Do today’s headlines make you feel like you’ve jumped in the wayback machine and landed in 1973? There’s a reason for that. This is what the world looks like without firm American leadership that doesn’t put America’s interests first. Welcome to a world on fire.
At the nadir of American power after the humiliation in Vietnam, the biggest cheerleaders for the end of American dominance came from the American left. They really believed we would all be better off without Pax America, preferring instead a multi-polar world where big nations didn’t call all the shots.
Nothing seemed to shake that belief. Not the Yom Kippur War (1973). Not even 1979’s trifecta of misery: the oil crisis triggered by the Iranian Revolution, the Iran hostage crisis, and Russia’s ruthless invasion of Afghanistan. Through it all, they still believed that America was the root of the world’s problems.
In the 1990s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the "bipolar" world, their hopes revived that a multipolar future was just around the corner. The ranks of the Obama administration—and now Biden’s—are riddled with true-believers bent on ushering in a multipolar era. All it takes to make the dream a reality is to dismantle American greatness, diffuse power throughout the world, and supplant nation-state governance with rule by multinational institutions.
Obama did his best to implement this vision. Despite the freakish fears of isolationism from the right, it was Obama who put retrenchment into practice. He spent eight years trying to disengage from America’s global interests and responsibilities. The result was predictably disastrous: the growing dominance of China, the rise of ISIS, Putin’s first invasion of Ukraine, a quagmire in Afghanistan, an aggressive North Korea, and a failed Iran Deal.
The Trump years offered a brief respite from this madness. But the Biden administration brought back Obama’s foreign policy with a vengeance—and with sadly predictable results. The chaotic retreat from Afghanistan only emboldened China. Russia read Biden’s back-peddling as a greenlight to invade Ukraine. Iran saw Biden’s effort to buy them off as weakness engineered a war against Israel.
Meanwhile, Africa has been plunged into chaos. There have been seven coups there since Biden took office. One of these nations—Niger—had been the recipient of significant U.S. aid and had accommodated a major U.S. military presence. In Latin America, we now have the largest gaggle of anti-American (and pro-China) regimes since at least 1973.
All this has been brought about by Biden’s foreign policy priorities: dismantling American energy dominance, exporting woke politics, un-securing U.S. borders, trying to bribe Iran and striving not annoy China too much.
This is the world the left wanted.
Here is why it didn’t work. The multipolar idea originated with Leninist-Marxists. They never saw it as a project for a more equitable world. For them, it was an attempt to weaken their enemies—even better if their enemies adopted their propaganda and weakened themselves. The American left happily complied.
We are not safer because of the diffusion of power. We have just created more space for the likes of China, Russia, and Iran to meddle.
The alternative is not U.S. trying to be a mythical superpower or the world’s policeman or its babysitter. The U.S. should look after America’s interests—that is what makes nations safe, free, and prosperous.
To do that, Washington needs to stop thinking that China is a "relationship" that can be managed. Stop giving money to Hamas and Iran. Stop holding back American energy. Secure the border. Tell Europe to get serious about defending Europe. Stop acting like the U.N. and act like the U.S.
The left will hate this, but it’s the only way forward for securing a more peaceful, prosperous world.
This piece originally appeared in Fox News