The Fearsome Five

With everyone in America now wrapped up and focused on Donald Trump, there are a few bad actors in the world that we definitely need to be aware of.  I will call them the Fearsome Five.  As our next President of the United States, he will have to deal with these particularly dangerous actors. Recognizing that they are a danger to America and then making the right foreign policy decisions will be crucial for the survival of our nation in the next few years. The Fearsome Five are Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and The Islamic State (ISIS).

Let's begin with Russia.  They are dangerous for two reasons, capability and intent.  Russia is led by Vladimir Putin, who is ex KGB, and very much a 19th century Realpolitik thinker.  He recognizes weakness when he sees it, and capitalizes on it.  It has become clearer in the last year or so, that Putin is looking to advance Russian hegemony.  From pushing into Ukraine to helping prop up the Assad regime in Syria to selling of planes and weapons to Iran, Putin keeps pushing the envelope more and more.  The Obama Administration has been quite weak and has allowed Russia to gain strength and the upper hand in Middle East affairs.  The Russian Bear is alive and well and is a definite threat that needs more attention and a firmer foreign policy approach.

Iran is the next threat and becoming more and more a danger to Israel and America. Iran is ruled by the Ayatollah and are Shia Muslims.  They have consistently stated on numerous occasions, and boasted, that they intend to wipe out all of Israel and rid the world of Jews.  The Obama Administration negotiated a sham of a nuclear weapons deal with Iran last year and gave them billions of dollars to continue to perfect a nuclear weapon capable of hitting Israel and America.  If we have learned anything from history, appeasement never works and has dire consequences.  Europe found that out with Hitler in the 1930's and 1940's and apparently we are walking down that path again with the Ayatollah in Iran.  To make things worse, they are getting technology from North Korea, and probably Russia as well, to help aid in their nuclear weapons ambitions.  Add in they are serious sponsors of terrorism, and you have a serious ticking time bomb that the Obama Administration has managed to make far worse.

Next on the list of five is North Korea. North Korea is led by their Supreme Leader, Kim Jung-un.  He inherited the throne in 2011 after his father, Kim Jung-il passed away.   North Korea is one of the worlds most repressive countries and a very closed society.  That makes it much harder to get really credible information about what is going on inside that totalitarian regime. For years now, his father, and now Kim Jung-un, have spouted off whenever they needed some attention from the world.  Most people have pretty much ignored them and laughed them off.  Unfortunately, they now are getting closer and closer to having serious nuclear weapons capabilities and claim to have a hydrogen bomb that they stated they could set loose on Manhattan. They have tested numerous rockets and are perfecting delivery systems. Combine that with the fact they are giving their nuclear weapons technology to Iran and working with them to hone their capabilities and make them both formidable adversaries. Now throw in that American troops are based on the 38th Parallel as a buffer between North Korea and South Korea, and you are inching more and more towards a potential powder keg.

China is our next bad actor.  Granted, we trade with them and they own quite a bit of our debt, but they are a communist country of over one billion people who are a very repressive regime.  They have grown their military considerably over the last several years and are building islands in the South China Sea for bases of operation.  They are dealing with an economic slowdown and their spending on the military was cut to just 7% this year.  However, that is still more than any Western countries are spending on their military budgets and they pose a large army and navy which is quite capable of destabilizing the Far East.  They also are very active in cyber warfare attacks and have the technology to harm our economy and energy grids.  Trading with China is pretty much one-sided, but any trade war with them could get a bit tricky and lead to more serious confrontations.  They are definitely a country that needs to be addressed and carefully managed.

The last of the five is the Islamic State, or ISIS.  They are some 40,000 strong and growing each day as they continue to recruit followers and fighters to join in their war of Jihad.  They were called the "JV Team" by President Obama, but they continue to be a far more serious threat than the Obama administration admits. With the attack in Brussels, Belgium and the attack in Paris last Fall, they are keeping Europe on edge and Americans just a bit uneasy.  They blend in and seem to get cover from various sources as they plot and plan their next terrorist attack.  America and Europe have failed to really go after destroying ISIS with the full force needed and thus have allowed them to grow and develop into an ever more dangerous actor on the world stage.

While most people have focused on Mr. Trump and his transitioning into the White House, these Fearsome Five need to be watched and dealt with.  Foreign policy is essential to maintaining a peaceful world. Peace through strength is the most effective way to lead and keep these dangerous actors in check.  We need to build back our military and become a stronger and more revered country again, and by doing so, put all the world on notice, that we are more than capable of confronting any evil actors that dare to threaten freedom and liberty. A strong America, both economically and militarily, is essential to maintaining as peaceful a world as is possible. If the new administration fails to deal effectively with these foreign policy threats, then the prospects of an even deadlier and more chaotic world loom larger.


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