Ramaswamy Dangerous on Foreign Policy
Businessman and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is not only wrong on foreign policy, he would also be a threat to American national security and leadership as President. He is an isolationist.
Not only would Ramaswamy cut off all aid to Ukraine, but he would also pressure Kyiv to surrender 20 percent of its territory to Russia in return for a cessation of hostilities. That means a huge victory for the Mad Man of Moscow. Essentially, Ramaswamy would reward Putin for an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation – carried out by serial war crimes for which the World Court has already indicted Putin.
Ramaswamy would undermine a coalition of the world’s major nations – including all members of NATO – that are currently supporting Ukraine.
Ramaswamy would disregard the promise the United States gave Ukraine to defend the nation against Russian aggression in return for discarding the nation’s nuclear weapons left over from the breakup of the old Soviet Union.
To believe that ceding Ukraine’s land to Russia would end Putin’s ambitions to rebuild the Soviet Union is pure folly. Ramaswamy is taking on the role of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlian who made a similar deal with Hitler to achieve “peace in our time.” We know how well that worked.
We also saw the appeasement strategy when President Obama led from behind (as meaning did nothing) when Putin took the Crimea and Geogia – and entered the war (and won) in Syria. It was that kind of response that led to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Surrendering the Crimea, the Donbas and other lands to Russia would provide Putin with valuable resources – mineral and agriculture – that would enhance his leverage in world affairs. I would have strategic access to the Black Sea.
Giving Putin a win in Ukraine would not suddenly make him a friend of the United States. It would only make him a stronger and more determined adversary. It would also give him enhanced power on the international stage – emboldening American adversaries and gaining traction with unaligned nations.
Ramaswamy’s isolationism is not limited to Ukraine. He has said that the United States should not commit American forces in the defense of Taiwan in the event Beijing launches an attack. That would unilaterally nullify the agreement between the United States and Taiwan. Reneging on that agreement would give Mainland China a green light to invade – much like Biden’s no boots on the ground in Ukraine gave Putin a green light.
There is also an existential pragmatic reason to ensure the status quo. Taiwan currently produces more than 80 percent of the computer chips that the United States requires for almost everything – including manufacturing, computer operations and military preparedness. Handing that to China would give the Middle Kingdom existential leverage over the United States.
Taiwan is complex since it is not an independent nation – and most nations recognize it as part of China. That is also the essence of America’s 50-year One China policy.
Ramaswamy’s policy toward Israel is less clear. After first indicating he would consider ending aid to the Jewish state, he hedged saying he would work with Israel so that they would not need aid. Either way, his commitment to the traditional American/Israeli alliance is questionable.
Isolationism has never worked for America since the founding of the Republic. The success of the American Revolution was largely due to the support from foreign nations – most notably France, Spain and the Netherlands, which provided military support. Other nations supported the revolution to a lesser extent. In the Civil War, the Union was supported by Russia, France and, ironically, Great Britain among other nations.
The industrial revolution and two world wars put the United States at the apex of international leadership against the growth of authoritarian fascism and communism. With the fall of the Soviet Union and the “opening” of China, America was the unchallenged world leader.
Despite those successes based on a pro-active foreign policy, the virus of isolationism has been ever-present in the American fabric. Isolationism initially prevented America from fighting Hitler until three years after he invaded the Sudetenland – and only after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war on the United States.
“America First” is not – or at least should not be – defined by the elimination of foreign involvement and leadership. America cannot be first under a policy of “America Only.” For the United States to be first, we must be first in world leadership – and that means pushing back against those nations that would like to topple America from world leadership.
Unless the United States maintains military superiority throughout the world, America will lose its leadership role in commerce and technology. We have already seen the impact of a weakened position as China competes with the United States all over the globe. There are threats now to the supremacy of the American dollar.
Ramaswamy is a smart guy, but he is shamefully soliciting the support of folks who have a narrow view and understanding of the critical importance of American leadership on the international stage. He is pandering. Hopefully, he will never be in a position to impose his dangerous isolationism.
So, there ‘tis.