assistance to the country remains a delicate dance.
     Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has repeatedly called for establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine to protect civilians, but the Biden administration and NATO have made it clear it's a nonstarter because enforcing airspace restrictions would almost certainly mean direct conflict with Russia.
     More significantly, the "fear of nuclear escalation is the number one consideration here." "That's the elephant in the room when it comes to direct military intervention."
     As made evident by the Pentagon rejecting Poland's plan to send fighter jets to Ukraine via a U.S.-NATO airbase in Germany, there's significant concern that roundabout assistance could also spur significant blowback.
     What the U.S., NATO and the rest of the EU obviously got wrong was the belief that Putin could be deterred from attacking Ukraine. Now that the believe has turned to smoke, these nations are faced with the likelihood that Putin has no “sustainable end game” in Ukraine.
     Could the conflict spiral beyond Ukraine? Despite the great pains taken to avoid escalation, many predict it's only a matter of time before the discord metastasizes further into Europe - and perhaps even beyond the continent.
     As Western powers attempt to walk a tightrope while supplying aid to Ukraine, whether they are ultimately drawn into the fight depends on Russia's reaction.
     Would Russia try to preempt some arms transfers at the point of origin - like firing missiles into Poland at bases where they thought this military equipment was housed? While that would be at the severe end of the spectrum, the Kremlin could also retaliate with asymmetric attacks, like cyberattacks.[3]

     It is one thing when the United States endures a self-inflicted wound, like the Afghanistan exit. But it is quite disappointing when we see a major problem staring at us and getting worse over time before it wounds us, like what to do about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Thus far, we have relied on sanctions against Russia.
     But the situation becomes totally different when you get a surprise incident you have to respond to. The first two situations were fumbled and handled badly by America despite having plenty of time to prepare.
     Despite the atrocities being committed by Vladimir Putin’s Russian army in Ukraine, American President Joseph Biden and the other nations apparently feel that the current status quo is better than the alternative of fighting the Russians. But in helping Ukraine to defend itself, couldn’t we have provided that nation with the military aid we are now supplying much earlier?
     The U.S. and the NATO countries rejected or failed to remember how former President George H.W. Bush successfully got the world community on board in confronting Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait. At the time, Iraq had the fourth largest military in the world. Bush got nearly 40 countries to participate in the fight against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The conflict ended in less than a month with no significant loss of life to U.S. forces or our allies.
     Instead, Biden, NATO and the European Union have chosen the “no-idea of how- this-is-going-to-end” option. This option has only encouraged Joe Stalin Number 2 to proceed with his aggression. It has reinforced the Russian dictator’s belief that he can gobble up his neighbor unopposed.
     While thankfully we have not yet been hit with a surprise incident, we must work to prepare for the unseen. How many outbreaks of war around the world could the U.S. military handle at the same time? How many theaters could we be in and successfully defeat our enemies if necessary? How could we project military strength in a new troubled spot if required?
     Today, while we are focused on Russia, Russia, Russia, we should also be working and preparing the U.S. for problems that could unexpectedly take a turn for the worse. We have to keep our eye simultaneously on several extremely volatile parts of the world. American leadership in the world is vital. China, Iran and North Korea may not be of grave concern to NATO or the EU, but they are to us.
     We must quietly prepare for the worst and be thankful when it does not happen.[4]

