Newsmax: Americans Need to Overcome Complacency About National Security

Americans, especially the last two or three generations have grown up on a steady diet of complacency when it comes to national security.

They have been told since birth that the United States possesses the greatest military in world history, that it is unequaled in strength on the battlefield, that is better led, better fed, and better trained than anyone. Further, there is the belief that since the United States cannot lose a war, we should never focus our attention on winning, rather, how we are going to exit a conflict, and how quickly we can finish.

This is increasingly a fool’s paradise.

The strategic equation is changing via four reasons.

First, America’s relative economic strength is declining in comparison to other great powers. One cannot maintain military primacy unless you have the economic resources to fuel it. Second, the other great powers have been busy finding vulnerabilities, weak points, and asymmetric tactics, especially the famous anti-access, area-denial methods. Third, American will is in question, if it is not actually lacking, there is a palpable perception that it might be. Finally, the American neglect of the role of space as the next frontier in which powers are masters rather than slaves is the most shocking.

Much of this was illustrated in the National Defense Strategy Commission, “Providing for the Common Defense: The Assessments and Recommendations of the National Defense Strategy Commission,” which came out in November of 2018. The summary of the report should be frightening to America and her allies.

“The Commission argues that America confronts a grave crisis of national security and national defense, as U.S. military advantages erode and the strategic landscape becomes steadily more threatening. If the United States does not show greater urgency and seriousness in responding to this crisis and does not take decisive steps to rebuild its military advantages now, the damage to American security and influence could be devastating.”

The conclusions are numerous and devastating. These include the inability to fight a two-front war, or even deter one of the great powers. The military is overstretched, under-resourced, and military strategy is not fully integrated into diplomatic, intelligence, and economic goals.

The report recommends serious reform and changes including expanding the size of the army, and the Navy’s ability to project power, modernizing our nuclear force, and taking seriously the deficits in a Space strategy, cyber-war, munitions stockpiles, readiness, research and development, and missile defense.

The report should be coupled with startling results from recent wargames where United States forces are devastated by a series of attacks that blunt or obliterate our advantages in air-superiority, and aircraft carrier dominance. These are not flights of fancy, but realistic scenarios based on current adversaries’ capabilities which turn our advantages into a burden. In a recent RAND wargame, “red forces” destroy our F-35 fighters on the ground, sink our carriers with long-range missiles, crater our airbases, annihilate the army’s supply depots and shut down our networks with cyber-attacks in what China states is “system destruct warfare.” RAND recommends buying more missiles, upgrading our air defense, and securing command and control. This is not the first serious wargame in recent memory where America lost and lost badly.

The most serious threat comes from an inability to see space and all its components from a strategic vantage point.

This piece originally ran on Newsmax on Friday, March 29, 2019.

Newsmax: The Dark Side of China’s Yuan Diplomacy

Early 20th century United States foreign policy has often been characterized by being an era of “dollar diplomacy.” Dollar diplomacy was originally used during the Theodore Roosevelt administration, and it was the primary instrument of foreign policy under President Taft. It was designed to both promote American economic interests abroad and naturally increase America’s diplomatic and strategic initiatives in those affected nations. The left-wing of politics has always condemned “dollar diplomacy” as proof that Marx was right about the motivations of America abroad, namely that corporate capitalism led to American diplomatic and military intervention. This is fascinating since many on the left worldwide apologize for China’s much more malevolent style of “Yuan diplomacy.”

Integral to China’s One-Belt-One Road system is a colossal effort to engage in predatory lending on a global scale. From 2000 to 2014, China lent 5,466 loans totaling $354.4 billion. China is engaged in this policy with four goals in mind: debt trapping, bullying, diplomatic leverage, and military advantage.

The first part of this is for China to create a debt trap. China realizes that many third world nations will be unable to repay the loans that they are given. This will lead to a choice of economic servitude, or those nations can handover to China more tangible concessions in exchange. These concessions are in the vein of ports and land.

