America's refusal to show military supremacy will be our downfall
Are we living through another Cold War? In replacement of the Soviets, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have become our main adversary, and as the spheres of influence grow further and further apart, our hostility towards the CCP and theirs to our democracy grows likewise. The amount of nuclear warheads we have pointed towards each other only assures us that Mutually Assured Destruction lies close on the horizon unless something is done to attenuate such an event.
America, like every other nation on Earth, has a history of war and conquest, with periods of evil and shame. There are many peoples throughout the world that would may want to raise arms against the United States, and depending on the circumstances, I might not blame them. It is, however, possible for it to be true that America is both flawed and also one of the best countries to live in. Much of the world has understood this for generations, and many people, including my very own parents, came to this country for the sake of themselves and their children, because this very land was considered a sanctuary from the tyranny and corruption which plagued much of the world.
It is a complex topic, and one that I do not claim to fully understand, but I can see trends and patterns in history, and one that stands out is that when goodness doesn’t fill the vacuum of morality, evil will take its place. When America does not act to defend freedom, wickedness grows, as it has happened before. Take, for example, the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, in which 59 American and Canadian diplomats were held hostage for 444 days. Then-president Jimmy Carter did not use force, but applied economic pressure via freezing Iranian assets and implemented a series of economic and diplomatic sanctions. Thus, the world saw America reduced down to a “paper tiger”, a term used by both Mao Zedong and Osama Bin Laden to describe the U.S.
We saw it in 2021 when the United States withdrew from Afghanistan, where a country collapsed to terrorism upon gaining independence of our support. An entire generation of people, especially educated women, who have never experienced the oppression of extreme religious fundamentalism, suddenly had their rights stripped from them. Our adversaries are now willing to test U.S. aggression. The Taliban in Afghanistan, Russians in Ukraine, soon, it’ll be the Chinese in Taiwan if we do not stop this cycle of foregoing our allies for the sake of maintaining international peace. If the Munich Agreement taught us anything, it’s that there is no way to satisfy expansionist totalitarian regimes through concessions.
Just a few days ago, a Chinese spy balloon flew over the entire continental United States, and even after detection, the U.S. military refused to shoot down the craft. The balloon was originally spotted in Montana, the state harboring most of our nuclear arsenal, and made it all the way to North Carolina and the Atlantic Ocean before being terminated. High-ranking Chinese officials deny the balloon was used for intelligence, and are angered that a Chinese aircraft was downed in American airspace (as if we had any other choice).
The question that everyone must have on their minds is: How much will China push before the U.S. opposes them? It’s clear that America and the Biden administration are trying to keep safety and peace above all, but the price for that is freedom — maybe not for us, but our own allies. This is not an advocacy for a total military offensive, but rather a request that we look at the consequences of hesitant defensive actions and America’s refusal to stand up to our enemies’ unjust expansionism.
While it might seem hypocritical to say that America should both stand against expansionism and totalitarianism and also be involved in every foreign conflict whether our assistance is appreciated or not, the alternative to that, isolationism, is far worse. As the world's leading economic and military power, it is the duty of America to stand up for democracy, lest history repeat itself.