The People's Daily News reported this week that the Chinese ministry of public security has deployed an armed peace-keeping force to Liberia. This represents an ever-expanding Chinese strategy of forming alliances and exerting military and political power in areas ignored by Western powers.
Liberia, once an American colony for repatriated slaves returning to Africa, has spent much of the prior two decades in civil war and social turmoil. The UN established a peace-keeping mission in 2003.In 2013, the United States contributed just 132 personnel, while China contributed 2,188.
America's military priorities, at least for the time being, are in the Middle East, Syria, North Korea, and the Ukraine.
For years, a strong sense of isolationism has been inherent in the American population -- that we shouldn't be the world's police force. This view tends to ignore the fact that most of our consumer goods, our oil, and food all come from outside the United States.
Right or wrong, we are a nation of voracious consumers.
The United States accounts for only 5 percent of the world's population, but we consume over 25 percent of its fossil fuels. The consumption is endless, yet is typified by the fact that there are more cars in the United States than drivers.
This is not a piece on the morality (or lack thereof) of our consumerism -- but if we are going to live the life of consumption, we better be prepared to back it up with our military.
Our politicians need to start viewing the Chinese government as a competing force for resources, instead of a most-favored trade partner.China has conducted a predictable pattern of expanding its influence, both militarily and peacefully, with one goal in mind: a greater ability to compete for the world's limited resources.
We need a foreign policy that is a bit deeper than worrying about what is happening in the Middle East on a daily basis -- one that focuses on strengthening and restoring our traditional trade partners.Protecting trade partnerships, protecting the overseas operations of American businesses, and negotiating favorable trade arrangements are essential defenses to this threat.
Fighting the "right" battles might be the difference between our economic superiority or our economic collapse.
Our politicians need to form practical ideas in regard to trade -- not ones that are party-line attempts to push through treaties in the Senate. Party differences are not going to change the fact that China is already off to a good start in limiting our influence abroad.
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