With the pullout of Afghanistan, the United States was no longer involved in any major combat operations in the world. This past Veterans Day, it was the first time in 20 years that we could say that, but there are things happening in the world that could ruin that soon.
Russia seems to be moving troops to the border of Ukraine to possibly do what they did in Crimea. The United States is obligated to defend Ukraine from their authoritarian neighbors.
They are asking us to sanction the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, although that would put us at odds with Germany, it may be a step that we need to take.
China is a whole other story. They have been taking many actions that point to them aiming to reclaim Taiwan. With testing of missiles and flying over their airspace, it could only be a matter of time.
This would not be the first instance of them attempting this. Taiwan has been a sensitive topic of discussions on China-US relations. Those relations may ultimately be put to the test if they were to try and invade.
The United States is also obligated to fight on the side of Taiwan, both for reasons of morality and for legislative reasons too. With the possibility of two wars, how can we really make a difference in how we approach foreign policy?
If we really want to spread democracy and increase our sphere of influence, we are going to have to rethink how we do things. Many of the approaches we have taken have not panned out how we wanted them.
President Biden has a chance to change things and has alluded to changing them at many conferences in the past year.
For political reasons, whoever normalizes relations with Cuba is going to wreck their party in Florida for quite some time.
Similar to when LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act and is rumored to have said “[Democrats] have lost the South for a generation,” whoever takes that step would be conceding Florida.
However, the sanctions and policies that we have put in place for over 50 years are just not working out.
With us coming out of the pandemic, the United States is on a path of economic growth not seen since the 1990s.
The infrastructure bill that just passed and the upcoming bill are going to change the way that this country operates domestically, so why not take that influence and put it into the way we approach foreign affairs?
That is, of course, if everything goes perfect. As mentioned previously, things are getting tense with the other two major players in the world. China and Russia would be fighting us every step of the way and it cannot be left out that there are factors out of our control like terrorism.
That is why it is vital for us to take a more serious role in the development of Africa. We have already waited while China has swooped in.
However, we can beat back their influence and insert our own and help that long ignored region of the world thrive going into the latter half of the 21st century.
We could increase our spending on foreign assistance. Despite what many think, we do not spend that much on assistance on a grand scale. It is less than 1% of our budget. Imagine what we could do for the world if we increased that even by a few percent.
I do not have all of the information available to make these decisions. I am not in a position to make these decisions either, which is likely a relief for many.
However, I see the United States in a position to really cement ourselves as the world leader for the foreseeable future. All it will take is us actually taking the steps to do it.
I have faith that President Biden will take some of those steps, but if not, I am hoping that someone will before this opportunity vanishes before us.