     Even with Russia on the rampage in Ukraine and economic instability and a border crisis at home, the threat of mainland China remains a major concern for America to face up to - one we cannot afford to ignore.
     Mainland China is growing stronger in a number of ways. As I have previously noted,[5] one area of major concern to the United States is that of China pulling ahead of the U.S. in the field of science and engineering (S&E).
     America is falling behind China in important areas such as growth in research-and-development (R&D) investment, the manufacturing of critical emerging technologies and patents for innovative systems, according to the National Science Board’s “State of U.S. Science and Engineering 2022” report.
     The United States’ role as the world’s leader in R&D is declining the study said. “Growth in R&D and Science and Technology (S&T) output by other countries, including China, outpaced that of the United States. Consequently, even as U.S. R&D has increased, the U.S. share of global R&D has declined. China contributed 29% of the growth in global research and development between 2000 and 2019, compared to the United States’ 23% according to the report.
     In the military might arena, U.S. Air Force leaders are warning that China's "rate of change" is "outpacing the U.S." and is intended to achieve global dominance by 2050 through a multi-pronged strategic approach to include military modernization, technological innovation, economic imperialism, and a "whole of government" approach to eroding the current U.S. military advantage.
     Another indication of China’s growing military strength is its increasing inventory of advanced missiles. They would be one of the thorniest problems facing U.S. military forces in the event of a conflagration in the Indo-Pacific region over the fate of Taiwan or other flashpoints. National security experts are recommending steps the United States can take to mitigate the threat before it’s too late.
     Recently, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command, said that it has become imperative for the United States to have the capability to defend against Russia and China at the same time. He told the House Armed Services Committee on March 1, 2022 that: “Today, we face two nuclear-capable near-peers who have the capability to unilaterally escalate a conflict to any level of violence in any domain worldwide, with any instrument of national power, and that is historically significant.”
     Today, China and Russia pose threats to the United States as never before. These two neighboring countries currently boast a “no-limits” partnership, according to a statement released following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on 4 February 2022.
     Xi Jinping, the president of China, hopes, in his lifetime, to see the communist flag flutter above Taiwan. These days, the question is whether the conflict in Ukraine holds any lessons for China and its cause.
     Vladimir Putin would not have moved on Ukraine if he didn’t think a weakened, distracted and divided Europe, paired with a feckless American president, would not stand in his way. Beijing has been looking on with great interest. Putin was doing Xi’s dirty work for him. A rattled Europe would be more open to Chinese efforts to expand its influence, as well as push out and marginalize the Americans.
     China’s effort to expand its growing influence represents one of the largest threats to the United States, according to a major annual intelligence report released in April of 2022.
     The report suggested that so-called gray-zone battles for power, which are meant to fall short of inciting all-out war, would intensify with intelligence operations, cyberattacks and global drives for influence.
     The report put China’s push for “global power” first on the list of threats, followed by Russia, Iran and North Korea. “China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas - especially economically, militarily and technologically.”
     Today, potential adversaries such as China continue to pursue new options for the deployment of nuclear weapons, develop longer range surveillance and strike weapons, and undermine the cybersecurity of U.S. government and industry information systems. For several years, senior defense leaders have warned against the narrowing technological edge of our military forces. Can we permit this narrowing to continue? When will a potential adversary decide that America’s edge has evaporated?
     As Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist 23: The first of the “principal” constitutional obligations of the federal government is to provide for the “common defense” of the United States. President George Washington wisely reminded us that “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”[5]

     The fact that we have entered a dangerous period of time was alluded to in comments by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Burns in a speech in Atlanta, Georgia in early April 2022.
     The report noted that the military struggles Russian President Vladimir Putin has faced in his attack in Ukraine could lead him to act rashly.
     “Given the potential hopelessness of President Putin and Russia’s leadership, given their military failures to date, none of us can carelessly grasp the threat posed by the potential use of tactical or low-power nuclear weapons,” Burns said.
     The Kremlin set a high alert on its nuclear forces shortly after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began on February 24. “We are obviously very worried. I know that president “Biden is deeply concerned about preventing World War III, about breaking the threshold for a nuclear conflict,” said Burns.
     Russia has many tactical nuclear weapons. Russia’s military doctrine includes the principle of “escalation de-escalation”, which provides for the first blow with a low-power nuclear weapon to regain initiative in the event of a bad situation in a conventional conflict with the West.
     Burns described Putin as a “retaliatory apostle” who had lived in a dangerous “combination of resentment, ambition and insecurity” over the years. “Every day, Putin demonstrates that a fall in power can be at least as devastating as an increase in power,” Burns said.[6]

