What were America’s founders and their followers trying to foster and preserve by their conduct among nations? What were they trying to put first? Why did the Progressives turn away from these concerns? What did they put first? How dismissive were they of reality? What have been Progressivism’s effects on how America has fared among nations? How have changes in the world and in America itself made it impossible to continue on the Progressive’s course? How would John Quincy Adams and those following his principles manage America’s present international situation?
By what principles might today’s statesmen put America First?
Even a truncated Russian Federation has four times the pre-war population of Ukraine. It enjoys well over 10 times the Ukrainian gross domestic product. Russia covers almost 30 times Ukraine’s area.
And how does Ukraine expel Russian troops from its borders when its Western allies must put particular restrictions on their life-giving military and financial aid?
The interests of Europe and the United States are not quite the same as those of a beleaguered Ukraine. NATO also wants Vladimir Putin humiliated, but only if the war can be confined within the borders of Ukraine.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Formin said Tuesday his country will “reduce military activity” in the Ukraine cities of Kyiv and Chernihiv in pursuit of an agreement to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The announcement follows what Russians are calling a productive day of diplomatic talks in Istanbul, Turkey, with the invasion now roughly four-weeks old.
Russian state media quoted Formin saying: “Due to the fact that negotiations on the preparation of an agreement on the neutrality and non-nuclear status of Ukraine, as well as on the provision of security guarantees to Ukraine, are moving into practice, taking into account the principles discussed during today’s meeting, by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in order to increase mutual trust and create the necessary conditions for further negotiations and achieving the ultimate goal of agreeing on the signing of the above agreement, a decision was made to radically, at times, reduce military activity in the Kiev and Chernihiv direction.”
As President Joe Biden prepares to go to Europe, we must recognize that, unless things change, there are likely to be two outcomes to the Russian war on Ukraine – and both are bad for America and the rule of law.
First, the terror campaign of destroying cities and killing women and children is having a devastating effect. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, out of compassion for his people, is talking more and more about a negotiated settlement. A negotiated settlement will clearly give Vladimir Putin most of what he wants. It will be a Russian victory – an expensive Russian victory, but a Russian victory.
A negotiated settlement with Russia winning will be a disaster for the rule of law. It will be a signal to dictators everywhere that with a weak American President and timid democracies, despots can attack their neighbors with virtual impunity.
One. Reassuring an enemy what one will not do ensures that the enemy will do just that and more. Unpredictability and occasional enigmatic silence bolster deterrence. But Joe Biden’s predictable reassurance to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will show restraint means Putin likely will not.
Two. No-fly zones don’t work in a big-power, symmetrical standoff. In a cost-benefit analysis, they are not worth the risk of shooting down the planes of a nuclear power. They usually do little to stop planes outside of such zones shooting missiles into them. Sending long-range, high-altitude anti-aircraft batteries to Ukraine to deny Russian air superiority is a far better way of regaining air parity.
Three. Europe, NATO members, and Germany in particular have de facto admitted that their past decades of shutting down nuclear plants, coal mines, and oil and gas fields have left Europe at the mercy of Russia. They are promising to rearm and meet their promised military contributions. By their actions, they are admitting that their critics, the United States in particular, were right, and they were dangerously wrong in empowering Putin.
Critical social justice’s (CSJ) march through America’s institutions is very nearly complete. CSJ, and its woke evangelists, easily penetrated and commandeered U.S. colleges and universities.
Even White House occupant Joe Biden speaks incessantly about “white supremacy.” The Department of Homeland Security tells us white domestic terrorism is the top threat to America.
Not to be left out, corporate America has proclaimed its total fealty to woke ideology. Leaked documents show companies like Coke imploring their employees to “be less white.” Raytheon—whose laser-guided bombs are disproportionally dropped on people of color—tells its white, straight, Christian, able-bodied, English-speaking employees to deconstruct their identities, “identify [their] privilege,” and “step aside” in favor of other identity groups. AT&T offers employees training that says racism is a “uniquely white trait,” telling white employees that they “are the problem.” It’s pure racism, of course. But not a single Fortune 500 CEO has spoken out against it. They’re too frightened to do so.
