The apparently few Americans who truly worry over world affairs, along with those who live in that world, realize and try to explain that a world in which the benevolent power of the United States is in remission will necessarily facilitate the spread of evil and oppression in the world as the despots and oligarchs extend their malicious iron grip on their neighbors or even further afield taking advantage of the American absence. The last six years has been an in-depth lesson on how a world without a strong American foreign presence makes the world a far more dangerous place. Looking around the examples are everywhere with the return of al-Qaeda into Iraq with the country reverting to a Sunni-Shiite Civil War; the ongoing strife in the Syrian Civil War where chemical agents have been deployed, where torture and summary executions have become a common occurrence, civilians are subjected to barrel bombs designed to maximize horrific injuries as well as snipers shooting to injure children aiming for their spines not to kill them but to render them permanently paralyzed and a life of agony; Russia making military moves on the Ukraine and potentially implementing as policy the reinstitution of Russian hegemony equal to that enjoyed during the reign of the Soviet Union over the Warsaw Pact nations; the loss of central authoritative leadership in Libya instituting a condition of tribal warfare engulfing the entirety of the nation outside of the Capital of Tripoli; a resurgence throughout the Arabian Peninsula and Northern and Central Africa of Islamist extremists from al-Qaeda in Yemen to Boko Haram victimization of Christians in Nigeria to Muslim Brotherhood targeting Coptic Christians in Egypt; to Angola placing bans on Islam shuttering most of the nation’s mosques. Many have commented that under the lacking foreign policies of President Obama guiding the United States presence in the world that the world has been consumed by the flames of wars, violence and persecutions. Who is to blame is not as important as is the reality gripping the world while the United States is in the grip of an overwhelming introspection blinding her to the needs in the world for her strength and fulfilment of premises she had made to many nations, promising protection and guarding against their adversaries in order to allow, or demand depending on who you ask, their demilitarizing freeing them from the onerous demands retaining an ample military always ready to defend against outside threats. Now some of these nations are feeling it was folly to believe the American promises and believing they have been betrayed and left vulnerable before their traditional enemies. This is the direct result of an America in remission on the world stage.
This problem poses the question of who is there who is evident on the political stage of the United States offering leadership which includes the acknowledgement that the United States obligation to the rest of the world, especially the free world of nations with representative governance, to provide them with the assurance of her strength against any threat which they may face from those wishing to impose unrepresentative governance forcing their will against the desires of the majority of the people. There will be Americans who will immediately protest such an idea that the United States must be the savior, the policeman of the world and that the world needs to take care of itself. The problem with that view is it ignores the many treaties and conventions to which the United States is the principle signatory and the guarantor of the terms and promises these agreements represent. Many nations made deep sacrifices directly related to the guarantees and even demands of these treaties and agreements. An example was the Ukrainian surrender of the entirety of the nuclear arsenal within their borders after the fall of the Soviet Union. Does anybody really believe that instantly turning the Ukraine into the world’s third largest nuclear power overnight would have been prudent or that Russia would be threatening the Ukrainian borders and have annexed the Crimean Peninsula if the Ukraine retained those nuclear weapons? Of course the absence of those nuclear warheads are making the current threats to the Ukraine possible and the treaty did obligate the United States, and also Russia and much of NATO, to come to the aid and rescue of the Ukraine in any situation where she was threatened by any outside force, especially if that force was applied by the Russians. In lieu of the Ukraine possessing the nuclear weapons left within her borders by the Soviet Union they were promised the full might and abilities of the United States military to protect their borders but apparently that promise was contingent upon the mood of the President of the United States and President Obama is feeling timorous and refusing to extend America’s military might even when such is called for in treaties. How does that leave the numerous other nations who rely upon American promises and commitments, often in treaty or other agreements, for their continued safety? They likely feel much as do South Korea and Japan who both have expressed feeling naked before the threats and saber rattling emanating from North Korea as Kim Jung Un bares his military prowess with missile and nuclear tests combined with military exercises and launching of artillery and missiles into the maritime waters of his neighbors. With the United States slumbering over threats from everywhere on the globe, both these nations are seriously considering remilitarizing and developing their own nuclear arsenals as a response and safety against the machinations of the threats from the madman in North Korea. This possible further proliferation of nuclear weapons is a direct result of the United States passivity on the world’s stage and would never have been even considered, especially by Japan whose peoples are extremely sensitive and disdainful of nuclear weapons after World War II, developing and producing their own nuclear arsenals.