     Despite reported American pressure on China to avoid supporting Putin’s aggression Ukraine, a meeting in China between Russia and China’s foreign ministers indicated China’s disregard for the American position and continued signs of cozying up to Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.
     China’s Foreign Minister and Russia’s Foreign Minister met in Tunxi, China in March 2022. Following the meeting, a video released by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that China and Russia were moving toward creating a new “just, democratic world order.” The Chinese foreign minister said he left the meeting “more determined” to boost the relationship between China and Russia.
     While China has consistently called for a peaceful resolution in Ukraine, it has stopped short of condemning Russia for the invasion. The U.S. said earlier in March that it believed Russia had requested military aid from China, a report China has denied. China and Russia said in a joint statement on February 4 that there is “no limit” to the relationship between the two countries, and the Russian foreign minister said Russia’s relations with China are at its best level ever.[7]

     In these dangerous days, It is more important than ever that the United States has a level-headed rational president with a strong hand on the diplomatic and military resources of this nation an a president with intestinal fortitude and an appreciation of history that demonstrates that tyrants view hesitancy to act heroically as signs of weakness and an invitation to commit additional atrocities and reach for more ill-gotten territorial gains at the expense of the weak and powerless.

     Clearly, Joe Biden is not the president that is needed. President Biden has given every impression that he’s most comfortable leading from behind, which is to say not leading at all.
     He was a reluctant participant in the first round of economic sanctions against Russia, had to play catch-up to match more aggressive actions by European nations and still imposes too much restraint on military assistance to Ukraine.
     Similarly, his domestic policies on energy already are making America more vulnerable to the whims of Russia and other adversaries, hardly an ideal position for an ostensible leader of the free world.
     Thanks partly to western assistance, the war in Ukraine has become something of a stalemate, with Russian forces unable to take the capital, Kyiv, or other major cities. They have suffered large losses of men, equipment and reportedly even five generals.
     Yet Ukraine has paid dearly, with huge loss of life, vast swaths of unimaginable destruction and with more than 3 million desperate people having fled the country or trying to.
     So while Putin has failed to quickly triumph, he is nonetheless destroying Ukraine. That can’t be allowed to continue endlessly. If Biden were a true leader, he would have forced a change to the mindset of NATO and demanded sufficient aid to let Ukraine do more than just survive the medieval pounding of Putin’s war machine.
     As Winston Churchill famously said in the dark winter of 1941 in his appeal to FDR for help against Hitler, “Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.” That’s where Ukraine is today, with charismatic President Volodymyr Zelensky often compared to Churchill.
     Enough of the half-measures, of sanctions against Russia that exempt major banks and energy markets and of weapons transfers to Ukraine that only keep the war going. It’s time to go for the win, not the tie.
     But the president’s continuing refusal to let Poland supply its 28 unused MiG fighter jets is a good example of restraint that makes no sense. His claim that the move would be escalatory because the jets could be seen as offensive weapons simply doesn’t hold water.
     The planes would be flown by Ukrainian pilots over their country to defend it against Russian attacks. In that sense, the jets are not fundamentally different from other weapons, such as anti-aircraft Stingers that NATO is supplying by the thousands.
     To be sure, there are also potentially catastrophic outcomes that only Putin controls. Biden, for example, has warned repeatedly that he thinks the Russian madman will use biological or chemical weapons, and many expert observers believe it likely he will use a small nuclear weapon if he feels cornered.
     Putin’s overall aim is to strike fear in Ukraine and deter its supporters from getting more deeply involved. His conduct already has led to charges he is a war criminal, so from one perspective, he has nothing to lose. Indeed, his rule and his life might be in jeopardy if his military has to retreat.
     There is also the fact that everyone remains unclear about Putin’s real objective. Does he want all of Ukraine, or just the Black Sea city of Odessa and a land-bridge to Russia through Crimea? Has the war’s difficulty changed his objective and what he would settle for?
     All of these are important considerations and a mistake or a misreading of his intent could produce the worst possible result. But the one clear thing is that the considerable damage inflicted on Putin so far hasn’t stopped him.
     If Biden won’t push for victory, he should not pretend to be the leader of a new world order.[8]

     Meanwhile, fanatical Islamic extremists in Iran and elsewhere pose significant threats to the civilized world. They need to be confronted and stopped before these religious fanatics are capable of initiating a nuclear Armageddon.

