When most of us see the word BRICS, we simply assume that it is a misspelling of the word for building materials. Few of us think of it as an acronym for an emerging alliance of nations seeking to subvert U.S. influence, challenge NATO, and prop-up organized crime syndicates. Nevertheless, the so-called Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South African Alliance has emerged as a significant geopolitical threat to the United States and our allies. BRICS is a Chinese-Russian led coalition that is quickly seeking to serve as an authoritarian counterbalance to Western Democracy.
Many market analysts have described the member nations of BRICS as an emerging economic block ripe with profitable opportunities. For those of us who study foreign policy, however, the actions of the BRICS alliance are alarming. Whereas member states of NATO, led by the United States, cherish the rule of law, democratic governance, and individual rights, the nations comprising BRICS are largely led by authoritarian and / or communist regimes that limit individual rights, stifle democracy, and do not adhere to free-enterprise ideals. In fact, many of the member nations of BRICS have economies in which a disturbingly high level of economic activity is derived from illegal activities ranging from money laundering to human trafficking. All the while, leaders like China’s Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin turn a blind eye to corruption and illicit activity taking place in their emerging economic block.
The United States must continue to strengthen its global leadership and economic predominance to check the emerging economic and military threat posed by BRICS. While America has been focused, rightly so, on dealing with the threat of radical Islamic terrorism in the Middle East over the past two decades, the Russians and the Chinese have appeased them and sought to enhance their power while America has been preoccupied. It is now time for the United States to rebuild our military predominance and reaffirm our leadership of the NATO Alliance, while enhancing our bilateral relations with nations like Israel, Great Britain, and Jordan. Counterbalancing the growing authoritarian BRICS alliance is in the economic and national security interests of the United States.
By creating a stronger pro-growth economic environment here at home, the United States can reaffirm its position as the leading world economic power. By rebuilding our military capabilities, particularly the U.S. Navy, we can continue to protect our trade routes and affirm our status as the world’s sole remaining superpower. If America is not strong, then the cause of freedom will not be championed. If America is not strong, then authoritarianism and economic collectivism will continue to make gains on the global stage. While I support keeping our country from becoming bogged-down in decades-long ground wars and constant military engagements, I do oppose isolationism that will allow our enemies to undermine our influence. Only through American economic and military leadership on the world stage can we continue to protect our homeland, ensure our economic vitality, and champion human freedom.
I pray that President Trump will “Make America Great Again,” and will use our power to protect our own vital national security interests by defending our deeply held values on the global stage.