The real problem of a world without the American presence is not so much the development of nuclear weapons by generally peaceful nations who pose little to no threat to their neighbors and are not financiers or propagators of terrorism. The real problem is when nations who are guilty of both propagating terrorism and posing threats to their neighbors and beyond also developing nuclear weapons exemplified by Iran. The deliberations and negotiations between the P5+1 which consists of Germany, Russia, China, France, Britain and, of course, the currently in remission United States, with Iran presumably having their announced intention of reaching an agreement which will deny Iran developing and possessing nuclear weapons while respecting their rights to nuclear power generation have also evidenced the lack of resolve of the United States. This was made obviously evident when it took France imposing their veto and France and Britain informing Israel and Saudi Arabia respectively of the threat posed by the United States proposal being so weak and lacking resolve that it was a virtual invitation for Iran to proceed and develop nuclear weapons with the blessings of the United States. This was in contraposition of events from when the United States was fully engaged in the world and had hunted and brought Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to trial and Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi voluntarily disassembled and turned over his previously unknown nuclear weapons program which definitely turned a few heads both by the unexpected capitulation by Gadhafi and the fact that Libya possessed an advanced nuclear program.
The final question is where is the world’s Winston Churchill who will address and take the principled stand and lead the world’s response to the ever growing menacing threats which have blossomed and grown exponentially during the Presidency of Barack Obama. Even if such a person is to be found anywhere, the rest of the question is will the United States gain leadership in the near future that would be receptive to retaking the mantle of the world benevolent superpower and protector of freedoms and liberties and the nations who treasure individual human rights. Is there somebody who in 2016 will be the candidate standing for an attentive and ever present American force behind the promises in treaties and agreements which America signed promising to be the preeminent guarantor of international peace and integrity of international relations between nations. The people who have either been profiled as potential Presidential candidates or who have expressed their own desires to vie for the position appear to fall into two categories. The first category are those who propose using the power, strength and treasures of the United States in expanding the Federal Government’s footprint in the daily lives of the average American citizens and taking over more of the economic interests such as healthcare, education and other daily concerns in the name of fairness and equality, that is equality of outcome guaranteed and provided free of the onerous obligation of individual efforts. The other group are libertarian and propose slimming the government and removing as much of its interference in the lives of the American people. They stress the limitations placed on the government by the United States Constitution and the trespass of the plethora of government agencies and officials against those restrictions. Their view when it comes to foreign affairs they mostly appear to support the ideal expressed by George Washington of trade with all and ally with none. Where that was an exemplary policy at that time, the current world is far smaller and the United States has a far greater importance as a superpower and has made agreements and promises with other nations which even according to the Constitution are obligations which she is demanded to fulfill. Where, pray tell, is the American candidate for President who will loudly state that the United States has obligations as a signatory to numerous treaties, accords, organizations, alliances and various other legally binding agreements where American military might was the principle enforcer promised to the world and the many nations within and until the United States becomes incapable of providing her support, she is obliged Constitutionally of honoring those commitments. Please, for the continued benefit of the free world, America must seek a leader and then support that leader in all efforts of returning the steadying influence of the American presence and active participation on the world stage. Even if such is done solely because eventually any evil allowed to blossom in the world will eventually, if not sooner, come to the shores of America so she might as well confront these threats when they are in their diminutive infancy as that is better than allowing them to fester, grow and metastasize into a monstrous threat that even rivals the power of the United States. The world should never again come as close to falling before totalitarian threats as it had during World War II, never again!
Beyond the Cusp