HISTORY TELLS US that war is unpredictable. Mistakes, misjudgments, accidents from the fog of war can escalate a war to places not contemplated. European history is a long history of war. Now there is a new chapter.
After I graduated from West Point, I served in West Germany during the Cold War. The Iron Curtain divided today’s Germany into the Federal Republic of Germany, a democracy, and the German Democratic Republic, an ironically-named puppet state of the Soviet Union.
During this Cold War period in the 1980s, there were about eight mechanized U.S. Army divisions in West Germany. We were equipped with M-1 Abrams tanks and Bradley armored personnel carriers. The size of this force numbered about 350,000 American personnel.
The American military presence in Western Europe was enhanced in the 1980s by President Ronald Reagan’s desire to win the Cold War by peace through strength. The strategy worked and was a significant factor leading to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In essence, the great American economy unleashed by the vision and strategy of Ronald Reagan demonstrated to the Soviet Union that a communist socialist country could not match the strength of America.
It was amazing to experience the build up of better equipment, training, and strength of the U.S. Army during my almost five years leading soldiers in West Germany during the 1980s. Even with that military strength, I never thought that the Soviet Union would cease to exist or that the Cold War would end.
Then Ronald Reagan went to West Berlin, which at the time was entirely located in communist East Germany and surrounded by the Berlin Wall. President Reagan, while giving a speech at the Wall, made that historic statement to the Soviet leader,
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
Though President Reagan was criticized by the elites for saying that at the Berlin Wall, by saying it President Reagan demonstrated American strength, power, commitment to freedom and democracy. Reagan embodied American strength and at the time the world’s tyrants respected America.
Today, America is perceived as weak by the world’s despots. When bullies sense weakness bullies tend to do bully things.
Why is America perceived to be weak?
America won’t secure its own southern border, allowing millions of people to come here illegally, many of them criminals; allowing drugs to come here and kill thousands of people; allowing human trafficking; and adding to a rising crime rate.
American debt is growing with no end in sight and Washington, D.C. is addicted (both Democrats and Republicans) to out-of-control spending, like a gambler who cares not about losses.
America has created an inflation freight train with no end in sight, devaluing America’s currency and punishing ordinary Americas.
American streets are not safe and secure, nor are Americans protected by the government. Law enforcement is vilified while criminals run free.
America is not educating its children. Instead, it is indoctrinating them into utopian socialist thinking. Parents are losing their rights to educate their children.
America is self-flagellating at the altar of wokeism. Much that was once good in America is now bad.
American elites tell us that America is bad. Can a systemically racist society be good?
America has decimated its oil and gas industry, empowering international oil and gas providers
and devastating the middle class. All the while our adversaries continue to pollute the Earth.
America is diminishing freedom and liberty. Elites openly say they know “truth” and that free speech is an anachronism.
American media has replaced objectivity with propaganda for politicians.
American values are thought to be bad by elites creating a new paradigm that has its roots in Marxism.
American leaders steal power from the people under the guise of a pandemic. American leaders rule by dictate not by example.
American military has lost sight of its mission while replacing it with social equity.
America has lost its self-respect. So why should the tyrants and despots of the world respect America?”