J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, criticized Scotland’s government for logging male rapists as “female” simply because they claim to be women.
“War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman,” Rowling posted Sunday on Twitter, alluding to George Orwell’s dystopian classic, “1984.”
Police in Scotland will record rapes as being committed by a woman in instances where the perpetrator has male genitalia and has not taken any steps to legally become a woman, as long as the rapist insists they are female, The Times reported.
Twenty years after the U.S. government declared war on terrorism, it consummated its own defeat in Kabul and Washington, in a manner foreseeable, foreseen, and foreshadowed in 9/11’s immediate aftermath. Fixation on itself and unseriousness about war are the twin habits of heart and mind that disposed the ruling class to defeat. The practical explanation for why and how it accepted defeat is found in the overriding interest each part of the ruling class has in doing what it wants to do.
On the night of September 11, 2001, Muslim governments strictly forbade public celebrations of the carnage. The Palestinian Authority, anticipating that outraged Americans would destroy them to avenge the day’s events, even called the attacks al nachba—“the disaster.” But as the U.S. ruling class made clear that it was accepting defeat, the Muslim world’s media and streets celebrated.
Two decades later, after that defeat’s logic had worked its way through and transformed American life, and as the government’s self-humiliating exit from Afghanistan consummated it, much of mankind followed Muslim crowds in celebrating—including prominent Americans.
With each passing day in Afghanistan the Taliban grows stronger, and the pro-American government forces grow weaker. Anecdotally, you can see the momentum building in the news coverage.
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal, which has been tracking war in Afghanistan for years, estimates that as of Sunday the Taliban controlled 213 districts. It reports that the government controls 70 districts, and some 115 districts are being contested. Thus, after the United States, NATO, and our Afghan allies spent 20 years fighting to create a post-Taliban country, the evidence is growing that we have lost.
Anti-nuclear activist groups like the so-called Physicians for Social Responsibility, Ploughshares, Union of Concerned Scientists, Federation of American Scientists, and others criticize the U.S. and national security professionals for supposedly wrongly “demonizing” Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. Hypocritically, these same anti-nuclear activists routinely “demonize” the U.S. national security community and any President and Congress that wants to modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent to prevent World War III. More than one anti-nuclear activist has called me and my colleagues the “root of all evil” because we will not “give peace a chance” by engaging recklessly in yet another dangerously irresponsible act of unilateral disarmament—like banning U.S. ICBMs.
Maybe you have no idea how many times the U.S. has “given peace a chance” with consequences that make nuclear war more likely?
Under the Presidential Nuclear Initiative (PNI), the U.S. unilaterally reduced tactical nuclear weapons from 15,000 to 180. But Russia cheated on the PNI and now has at least a 10-to-1 advantage. (See Dr. Mark Schneider, “Russian Nuclear Force Expansion and the Failure of Arms Control” RealClearDefense October 24, 2019.)
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce characterized the worker shortage as a crisis that is hurting businesses of all sizes and slowing the nation’s economic recovery.
The biggest challenge U.S. businesses currently face is the lack of qualified workers to fill open jobs, according to the Chamber of Commerce’s America Works Report released Tuesday morning. The national Worker Availability Ratio (WAR) — or ratio of number of available workers to number of available jobs — has dropped over the last several months, the report found.
The current WAR is 1.4, meaning for every job opening there are one or two workers available, according to the America Works Report. The historical WAR average over the last 20 years is 2.8.
Wars often arise from uncertainty. When strong powers appear weak, truly weaker ones take risks they otherwise would not.
Sloppy braggadocio and serial promises of restraint alternatively trigger wars, too. Empty tough talk can needlessly egg on aggressors. But mouthing utopian bromides convinces bullies that their targets are too sophisticated to counter aggression.