The second strategy is bullying. Thanks to its economic footprint in Africa, and its regional military power in Asia, China, under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party, is robust in dictating the new trading rules under the implied shadow of retaliation and force. One of the most tangible benefits to this is the PRC’s demand that these loans require the use of Chinese companies, known as “tying.” The use of Chinese companies and personnel for construction also puts Chinese civilian, military, and intelligence professionals on the ground. China, therefore, creates diplomatic leverage over the “host” government, and even leverage with western nations who wish to engage in trade. This all leads to the most concerning issue, the advantage given to the Chinese military. The port in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa is the first overseas port for the Chinese Navy. It may follow the pathway of Sri Lanka. The case of Sri Lanka is instructive. China not only used economic leverage to force Sri Lanka to hand over the port of Hambantota, but it also funneled millions of dollars into the coffers of the former Sri Lankan president, Mr. Rajapaksa, and his campaign. Rajapaksa then turned around and drove Sri Lanka into even more debt to China before losing the election in 2015. He is now trying to make a political comeback. Since the Port of Hambantota is of dubious commercial value, most would argue that the possession of this port is purely for naval projection of power. The PRC also has a part of the main port in the capital, Colombo. Here the world has witnessed visits by Chinese submarines, regardless of objections by the new Sri Lankan government.

President Trump’s administration is making sincere efforts to broadcast China’s true intentions.

President Trump also supports the new BUILD act (Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development) passed in February 2018, designed to directly counter China’s economic influence.

Secretary of State Pompeo stated, “The Act provides opportunities for American companies to compete overseas and create jobs here at home, a critical component of the President’s national economic strategy. BUILD strengthens the U.S. government’s development finance capacity, offering a better alternative to state-directed investments and advancing our foreign policy goals.” China is also targeting specific countries with this predatory strategy such as Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Montenegro, and Pakistan. Many of these nations are trying to stand up to China, but they will need U.S. leadership to do so.

China’s imperialism offers the United States the perfect opportunity to reassert the order and norms that it has created since the Second World War. Dollar diplomacy may have its origins with President Theodore Roosevelt, but it should be remembered that although it served American economic interests, it was equally interested in building up the prosperity of those nations. This was especially the case in the western hemisphere and was an integral part of the Roosevelt Doctrine focused on intervention, expansion, civilizing, and stabilization. Roosevelt combined this belief by magnifying the mission of the United States to encourage and expand Western civilization and order. He was out for establishing lawfulness, so that order could lead to civilization thus enhancing the prospect of political democracy.

The American model was one where utilitarian economic realism was combined with democracy and stability so that all participants would benefit from a relationship that would increase political, civil, and economic dignity.

This should be contrasted to imperialism by China whose strategy is exactly which the Americans opposed at the start of the nation.

This piece originally ran on Newsmax on 26 February 2019.

Newsmax: A 2019 Guide to the English Language (Part II)

Last time in — from the Heartland — I wrote Part 1 of the guide to navigate the Left-wing Sea of Trouble. In that piece, I dealt with the terms Politically Correct, White Guilt, Toxic Masculinity, and Social Justice Warrior. The best is yet to come so let us dive right into the Orwellian black hole we Americans have created for ourselves.

Number Four: Microaggressions

Originally emerging in the 1970s (a decade that should primarily be forgotten) coined by psychiatrist and Harvard University professor Chester M. Pierce to describe subtle, or nuanced language that degraded non-whites, by whites. The term has volcanically exploded to include any language that any “marginalized” group views as offensive and could trigger suffering (see below). This idea continued to expand to include language that was not intentionally meant to cause pain and language that was otherwise objectively neutral, but that an individual could decide to interpret as offensive. If the millennial generation has been abused by one of these terms more than others it is this one. It has created for them a culture of victimization that has debilitated them in both social and professional situations. It has allowed those who should be accountable for bad decisions and bad policy to hide behind the shield of being microaggressed. Oddly enough, groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda seem immune to accusations of microaggression.

Number Three: Triggered (Often Related to Safe Space)

In one of the looniest misuses of the English language, the very term the Left has created, is in itself that concept they wish to avoid. The term trigger, trigger warning, triggered, erupted in the first part of the 21st century primarily in Communist Party Political Academies once known as universities. The concept codified in places like UC Santa Barbara where they forced faculty to announce a trigger was about to be pulled, indicating a controversial topic that could cause trauma was about to be mentioned. In reality, it is used when someone does not like the free speech of others and therefore will be traumatized by whatever they dislike, especially any positive mention of God or country. In another example of the Revolution eating its own children, the term “trigger,” associated with firearms, has been castigated as a trauma-inducing word.