     Here in 2022, The fate of the Iran nuclear deal is in limbo after a pause in talks prompted by Russia’s 11th-hour demand for written guarantees it will be allowed to trade freely with Tehran - including military and technical cooperation - despite Ukraine-related sanctions.
     For all the talk of “off-ramps” for Russian President Vladimir Putin in his war on Ukraine, the pause in nuclear negotiations with Iran has provided an unexpected chance for President Joe Biden to extricate himself from disaster, namely the deal being worked on in Vienna.
     Since 2015, proponents of the nuclear deal have touted its supposed virtues: “unprecedented inspections,” “a one-year break-out time” and the “blocking of all Iran’s paths to nuclear weapons.” But experience has taught us that these virtues always have been a mirage.
     The deal being worked on allowed the Iranian regime to maintain and expand a nuclear infrastructure unnecessary for the peaceful production of nuclear energy, subject only to limited, temporary and reversible restrictions. At the same time, it lifted economic sanctions imposed for the illegal construction, concealment and use of that very same infrastructure, giving the regime and its terrorist proxies access to billions of dollars they have used in their pursuit of nuclear weapons.
     By rapidly installing a larger number of - and more advanced - centrifuges than permitted under the deal and enriching uranium to 60% purity in short order, the Ayatollahs in Tehran proved that the desired one-year breakout time was just arms-control vaporware.
     Supporting the deal today demands an even larger leap of faith. The contents of the Iranian nuclear archive Israel acquired in 2018 make it impossible to pretend that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful: They revealed a nuclear-weapons program far more comprehensive and advanced than previously known. Tehran continues to stonewall the International Atomic Energy Agency investigation of the undeclared nuclear activities, sites and materials the archive exposed.
     Why has Biden’s team worked so hard to renew this dreadful deal? From its earliest days, the administration demonstrated it sought détente and was willing to turn a blind eye to Iran’s aggression and even its nuclear program as the price. Tehran rewarded this conciliatory approach with increasingly severe nuclear violations and a series of attacks on US forces, neighboring states and commercial vessels at sea.
     In Vienna, Iran’s negotiators refuse even to speak directly to their American counterparts. Instead of demonstrating the self-respect to walk away, Washington has relied on European and Russian intermediaries.
     If negotiations fall apart and there’s no deal, what is Team Biden’s Plan B? With Iran reportedly just weeks away from breakout, will the White House put other options on the table or double down on capitulation?
     The world is witnessing in real-time the dangers of confronting an aggressive, nuclear-armed, energy-exporting autocracy with a foreign policy of destabilization, a history of violating its international arms-control obligations and only limited accountability to its citizens. The lessons for handling Iran’s nuclear ambitions couldn’t be starker.
     It’s time to take the Iranian nuclear threat seriously, to stand with America’s allies and stand up to Iranian aggression and terrorism and to end the regional nuclear arms race that the Iran deal sparked. It’s time to stop bluffing.[9]

