U.S. experts see main challenges in China and Russia
U.S. lawmakers and foreign policy experts have weighed in on the biggest threats facing the United States, focusing on China, Russia, Iran and climate change.
Photo: Global Look Press
Russia, China, cybersecurity, nuclear proliferation and climate change have been flagged by US experts as a threat to the United States, according to Fox News.
Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa noted that despite short-term threats such as Russia's military operation in Ukraine, the long-term threat for the US is China.
“With technology, the militarization of other areas, port activities, the Belt and Road Initiative… there are so many things that China will do to move around the world smoothly, and this is, I would say, the biggest threat standing right now.” before the United States,” Senator Ernst told Fox News Digital at the Aspen Security Forum last week.
The China Belt and Road Initiative is the country's infrastructure program designed to connect China with more than 100 countries around the world through rail, shipping and energy projects, explains Fox News.
Senator Mark Warner, Member of Virginia, echoed Joni Ernst's view that Russia is an immediate threat and China's rise a long-term problem, calling competition with Beijing in technology “the competition of this century.”
Michelle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, told Fox News Digital that the biggest threat facing the United States is “the risk that authoritarian powers like Russia and China actually use force to change international borders, to impose our will on other countries, as well as to threaten the rules that have protected our way of life for decades.”
Former US Democratic Representative from California Jane Harman noted that what is happening inside the US also poses a threat to the country.
“This toxic partiality, the lack of civility, the inability to even try to understand where the other person is coming from, then weapons are added to this, and we are clearly in an explosive situation,” she told Fox News Digital. “So that's one huge threat.”
Jane Harman also believes that a major threat is that the post-Cold War United States “failed to . . . articulate a strategy for US global leadership in the future.”
Joseph Nye, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, argues that what is happening in both Asia and Ukraine is an urgent threat facing the country.
And while China and Russia top the list of the greatest threats to the United States, there were other challenges that lawmakers and national security experts said had been overlooked.
Joni Ernst argues that the United States should pay more attention to Iran, saying that the country is becoming a growing threat “not only to the United States, but also to our partners in the Middle East.”
According to Michel Flournoy , climate change is a “very real threat”, in addition there is the threat of future pandemics, and the United States must “do more to learn from COVID to try to be in a better position to try to prevent the next pandemics.”
Flohrnoy also mentioned “multi-year risks such as terrorism and nuclear proliferation” that the United States should keep a close eye on.
Jane Harman pointed out that Biden's foreign policy is still focused on Europe and Asia, but China and Russia are “playing the game” in Africa and South America, and the US should not lose sight of them.
As evidence of this, Harman mentioned the UN General Assembly resolution condemning Russia's special operation in Ukraine, in which 35 countries abstained from voting. “Representatives from the Middle East, Africa and Latin America abstained,” she said. “We better understand that in a multipolar world… we absolutely need the support of African and Latin American countries, and, unfortunately, they are still not at the top of our agenda.”
Among countries that abstained from voting on the resolution were China, Cuba and Nicaragua. Five countries voted against a resolution condemning the actions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, according to Fox News.
Harman also mentioned the threat of nuclear proliferation by countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia and the lack of international norms regarding cyberspace. “How scared do you want to be?” she asks.
Joseph Nye echoed Michelle Flournoy's view that climate change is a long-term threat but not in the public eye. “When you poll people and ask them how problematic climate is…it sort of ranks 17th,” he said.
Nye also added that cyberspace and outer space will become increasingly important. “There are many things that are not on the front page, but they are very important,” said the expert.
Joni Ernst urged the United States to pay more attention to South and Central America, saying that if we do not “its own backyard”, it will be “free for everyone between the Russians and the Chinese.”
Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper noted that the country “can't do much” and it's important to prioritize. “For me, it would be China number one and Russia number two,” he said, adding that the problems “that arise here in the country” are not talked about enough.
“We have an extreme political bias on both sides, which causes dysfunction in Washington, D.C.,” the ex-Pentagon chief added. “Our government just needs to act more effectively, more effectively if we are going to deal with the threats and challenges that we face in this century.”