Number Two: Woke

A close second to our number one term is the idea of “woke” or “staying woke.” The term is very new in its current usage so don’t feel bad if you have never heard it. It will come to find you as it knows where you live. The idea is that if you are woke, you are aware of all the social injustices of the age. You, therefore, can use all the terms in our guide freely and with bravado which allows one to hide incompetence, calumny, and corruption. You can also accuse others of not being “woke,” which essentially dehumanizes them and qualifies them to be considered for re-education centers.

Number One: Virtue Signaling

Nothing on our list is as wonderfully insane as our number one entry: Virtue Signaling. It encapsulates everything about the new Left in one single idea and concept. Originally refering to religious people who wish to signal piety, it was hijacked in the recent period by the Left who wish to demonstrate their social justice warrior (see the previous guide) credentials by signaling their support or distaste for any particular idea or person. In typical Left-wing fashion, they have taken the term “virtue” (one’s obligation to God, self, family, community, and nation) and recreated the term to mean a demonstration of disgust, mostly on social media, which gives one the appearance of endeavor with no action required. It is the perfect apotheosis of Left-wing concepts as it creates a morality from a vacuum requiring nothing other than emotional indignation based on one’s own narcissism. It would almost be divine in its perfect demonstration of Left-wing thought if it were not for the Left’s denunciation of God.

There are honorable mentions such as “othering (as in a group or person not being one of us but the “other”); ” “outing” (forcing someone to come out of some shadow that another person deems as too shadowy), and “throwing shade” (casting aspersions on people you don’t like). These did not make the cut as the other eight.

It is my sincere hope that this guide saves you and your family from the various professional gulags and spiritual wastelands currently in existence in the Left-run utopias around the nation.

This piece originally ran on Newsmax on 22 January 2019.

Newsmax: A 2019 Guide to the English Language

It can be difficult for Americans to navigate the swamplands of language usage without getting into trouble with the Cheka (first Soviet secret police) and sent to a re-education center. In all totalitarian countries, millions of people have been and are sent to places where their thinking can be “adjusted” to fit the state’s needs. George Orwell’s “1984” predicted a leftist dictatorship that would enforce doublethink: hate means love, war means peace, slavery means freedom. Orwell would appreciate that the new terrain is based on creating new words and new phrases to engineer the new communist man for the 21st century.

This is all done in an effort to save my countrymen from the 0-dark thirty knocks on the house door by the forces of Antifa, who will willingly force you to be tolerant and kind by clubbing you over the head. I have compiled the top terms so that one can safely glide in and out of totalitarian conversations with ease. This will be especially helpful should you venture anywhere near an American university campus, Left-wing policy institution, Planned Parenthood, media outlet, or Hollywood.

Politically Correct, PC

The term came into fashion in the 1980s as a way for the leftists to indicate that certain language usage was acceptable and others were evil (though the concept of evil is in itself politically incorrect unless applied to conservatives). The only absolute the left is consistent about is their certainty that all values that are Judeo-Christian based are inherently wrong. The purpose of claiming something is politically correct is to ensure a chilling effect on anyone within a 50-yard radius who wishes to disagree with the speaker. This is especially useful during media interviews and faculty meetings. PC has its own party army referred to as the PC police.

White Guilt (synonymous to White Privilege and cousin to Liberal Guilt)

No totalitarian dictionary would be complete without an over-emphasis on race and the desire by those on the left to segregate races based on identity politics. Started in the 1970s distributed in handbooks and training manuals to “help” white people not be racist the term quickly became a demand. Whites by definition must possess this “guilt” for being white, lest they forego their humanity and UN passports since the left prefers global citizenship to American. Advocates of white guilt engage in the overt embracing of other people and cultures whether these people want the invasion of their personal space or not. White guilt is often partnered by the second demand of white privilege which requires all white people to acknowledge their overabundance and soft lives. All of this is enforced by liberal guilt police who are always on the verge of total despondency.

