The U.S. Can’t Afford to Ignore the Global Crisis It Faces

It is hard to know the reasons for Washington’s hesitance about Israel’s final battle against Hamas, but it appears to be a symptom of a more general confusion about the nature and severity of the strategic challenges confronting America. In a sweeping and sobering essay, Seth Cropsey and Harry Halem explain both the challenges and the confusion, arguing that the U.S. faces a series of interrelated crises stretching from Gaza to Taiwan, and that it has so far failed to muster a coherent response:

The Middle East sits on the brink of large-scale war, which will not end absent a fundamental regional reorganization, and an enormous amount of human suffering inflicted upon Jew, Arab, and Persian alike. On the burning edge of the European continent, the Ukrainian armed forces hold off the Russian onslaught. In Asia, China menaces Taiwan, a legitimately representative democracy of 23 million with only the desire to determine their own fate and live unharassed.

All three instances of ongoing violence stem fundamentally from a crisis in American power. These theaters are afire because Washington refuses to recognize what it is—the center of a loosely democratic system that spans Eurasia and the Americas.

Simply put, the three states within the line of fire—Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan—have all adopted identities that reflect their conscious choices to join the Western camp. . . . Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan are all under direct threat from the anti-American revisionist axis consisting of Russia, Iran, and China. These three revisionists are ideologically diverse. . . . However, all three are authoritarian, closed societies with a shared set of economic-material interests. They are simply too large, and too bloated, to survive absent a world around them organized to their economic and commercial benefit. Hence their mutually reinforcing desire to destroy the U.S.-led Eurasian security and economic system.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Taiwan, U.S. Foreign policy, War in Ukraine

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security