The U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS) of 2022, recently issued by the Biden administration but in practice a product of the bipartisan establishment, is a strangely fearful document. Most of it is devoted to the dire threats to the U.S. and allied position in the world supposedly represented by Russia and China (with the occasional glance at Iran and North Korea).
And yet the NSS misses what ought to be a blindingly obvious fact: that if the U.S. stands on the defensive on the basis of its existing alliance systems (as it did with great success in Europe during the Cold War), America’s political and military position in the most important parts of the world is not just strong, it is virtually unassailable by any outside power. Grave dangers to the U.S.-led democratic West do exist, but they are mainly internal to our societies, or consequent on climate change, an issue which—although described as a “potentially existential threat”—is shockingly and entirely downplayed by the NSS.
The basis of the tremendous strength of the U.S. position lies in American military power in alliance with local states that are themselves economically and politically strong; while Russian and Chinese alliance systems are weak by comparison. As long as these U.S. alliances remain in place, America cannot be expelled from Europe or the Far East except by direct and totally successful military aggression against these countries—something that any rival cannot hope to achieve and would be suicidal to attempt.
To begin with Europe: NATO and the European Union between them now include all the significant countries on the continent of Europe except for Russia and Ukraine—and Ukraine is by now also to all intents and purposes a U.S. ally. U.S. and allied forces in Europe are entirely capable of defending NATO against Russia. A Russian nuclear threat does exist as a result of the war in Ukraine; but the Russian army has demonstrated conclusively that it is simply not capable of attacking NATO with any prospect of success. Can Russian troops that failed to capture Ukrainian cities 20 miles from the Russian border threaten Warsaw, let alone Berlin? No.
Read the full piece in Time.