Contemporary threats to U.S. national security rooted in globalization bear little resemblance to 19th and 20th century paradigms of international relations, said retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, in a Friday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Rick Manning.
“[Robert Spalding] was the chief architect of the framework for national competition in the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy (NSS),” declared Spalding’s profile at the Hudson Institute.
Manning invited Spalding’s comments on leadership turnover in the Trump administration’s National Security Council (NSC). Trump removed John Bolton from the position of national security adviser last Tuesday. Bolton replaced H.R. McMaster in March. McMaster’s tenure as national security adviser included several dismissals of NSC subordinates.
National security advisers, said Spalding, need an “understanding of how globalization can actually create vulnerabilities.” He added, “Our openness can actually create vulnerabilities.”
Spalding said, “If you don’t understand how capital flows around the world, if you don’t understand trade, if you don’t understand investment, if you don’t understand media in politics in a 21st century world, then your ability to understand the challenges the United States faces is really hindered.”
Archaic visions of political economy are common among ostensible national security experts, lamented Spalding.
“Quite frankly, if you look around the national security space in the United States today, we have a lot of people that focused a lot on how national security was done in the 19th and 20th centuries, and none of those apply anymore, very little,” Spalding remarked.
Spalding continued, “If you’re going to create geopolitical outcomes for the United States that actually provide for the national interests of the American people, then you have to understand how the world works, and you can’t have sat in a think tank and thought about, ‘You know, what is the best way to employ an F-35 in Iraq?’ and then turn around and apply that in an effective manner on the stage in the 21st century.”
Values of the Atlantic Charter were abandoned following the Cold War, estimated Spalding, with the integration of non-democratic authoritarian states into the 20th century’s international economic order.
“We’ve incorporated nations within the system that actually don’t agree with the principles of the system,” noted Spalding. “The Atlantic Charter really is a template for the free world that we tried to build after World War II. … The four things it had were democratic principles, free trade principles, rule of law, and [national] self-determination.”
Spalding went on. “Essentially, we walked away from [the Atlantic Charter’s principles] at the end of the World War and basically just went towards free trade and dumped the other three, and when you do that, you give opening to countries like China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran, to essentially take advantage of globalization and push their principles, which are really suppression of freedoms, oppression, and really a lack of law. In China, they use rule by law, [where] the law is whatever the Chinese Communist Party says it is.”
Spalding warned, “As long as [authoritarian states] are attached in any form or manner to the open system, they will use that as a way to take advantage of it. Even if China were to back off, now, because [the Trump administration is] talking about China …. as soon as we stop looking at it, they’re going to wait, they’re going to bide their time, and they’re going to be right back at it.”
China’s integration with America and the broader West through globalization is “a danger to us all,” determined Spalding.
“If you want access to our innovation our technology, our talent, our capital, or anything that is a benefit of living in a free society, and you repudiate the principles that actually generated that innovation, technology, talent, and capital, then you should have no part of it,” Spalding said.
China uses the “full access to [American] society” granted to it via globalization to fuel the growth and expansion of its “totalitarian regime,” Spalding stated.
Spalding concluded, “If you want to take part in what America promises and the dream of America, but you repudiate the values that it stands for, then you should have no access whatsoever to it.”
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