Three Foreign Policy Issues That Matter More Than Midterm Elections

COMMENTARY Asia

Three Foreign Policy Issues That Matter More Than Midterm Elections

Oct 17, 2022 3 min read
COMMENTARY BY
James Jay Carafano

Vice President, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute

James Jay Carafano is a leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges.
Pretty much everyone agrees—or should—that Beijing is the preeminent global challenge of our era. Ran_Ran / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

While the election won’t hinge on foreign policy, those who are elected will have to deal with it.

President Biden could get things started by integrating the instruments of federal government to focus on the China and stocking them with skilled, qualified people.

More responsible management of our tax dollars would deliver a smart defense budget, adequate to reinforce peace through strength, without wasting resources.

Next month’s national elections won’t deliver any foreign policy mandate. Voters will go to the polls to call balls and strikes on domestic issues: inflation, crime, immigration, energy prices, and so forth.

But while the election won’t hinge on foreign policy, those who are elected will have to deal with it. China, Iran, Russia and North Korea are not going to stop trying to exploit American weaknesses. Their ambitions threaten the freedom, prosperity, and security of all Americans. Washington really can’t wait until the next presidential election to sort that out.

Yes, the parties will no doubt remain bitterly divided after the election. But it should be possible for them to transcend politics on foreign policy issues that threaten the wellbeing of all Americans. After all, as Abraham Lincoln said, "Democracy is not a suicide pact." Here are three issues where the interests of the American people ought to outweigh political squabbling.

China

Pretty much everyone agrees—or should—that Beijing is the preeminent global challenge of our era. Even Iran and Russia, which can be as messy in geopolitics as an untrained puppy, are most concerning because they present an extension of the China problem.

>>> America’s Dependence on China Is a Crisis in the Making

The problem is there is no bipartisan consensus on how to deal with China. What’s needed is something like the Cold War era when both sides embraced a strategy of containment to deal with the Soviet Union. It can be done. After all, the Cold War consensus was forged over the course of the rump presidency of Democrat Harry Truman and his successor Republican Dwight Eisenhower.

At the very least, President Biden could get things started by integrating the instruments of federal government to focus on the China and stocking them with skilled, qualified people. He could, for example, reestablish the Trump-era Justice Department initiative focused on an anti-espionage.

Biden could also encourage and cooperate with states who are developing initiatives, laws and capabilities to battle malicious Chinese Communist Party influence in their backyard. These initiatives aim to stop Beijing from exploiting state universities and buying up American farmland.

The White House could have hard, heart-to-heart talks and share information with corporate leaders and boards about why—for the survival of their own companies and the protection of their employees and customers—they need to take seriously the dangers of doing business with and in China.

Western Hemisphere

American can’t handle another two years of Biden’s open border policies. It would assure an illegal population greater than that of all but four states. No Congress will grant that many people amnesty or cover the escalating costs of states and localities trying to take care of this mass of people. Absent action, drug deaths will continue to rise as drugs traffickers take advantage of the non-security. The threat of another 9/11 will keep increasing, too, as more and more terrorists walk in across the southern border.

At the very least, lawmakers should insist that Biden drop his devastating open-borders experiment and go back to enforcing our immigration laws—the law he swore to uphold at his inauguration.

>>> U.S. Naval Presence Needed in Sea of Japan to Strengthen Deterrence Against Chinese Aggression

Spending

Washington simply has to take a breather on reckless deficit spending. The economy just can't take two more years of this. This goes mostly for the trillions of dollars domestic spending, but it goes for foreign policy too.

There is no foreign policy problem that can be solved by just throwing money at it. That starts with Ukraine. The military aid is essential. Civilian aid? Why is the U.S. responsible for providing that, too? We have to be careful with civilian aid and reconstruction, so we’re just not creating another aid-dependent basket case. More responsible management of our tax dollars would deliver a smart defense budget, adequate to reinforce peace through strength, without wasting precious resources on instilling wokeness among for the armed forces.

While the president is in charge of foreign policy, it’s Congress that controls the nation’s purse strings. Here’s hoping the next Congres will be able to rise above political gamesmanship and work together to provide the kind of budget and oversight needed to assure that America's foreign policy and defense apparatus is working as needed to safeguard our nation’s security, prosperity, and freedom.

This piece originally appeared in Fox News