We Need "Peace Through Strength" Now More Than Ever

Since the end of World War II the United States of America has remained the most powerful nation on Earth. A force for good, America has advanced the cause of freedom around the world, which has made our nation wealthier and more prosperous in the process. After the Marshall Plan rebuilt Western Europe and Japan after the bloodiest war in the 20th century, America became the economic and military leader of the world. The Pax Americana, or “American Peace,” like the Pax Romana in antiquity, has led to a safer and more prosperous world for everyone on the planet.

If America ceases to be the world’s leading military and economic power, the world will be less safe and less prosperous. Under the Obama Administration, the United States relinquished its leadership role in the world and allowed our military to atrophy. As a result, smelling weakness, our enemies have become emboldened and our allies have distanced themselves from us out of fear that we don’t have their backs.

Russia and China are both now seeking to challenge U.S. Military superiority. Over the past ten years, while the United States has been embroiled in overseas conflict while gutting its military under the Obama Administration, China has made astonishing gains in its naval and missile capacities. The Communist regime is now able to project force on a near-global scale, with a true “blue water” navy that could challenge U.S. shipping and trade routes, and put pressure on nations in the Asia-Pacific realm to distance themselves from the United States. This would have major implications for our national security and economy.

While China is modernizing its naval capacity, Russian President Vladimir Putin has aggressively sought to modernize his country’s tank technology and its nuclear arsenal. Putin recently bragged about Russian missiles being able to penetrate missile defense shield technology, an obviously antagonistic statement toward the United States. This comes at a time that Russia has continued to ally itself with Iran, which is seeking nuclear weapons of its own. A Russia-Iran alliance is a threat not only to the United States but our great ally, Israel.

President Trump is right to increase our military spending by 10% over the next 18 months, provided that this increase is offset by budget cuts elsewhere. By limiting our ongoing Overseas Contingency Operations, while increasing core military funding, we can rebuild our military edge. Maintaining American military predominance is the best way to deter future conflicts before they occur. As Ronald Reagan understood, we can have “peace through strength,” which will deter challenges instead of allowing military weakness to encourage them.