     Further to the east, the United States and it allies in the Pacific continue to face a nuclear armed North Korea led by another brutal dictator.
     ”North Korea has oft been said to be the land of only bad options. That is ever more so as the North rapidly moves ahead with missile and nuclear development.”
     Four years ago, President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un were preparing for their first summit. Trump had dropped his “fire and fury” campaign and Kim had suspended intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and nuclear tests. Although skeptics filled the ranks of Washington’s established Korea analysts, for the first time in decades there was a sense of possibility about the bilateral relationship.
     The ensuing détente ended the following year with the failure of the Hanoi summit, though Kim maintained his testing moratorium. Last year, he indicated that Pyongyang was planning on ending its forbearance; in January, he unleashed a flurry of short-range launches, capped by a test of long-range missile components. In March of 2022, Pyongyang deployed its first ICBM in five years. And there was activity at the North’s nuclear site, suggesting a test there was imminent.
     Speculation was focused on Kim desiring to force newly elected President Joe Biden to the negotiating table. That was the old model, with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) greeting every new U.S. administration with a reminder that Pyongyang was waiting for concessions. However, few Washington analysts believe that the DPRK is willing to abandon its nuclear capability, irrespective of any promised benefits for doing so.
     Kim, like his father and grandfather, appears to be brutally efficient in retaining power and presumably has seen the video of Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi’s ugly demise - after he traded away his nukes and missiles for America’s and Europe’s favor. They proved to be faux friends ready to betray Qaddafi at their first opportunity. Add to that the lesson of Ukraine: give up your nukes in return for an unenforceable security guarantee, and get invaded.
     So far, Kim has indicated no interest in talking with Biden. It appears that Kim has decided that he is unlikely to get the sort of economic relief he was denied at Hanoi, so he has no current reason to negotiate. That is, he is unwilling to agree to Washington’s official objective of comprehensive, verifiable irreversible denuclearization, so why bother talking?
     Kim appears to be determined to expand and improve his nuclear arsenal sufficiently to eventually force Washington to negotiate on his terms. He certainly has not been conciliatory of late.
     The current administration’s North Korea strategy looks a bit like the Obama administration’s “strategic patience” - aka, kick the can down the road approach. If Pyongyang was doing no more than insulting Washington, that strategy might work. However, the North appears to be moving forward full speed to expand its arsenal and, more important from Washington’s standpoint, extend its reach. In just a few years, the RAND Corporation and Asan Institute figure Pyongyang could have a couple of hundred nukes with ICBMs capable of hitting the U.S. homeland.
     Although it is impossible to know Kim’s mind, building up his military while refusing to engage Washington suggests he plans to create an arsenal too large for even the harshest DPRK critic to try to dismantle. Gaining the ability to strike U.S. targets would necessarily and dramatically limit America’s options. Washington’s involvement even in a conventional conflict could trigger nuclear retaliation.
     Washington cannot look to other nations for support. Through 2017, the United States could rely on China to at least discourage the North’s most ambitious plans. For a few years, Beijing even approved and enforced a succession of new United Nations sanctions. However, Chinese president Xi Jinping switched course after Washington and Pyongyang announced their summit plans, which raised the possibility of a modus vivendi between the DPRK and United States, leaving the People’s Republic of China (PRC) behind. Xi met Kim for the first time and normalized what had been a cold friendship at best. Xi has since maintained that course.
     Despite the slight fillip in Sino-American relations after Biden’s inauguration, these ties seem destined to head downward. Disputes over Xinjiang, Taiwan, the South China Sea, and more are no closer to resolution. Beijing’s soft support for Russia in the latter’s war on Ukraine is driving another wedge between the United States and PRC.
     Moscow also has influence in the DPRK, though Russia long has trailed Beijing in clout. Today the Putin government has no interest in assisting the United States against Pyongyang even if doing so theoretically advanced Russian objectives. Moscow is more interested in causing trouble for America than reducing trouble by North Korea.
     Washington appears to have no North Korea option other than doing more of the same, which has consistently failed over the last three decades.
     The prospect of North Korean retaliation, especially against South Korea’s capital of Seoul, was enough to deter prior U.S. administrations, most notably that of Bill Clinton, from striking North Korean nuclear facilities. Despite Trump’s flirtation with military action during his “fire and fury” stage, the North’s presumed possession of two to three score nukes would have magnified the cost of U.S. military action many times. And while the war would have been “over there,” as Sen. Lindsey Graham indecorously put it, the human costs would have been catastrophic and included plenty of Americans. As Pyongyang continues to work on a panoply of weapons, including hypersonic and submarine-launched missiles, it soon will be able to retaliate “over here” too, making U.S. military action an almost impossible option.
     The United States should prepare for North Korean ICBM and nuclear tests, as well as continued development of new and improved weapons. Alas, Washington has no answer. It complains about every test, demonstrating that it is unnerved by the North’s policy. Then the United States incrementally adds sanctions, without effect. And today the North refuses to even discuss denuclearization.[10]

