By Larry Bell
America and her allies face growing threats from menacing nations and murderously malevolent terrorist factions that exploit leadership and military weaknesses which are precariously evident.
Current appeasement policies and recent strategic blunders have further emboldened and empowered our most aggressive adversaries — China, Russia, and Iran — who are now conspiring and collaborating on multiple fronts.
Iran is providing drone missiles to Russia for use against Ukraine, money and weapons to Hamas, Hezbollah, and other proxies for attacks on Israel; and oil to China to fuel their expansionary ambitions in Taiwan and the South China Sea.
As discussed in my previous article, Russia is supplying arms and munitions we fecklessly abandoned in Afghanistan to Hamas and terrorist groups in Pakistan as about one-third of our missile inventory has already been expended fighting their invasion of Ukraine.
Last July, Russian and Chinese warships conducted combat exercises in the Sea of Japan prior to beginning a 2,300 nautical-mile joint patrol including into waters near Alaska which the Chinese defense industry said was intended to “reflect the level of the strategic mutual trust” between the two countries and their militaries.
Our adversaries and allies watched in glee or shock, respectively, as they witnessed America’s chaotically disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal which left 13 of our service personnel dead and thousands of American citizens and supporters behind along with abandonment of $8 billion of military equipment and the enormously strategic Bagram Air Base near major China nuclear development facilities.
None of the senior military officials responsible — along with our current sitting president — were fired over this debacle.
Meanwhile, racist, anti-American woke indoctrination, mandatory COVID-19 shots, and other morale-killing political agendas contributed, and still contribute, to serious recruitment problems in our armed forces.
Still, our president and many others in the D.C. swamp face no consequences.
The Biden administration terminated U.S. fossil-fueled energy independence gained under Trump in combination with removing sanctions on the Nord Stream pipeline to increase European dependency on Russian gas while also ignoring oil export sanctions placed on Iran.
Add to that, then begged OPEC to pump more oil to increase supplies while also draining the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to reduce pump prices ahead of 2022 midterm elections, further revealing staggering incompetence to the world.
Enlisting Russia as its broker to negotiate resumption of the failed Obama administration Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — better known as the Iran Nuclear Deal — which has enabled Tehran to achieve a near breakthrough in weapons grade uranium purity while simultaneously agreeing to release $6 billion in frozen Iran assets in exchange for returning five imprisoned U.S. hostages is strategically incomprehensible.
This after Iran and its proxies have launched 83 attacks on Americans since Joe Biden took office with only four military responses.
We have since learned that this ransom deal was being negotiated at the same time Iran was reportedly also plotting Israeli attacks with Hamas and Hezbollah which have so far left an estimated 22 American citizens confirmed dead and 17 or more new U.S. hostages to serve as human shields against retaliatory attacks on strategic Hamas sites in Gaza.
Building upon shared concern among Israeli neighbors regarding Iran’s hostile nuclear ambitions aided and abetted by Obama JCPOA concessions, the active Gaza conflict has likely put Trump-era progress in building peaceful Mideast alliances through the Abraham Accords in great jeopardy.
As postulated by Wall Street Journal editors, “Iran’s current purpose may be to blow up the emerging rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia — at a moment when the U.S. is also assisting Ukraine against Russia.”
Notably here, rather than condemn the Hamas attacks, Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry instead cooly noted that it had repeatedly warned of Israel’s “occupation, the deprivation of the Palestinian people of their legitimate rights, and the repetition of systematic provocations.”
The current Iran plus proxy campaign appears orchestrated to engage Israel in an expanding struggle with the first stage to draw them into an extended and bloody street-fighting operation in densely populated Gaza requiring tens of thousands of combat troops wherein numerous Palestinian lives would also be sacrificed in the process.
Unavoidable collateral Palestinian resident bloodshed, in turn, will then potentially draw in Iran’s most powerful partners, Lebanese Hezbollah and the Syrian Fourth and Fifth divisions, to attack Israel from the north, raising threats of a third Lebanon War.
Defeat of America’s most vital Mideast ally, Israel, would be an unacceptably tragic moral and strategic loss leading to dissolution of the Jewish state.
As pointed out by former Undersecretary of the Navy Seth Cropsey, “Gulf Arabs would move quickly to fill the vacuum, and at minimum, the U.S. would be forced to expend enormous amounts of blood and treasure to maintain its influence in Europe and the Middle East.”
Such a development would force the reversal of a trend over three consecutive U.S. presidential administrations that have attempted to pivot away from the Mideast to focus more attention on other global challenges such as China and Russia.
Cropsey admonishes that absent clear (presumably congressional) guardrails, “the worst choice would be to continue the Biden administration’s policy of equivocation toward Iran and pressure on Israel . . . the war will spiral out, either directly or indirectly.”
For starters here, it’s both urgent and ironic that Congress needs to immediately renew Iran oil export sanctions and refreeze that $6 billion of ransom money that the current White House inexplicably approved.
Stage two, by far the most important, is up to the rest of us to change the White House occupancy.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program.
Original article: Newsmax