Toxic Masculinity

Just as no list would be complete without hyperbole about race, no 21st-century homage to the Devil’s Dictionary would be satisfied without gender. The attack on manliness has existed for decades. It is now taken for granted that the male in most sitcoms is rude, crude, arrogant, stupid, and shallow. The feminist school of international relations propagates the idea that men create instability, war, chaos, violence, economic recession, and generally leave the toilet seat up. Breaking out in the 1980s, it blamed men like Ronald Reagan for creating aggression because of the male drive. Today the anti-male agenda has broadened to argue that any male expression of manliness or virtu (according to Machiavelli), is a demonstrable evil (see PC definition of evil) and should be immediately stomped out by the local bully or PC police. This has even reached the pinnacle of western civilization when attempting to attack the masculinity of the Holy Trinity; then again, the Trinity is not PC, to begin with.

Social Justice Warrior

Due to the negation of manliness by the previous PC police camp guards, the world still needs defending, and those answering the pan flute’s call are social justice warriors. Originating in the late 20th century, the term originally had the rather banal connotation of someone who was devoted to social activism. However, it quickly mutated into a badge of honor for those who enforce all the previous listed terms. They are, just as Lenin’s Bolsheviks were, the new vanguard of the proletariat ready to serve as judge, jury, and executioner, especially anonymously via the internet. Often Social Justice Warrior is reduced to the acronym SJW; many now refer to such people by another three letter combination.

This piece originally ran on Newsmax on 9 January 2019.

Newsmax: A True Statesman, President Bush Helmed US as Sole Superpower

On the morning when the world discovered President Bush had passed away, I received an email from an old friend who I fought many political battles alongside. He informed me that the death of the president had stirred up dreams and remembrances. He asked if I recalled how great the 1988 campaign was, and how equally bad 1992 was. I had remembered it the same.
There have been countless articles and eulogies given for President Bush. Many of these rightly list off the numerous domestic and foreign policy accomplishments of the president who justly deserves to be considered the most qualified person for the Oval office since James Monroe.

Two items are often omitted from these acts of homage.

The first is that although many list his foreign policy achievements, they forget that at the grand strategic level Bush becomes the first president to deal with and manage the United States as the sole superpower. When the history of American grand strategy is written, it will need to start its chapter on the Pax Americana with George Herbert Walker Bush. This is greater than the singular parts of American foreign policy, even the Gulf War. In fact, you can’t have the successful transition of the USSR to Russia, the capture of Manuel Noriega, or the defeat of Saddam Hussein without Bush being first at the helm of the most powerful country to ever appear on the planet.

The second omission is the atmosphere of the 1988 campaign which made him president.

The 1988 presidential campaign was the first campaign where I, as a university student, held an executive position in Wisconsin. I was able to experience life as an “advance man” in addition to coordinating volunteers, phone banks, yard signs, and leaflet drops. This was still the golden age of retail politics before the internet age and the dubious and dark promises of social media. You either had a ground game, or you did not even bother.

My first encounter with the future president was at the Sheraton Hotel where I had to briefly act as a go-between from a Bush-adoring fan base to the Secret Service. They were naturally more nervous being in Madison, Wisconsin, which according to urban legend had an unofficial competition with San Francisco for the number of death threats against prominent politicians. President Bush was everything that many have recounted: generous, affable, awkward, and above all gentlemanly. Although Dukakis would carry the state 51 percent to 47 percent, this loss was tempered by both the popular vote and Electoral College landslide for President Bush nationally. Those of us in the heartland knew we had given it our all, and the right man won in the end.

The strangest aspect of the campaign, and one that enraged those of us on the team, more than the man himself, was the attacks by a minority of Republicans and many Democrats that Bush was “a wimp.” It was shocking, insulting, and appalling for two fundamental reasons. First, many of those accusing him of being said “wimp” had done nothing courageous or brave or sacrificial in their own lives. Second, was how far off the mark it was from the reality of the former young navy pilot, and recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism. However, similar to Bob Dole and John McCain, Bush refused to exploit his wartime heroics, much to the consternation of the various campaign staffs. I remember phone banks where we would sometimes have the “wimp” or “silver spoon” factor thrown in our faces. The media de jour, the proto-fake-news media, had embellished both. As the campaign went on, it was clear that the more a voter knew about George Bush, the more that voter liked him, and better yet, respected him. Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson stated in his memoir that Bush had a common touch, and had once told him to, “Never forget where you came from, Tommy.” Bush never forgot that where he came from was from a family devoted to service above self.

