Gordon G. Chang, Martin Seiff, and Brandon J. Weichert join Paolo von Schirach of the Global Policy Institute to discuss Sino-American relations after COVID-19.
At the start of the novel coronavirus outbreak, I warned readers that we were entering into a “new paradigm” which … More
President Trump is a transactional leader. So, too, is Vladimir Putin. Let’s do the mother-of-all geopolitical deals and get on with more pressing matters of state already. Neither Ukraine nor Venezuela are worth risking a wider war with Russia. And, despite what “experts” in the United States claim, Russia is a declining power with delusions of grandeur. American policy toward Russia has left Putin with little hope. Thus, as he is increasingly boxed in by the West and a rising China to his east, the likelihood of Putin lashing out militarily against the West is higher now than it has ever been.
The ongoing American effort to destabilize the vile Maduro regime in Venezuela appeared to be a gallant attempt by Washington to hone its own shadow warfare capabilities. If that’s the case, then, the United States needs to go back to the drawing board because our rivals are better at this kind of warfare than we are. Should this situation persist, then, you can expect America’s rivals in Moscow and Beijing (and elsewhere) to continue challenging American power… and to keep achieving their objectives while America fails to accomplish its own goals. Over time, this will lead to a victory for autocracy in the ongoing competition between the world’s autocracies and democracies.
“The essential element in this scenario would be American leadership as opposed to direct American military intervention. While this method may take longer and, therefore, prolong human suffering in Venezuela, this is the only viable option. After all, freedom isn’t free, and the United States has had ample evidence over the last several decades that it cannot fight for other peoples’ independence.”
“Washington cannot abandon Latin America. After all, the problems that afflict Latin America will inevitably ripple upward to the United States, causing grave political and economic dislocations. They already are. Imagine what happens if the United States retreats completely from the region and cedes its influence to rivals like China, Russia, and Iran – or Cuba, for that matter.”
“We’ve tried economic sanctions, and since we don’t want a wider war, let’s try diplomacy in Venezuela.”
“The solution is to organize a massive regional response to the Venezuelan crisis. Countries like Colombia, Peru, and Brazil are all interested in mitigating Venezuela’s collapse. The Trump Administration must head a regional coalition that would aim to ameliorate the suffering of the Venezuelan people, while putting pressure on the regime in Caracas. Venezuela, more than Syria, is where a limited, American-led humanitarian intervention of regional powers should occur. The longer that the Trump Administration ignores the Venezuelan crisis, the more time America’s enemies have to harden their positions in our part of the world—which could directly threaten the United States.”
“The United States must act now. We must look to the Berlin Airlift and do what we can to send aid to the Venezuelan people in a visible way that lets them know that they are not alone and the United States is not their enemy. Venezuela’s enemy is its own leaders. If the United States fails to act, we could be facing a refugee crisis on the level of the Syrian Civil War, and we could witness the complete destabilization of Latin America–which will creep its way into our country, since we share a mostly undefended land border. While humanitarian aid may be a costly endeavor with no guarantee of success, doing nothing assures failure.”
“Should Colombia be consumed by chaos, the region will become consumed by chaos. Since the United States is connected to this part of the world by geography and instability here ultimately impacts security in America, it would behoove the Trump Administration to handle this situation with a much lighter touch than they have thus far.”