     A timid and uninspiring Joseph Biden is not the leader that these perilous times demand. Neither is the irrational and loud-mouthed Donald Trump. Joe Biden, during his short time in office, has failed to exhibit the traits of inspired leadership that are so necessary in these trying times. Whether the Ukraine, Covid or the now-rampant inflation, Biden has failed to exhibit the needed leadership traits. Before during and after his term in office, Donald Trump repeatedly proved himself to be rash, illogical and impetuous. Having Trump back as president would be an unimaginable disaster for America and the rest of the world. America must look elsewhere, other than to the current and previous occupants of the oval office, for someone to provide the inspired and effective leadership that is required.

     To support a president that is so urgently needed by this country and the rest of the free world America must possess the strongest military in the world. This military must have the best and most advanced weapons with the best trained and supported personnel at all levels. Most importantly, this military must enjoy the unwavering support of the American people. Potential adversaries must fear the retribution that they would receive should they dare to challenge the American nation. The worst perception possible would be that America was simply a “paper tiger”, all bluster, but no real commitment. Our government's foreign policy must be carefully considered, consistent, and real. Our potential adversaries must fully understand and believe the consequences of rash actions and behavior before they act – not after. When there is uncertainty, it leaves allies and adversaries alike confused. When our policy lacks clarity and consensus it invites misinterpretation and unforeseen reaction.[11]

     According to President Ronald Reagan, “Deterrence means simply this, making sure any adversary who thinks about attacking the United States or our allies or our vital interests concludes that the risks to him outweigh any potential gains. Once he understands that, he won't attack. We maintain the peace through our strength. Weakness only invites aggression.” (Ref. 12)

     During the Cold War era, stakes were high and the idea of nuclear war was very real and frightening. Thankfully, back then, America had the troops, equipment and the powerful allies it needed to confront the Soviet expansionism on multiple fronts while still keeping lesser threats at bay.[12] It is unclear if a similar situation exist today.

     America, we indeed are now in dangerous times!

  1. Putin the Unstable, Andrei Pertsev, The Moscow Times, 2 April 2020.
  2. Russian President Vladimir Putin has features of a psychopath: expert, Rebecca Rosenberg, Fox News,
    2 March 2022.
  3. Putin poses nuclear threat over Russia’s military failure, Shannon K. Crawford, World Today News,
    15 April 2022.
  4. Prepare for the worst and pray it never happens, Gary Franks, Boston Herald; Pge 15, 15 April 2022.
  5. China is Growing Stronger, David Burton, Son of Eliyahu; ARTICLE 521, 31 March 2022.
  6. CIA director says US not taking Russian nuclear threat 'lightly', Max Thornberry, Washington Examiner,
    15 April 2022.
  7. Russia And China Are Leading A New ‘World Order,’ Russian Foreign Minister Says, Derek Saul, Forbes,
    30 March 2022.
  8. Hey Joe, it’s time to back up your words and be a real leader!, Michael Goodwin, New York Post, 22 March 2022.
  9. The Iran Deal is a dead-end pact — stop negotiating, Joe, Jonathan Schachter, New York Post, 22 March 2022.
  10. Failure to Launch: Why America Can’t Stop North Korean Missile Tests, Doug Bandow, The National Interest,
    8 April 2022.
  11. Trump's Bluster Just Won't Cut It, DAILY KOS, 10 August 2017.
  12. How Strong is the United States Military?, The Heritage Foundation, 11 October 2018.


  12 May 2022 {ARTICLE 527; UNDECIDED_70}    
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