Sometimes Bush was accused of being a Patrician, but this was a strength, not a curse. The patrician class was what made Rome a Republic and ensured Rome’s greatest traditions and laws. If that is what the accusers were getting at, it was a losing battle.

Perhaps his real strength, which was somewhat of a curse when faced with a biased media was that he was not a politician. He was a statesman.

This piece originally ran on Newsmax on 4 December, 2018.

Newsmax: The Troika of Tyranny Is the New Axis of Evil

When President Bush gave the State of the Union speech in 2002, it was one of those magnificent historical events in the Anglosphere. It hearkened back to President Reagan’s Westminster speech and Churchill’s Battle of Britain Speech.

This State of the Union speech was the formal declaration of war against the post-cold war threats of the 21st century emphasizing the president’s declaration that he would not wait for threats to materialize before taking action. In that speech, President Bush coined the term, “the axis of evil,” referring to the three regimes that fit this evil definition, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. Thus, under the Bush Doctrine, American foreign policy was moved from simply pursuing Al Qaeda to a worldwide crusade against the combined forces of extremism and WMDs. The speech set out the premise of the Bush Doctrine: preemption, prevention, and the ‘non-negotiable’ demand for liberty fulfilled by American primacy.

President Bush clearly affirmed, “States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.”

In 2010, the “Axis of Resistance” was declared by Iran, Syria, and Hamas, the very entities that drink at the same evil wellspring that President Bush warned against.

The United States hit back forcefully this month when National Security Adviser John Bolton proclaimed his “Troika of Tyranny” speech at the Freedom Tower in Miami, calling out Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Bolton, who also referred to this grouping as the triangle of terror declared: “In Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, we see the perils of poisonous ideologies left unchecked and the dangers of domination and suppression… This Troika of Tyranny, this triangle of terror stretching from Havana to Caracas to Managua, is the cause of immense human suffering, the impetus of enormous regional instability, and the genesis of a sordid cradle of communism in the Western Hemisphere.”

Regarding Cuba, Bolton emphasized the need for free elections, assembly, expression, freeing of political prisoners, and the legalization of political parties. The atrocities committed by the Cuban communist regime can’t be forgotten or ignored. Despite, and in spite of, the Obama administration’s willingness to sacrifice human rights on the altar of left-wing romantic notions concerning murderers like Che Guevara. Bolton condemned both Venezuela and Nicaragua for continued repression, violence, election fraud, and setting their countries on a path of economic ruin.

The media has focused primarily on two issues. One, they claimed, was a cynical attempt to help Republicans in Florida by pandering to Cuban-American voters. Second, was for some media outlets to highlight Bolton’s criticisms, while engaging in apologetics for the same regimes. What is lost is a historical context.

Cuba was the epicenter of Soviet operations against its own people and the United States during the Cold War. Cuban Intelligence, the DGI, was and is the main arm of terror not only inside of Cuba but also abroad. It is one of those amazing examples of an arm of the state acting like a terrorist organization. Cuba is notorious for its labor camps, torture, and murder of its own population, the destruction of churches, the imprisonment of pastors, and an overarching tyranny that has attempted to destroy the spirit of the Cuban people. Venezuela and Nicaragua are only “better” by degree. Both governments have engaged in torture, brutality, election fraud, false imprisonment, executions, the use and pay of mobs to engage in violence against political opponents, destruction of the rule of law, the confiscation of private property, and persecution. Amnesty International reports that the Venezuelan government alone has murdered over 8,000 people from 2015 to 2017.

Where is the media outcry about this? Why divert attention to discussing Floridian congressional midterm elections while such human rights atrocities are occurring?

National Security Advisor Bolton made a bold and dynamic statement in line with the noblest expressions of American foreign policy. Americans should rally to this, and condemn real evil when we see it.

This piece originally ran on Newsmax on 19 November, 2018.