America’s Adversaries Continue To Show They’re Undeterred
‘For three years, America’s adversaries have luxuriated in a world that no longer takes us at our word. Embarrassing retreat from Afghanistan. Fawning climate diplomacy with our top strategic competitor. Failure to take Vladimir Putin seriously until it was too late. And fears of escalation that delayed lethal aid to Ukraine at every turn.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding national security priorities:
“Yesterday, Iran-backed terrorists carried out another deadly attack on a base that houses U.S. personnel in Syria.
“The Iran-backed Houthis continue to threaten U.S. vessels and international shipping in the Red Sea.
“Three days after President Biden directed strikes in response to the killing of three U.S. soldiers in Jordan, Iran and its proxies are demonstrating that their particular calculus had not changed.
“The President said on Friday that our adversaries should know that, quote ‘If you harm an American, we will respond.’
“Well, by their actions, our adversaries are turning the President’s words back around. They’re essentially saying: ‘We will attack America at times and places of our choosing.’
“Iran and the expendable terrorists it trades for American blood are demonstrably undeterred. And they are hardly the only ones.
“For three years, America’s adversaries have luxuriated in a world that no longer takes us at our word.
“Embarrassing retreat from Afghanistan. Fawning climate diplomacy with our top strategic competitor. Failure to take Putin seriously until it was too late. And fears of escalation that delayed lethal aid to Ukraine at every turn.
“For three years, America’s foreign policy has been defined by hesitation, half-measures, and self-deterrence. President Biden has dug our credibility – the value of America’s word – into a hole.
“Meanwhile, our adversaries are aligning and coordinating to an unprecedented degree. As America gives our allies and partners reasons to doubt our resolve, Russia and China are engaged in a ‘friendship without limits’.
“The contrast couldn’t be starker! But it doesn’t have to be this way. Take it from practitioners who know that better than anyone:
“Just yesterday, former National Security Advisor, retired Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, had this to say: ‘The abandonment of Kyiv would be a gift to the Moscow–Tehran–Beijing–Pyongyang axis of aggressors. Allies and partners would lose trust in America as those aggressors are emboldened. The result could be cascading conflicts even more costly than the interconnected wars in Ukraine and across the Middle East.’ And of course General McMaster was the national security advisor to President Trump.
“Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in the Trump administration, put it this way after his recent visit to Ukraine, quote: ‘It will be far more costly and dangerous if Putin wins.’
“Another former National Security Advisor, Robert O’Brien, also with the previous administration, expressed his support for supplemental security assistance to Israel, Taiwan, and Ukraine, saying simply, ‘the Free World has been attacked and we’re the arsenal of democracy.’
“It is in America’s direct interest to take growing threats seriously, to invest even more urgently in our capabilities to meet them, and to support our allies and partners on the front lines.
“The reality of hard power competition simply does not wait for the President or Congress to take it seriously. Either we confront challenges with clear strategy and firm resolve, or we lose.
“Around the world, 21st century autocrats and medieval theocrats will continue to challenge the US-led order that has underpinned global peace and prosperity for generations.
“And their proxies will continue to target American personnel and American interests with lethal force.”
Related Issues: Ukraine, Russia, Iran, National Security, China, America's Military