Growing threats to American interests via an ascendant China have been facilitated by decades of negligent foreign policy across both Democrat and Republican administrations, said Brett Decker on Monday.
Decker joined SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight to discuss Monday’s national security address delivered by President Donald Trump, with a particular focus on the president’s approach to China.
Decker is a former Wall Street Journal editor, expert on Asia, and bestselling author of Bowing to Beijing: How Barack Obama is Hastening America’s Decline and Ushering A Century of Chinese Domination.
1. NOT RECOGNIZING ‘THE ECONOMIC COMPONENT OF THE CHINESE THREAT’
The previous three administrations neglected to view China as an adversarial power, said Decker. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George H. Bush both facilitating the “hollow[ing] out of our industries,” while they “welcomed [China] to do it.”
SiriusXM hosts Joel Pollak and Rebecca Mansour noted national security risks posed by the American defense industry’s reliance on Chinese manufacturing to supply parts of U.S. military technology.
As of October, China owns $1.1 trillion of the federal government’s $20.6 trillion debt.
Chinese ownership of the federal government’s debt is dangerous in the event of confrontation, said Decker: “If they hold so much of our debt, that gets them a certain amount of control. I think that’s a big danger.”
“So much of our equipment, for communication and other things, depends on these rare earths that China control,” noted SiriusXM host Joel Pollak, noting China’s growing control over natural resources worldwide.
2. WASTEFUL SPENDING AT HOME AND ABROAD
“At some point, we just have to start living within our means, again, and not building up our debt,” said Decker, describing fiscal irresponsibility domestically and abroad as compromising the economic engine of national security.
“It’s not like it’s not achievable” to implement fiscal diligence, said Decker, “it’s just not a priority [among] both parties.”
Mansour contrasted China’s and America’s state-spending, framing Chinese state spending as yielding better returns with respect to serving its national interest.
“The difference between [the U.S. and China] is that China actually uses their debt to invest in their economy in a way that’s quite intelligent. We have not. We don’t do that. They have invested in their infrastructure, invested in their industry. They’re in a stronger position because of that,” said Mansour, describing the “stimulus package” supported by the Obama administration as wasteful and illustrative of cronyism.
“If we do not reverse this trend, we’re finished, we’re done” warned Mansour. “Sensible reinvestment into our country,” she added, must replace “being in debt for nothing.”
The total cost of post-9/11 wars amounts to $5.6 trillion, according to a November-published study from Brown University’s Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs.
3. MIDDLE EAST MYOPIA; ASLEEP AT THE CHINESE SWITCH
Successive American administrations’ focus on Afghanistan and Iraq, said Decker, led them to miss broader threats emanating from China’s ascendance.
“For a long time, especially during [George W. Bush’s] administration, we got so focused on Iraq and Afghanistan that we kind of took our eye off the ball everywhere else,” said Decker.
American foreign policy myopia allowed China to cultivate deeper relationships with America’s allies, said Decker, further enhancing its power relative to the U.S.
Trump’s foreign policy vision, added Decker, amounted to a “refocusing” of American foreign policy to “[look] at things as a whole, again… instead of this hyperfocus on these sort of never-ending wars.”
4. OBAMA’S ‘TOUCHY-FEELY UTOPIAN FEEL-GOOD’ NAIVETY
Obama believed he could counter Chinese geopolitical ambitions through diplomatic overtures of appeasement, said Decker.
Trump’s “realism,” said Decker, was a “refreshing” change from the Obama administration’s “touchy-feely utopian feel-good stuff.”
Recognizing China’s global ambitions to challenge American dominance amounts to a “return to realism,” said Decker.
“Obama said a bunch of stuff, and then what did he do?” asked Decker. “He was always bowing to everybody over there. He always talked about China being our friend, and everything like that.”
Naivety within Obama’s “touchy-feely utopian feel-good stuff,” said Decker, further enabled China’s rise between 2009 and 2017.
5. IGNORING CHINA’S MILITARY EXPANSION
Successive American administrations neglected to address China’s military growth, said Decker.
“[China is] focusing now on the ability to project power,” said Decker, pointing to Chinese expansion of military power. “Their goal is to have naval parity with the U.S. by 2030, and already in the Western Pacific people say they’re pretty close to being equal to us. You know, that’s scary.”
American national security is compromised by “having so many of [its] military components manufactured in or dependent on things that manufactured in China,” remarked Pollak, referencing comments made by Mansour earlier in the program.
Breitbart News Tonight airs on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 on weeknights from 9 p.m to midnight Eastern (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific).
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.