The shrill cries that Donald Trump is a patsy for Vladimir Putin have been quelled of late as the President projects American military might into Putin’s Syrian back yard. Putin proxy Assad has come to the startling realization, as Putin has himself, that Donald Trump is no Barack Obama and is not about to be a feckless pawn complicit in a Russian resurgence or in an Assad chemical war that induces more mass migrations westward.
At a time when radical Islamic terrorists have successfully insinuated themselves into migrant populations from Syria, Assad unleashed chemical weapons on his own people, effecting an even greater migration out of the country to the West. Aiming to stem the flow and the concomitant threat of terrorist attacks it brings to Europe and the United States, President Trump together with Secretary of Defense Mattis executed a bold move to reverse the Assad/Putin course. By knocking out most of the air base from which Assad launched his chemical attacks, Trump revealed that he has replaced feckless leadership and ephemeral red lines with a reassertion of American military might. It was a bold and necessary move.
Suddenly the Putin calculus has changed, as has that of communist China and North Korea and the theocratic dictatorship of Iran. They must now accept the real possibility that President Trump will use American military power to retaliate for acts of aggression that threaten American interests, whether that be from mass migration induced by Assad’s concussive hammering of the Syrian people; through interdiction of American navy vessels or air forces by the Iranian regime in the Strait of Hormuz; through greater Russian military adventurism in the Ukraine and Eastern Europe; or through the launch of ballistic missiles by North Korea.
To hammer home the advantage, President Trump advised Chinese President Xi Jinping as American Tomahawks hit the Syrian base that if China fails to reign in North Korean Dictator Kim Jung-Un, the United States will. In less than one hundred days of his presidency, Donald Trump has re-established that the United States will no longer pursue an apology tour and withdrawal and retreat from the defense of its vital national interests. The contrast with the Obama Administration’s constant flogging of the American ideal and appeasement of its enemies could not be more profound. The Trump doctrine will mean a much safer America, respected by America’s allies and feared by its enemies.
The odd and hypocritical liberal hue and cry against Trump, never spoken about Obama or Clinton despite a wealth of evidence, that Trump is somehow complicit in Russian attempts to undermine American interests at home and abroad has collapsed amidst direct evidence that he has put America first. It is the constitutional duty of the Commander-in-Chief to defend America against threats at home and abroad. Obama shirked his responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief; Donald Trump has assumed the mantle.
After years of his successful cowing of Obama, Putin now faces the prospect of a formidable opponent and an unraveling of Russian global domination. Putin’s stalking of the American military with his own, his veiled and direct threats against the United States, and his collaboration with proxies and allies to reverse American political and economic gains are now confronting the reality of a resurgent America, one far stronger militarily and economically than Russia. Losing revenues from a declining oil market and without the economic might to compete with a revitalized American military, Putin watches as Trump plans a major expansion of the American military and economy. He cannot compete with that expansion, and he knows that in its wake Russia will be far less influential and far less able to pursue its adventurism. Trump is putting Putin in a box.
China seized the initiative during the Obama years to build a mighty global military for the first time and to assert its power by violating international law with the construction of islands in the South China Sea, islands occupied by its forces and capable of constricting the vital flow of goods and services through the region. Although accurate in its predictions that Obama would not stand in the way, it now faces uncertainty as Trump applies new pressure to undo the Chinese advantage. China relished the effect of North Korea in shaking up the SEATO alliance’s confidence in American defense of the region, and in Japan’s confidence in American defense. It filled the void with jingoistic threats to those powers followed by creation of the military islands in the South China Sea. Now China must confront the real prospect that North Korea may precipitate an American military response, upsetting its leverage over regional powers and forcing China into a protracted struggle with its small Southern neighbor with a big appetite for war.
No longer is America hiding from the very real threats to its interests. No longer is America allowing its enemies to advance based on a consistent retreat. The tables have turned because Donald Trump has the interests of the United States at heart. We should all be grateful.
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