The Biggest Threat We Face

The Biggest Threat We Face

Across the globe, the international order America established after World War II is under attack.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is aiming to reestablish its empire, threatening other democracies, with support from China, Iran and North Korea. It is waging brutal war in Ukraine and conducting continual cyber-attacks against the United States and other democratic nations.

In the Middle East, Iran and its proxy groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthi rebels are attacking Israel, American ships and military installations and international shipping.

China continues to build its nuclear arsenal, threaten democratic Taiwan, one of the most economically important locations in the world, and to attack Philippine Navy, Coast Guard and fishing vessels well inside Philippine waters.

Dealing with these multiple challenges would challenge American power, skill and resolve under any circumstances, but what makes today’s international environment so much more difficult is that we are a house divided.

Leading American politicians spend more time and energy trying to defeat the other party than they spend trying to defeat our enemies. Is it any surprise that Americans of all political beliefs are rapidly losing faith in our institutions’ ability to solve our most pressing issues? Is it any surprise that our foreign enemies believe this is a good time to replace the American-led international order with their own authoritarian vision?

If we are united, if we are inspiring and leading our democratic friends and allies, we can defeat the despots working against us. But when we’re divided, the world teeters on the brink.

That’s why the work of No Labels continues to be so crucial. In the day-to-day political arena dominated by partisan bickering, fighting for unity and common sense can feel like a naïve uphill battle with no end.

But the cost of not doing so, of cynicism, of letting America drift further and further apart, is far too high.

During next week’s presidential debate, I will be watching to see if President Biden or former President Trump can speak to the need for America to stay united and to lead other democracies to secure the safety of the world.

For the sake of America, and for the free world, I hope one or both men can present a vision of a truly United States that can rise to meet the current dangerous moment.

Adm. Dennis Blair