Mitt Romney, NO APOLOGY, Chapter Three, Book analysis. Holes and Donuts.
In Chapter two Romney analyzes what he sees as the reason past empires have risen and then fallen. In this chapter he analyzes what he sees as the two countries and one movement seeking World domination at the expense of American power. Many of those countries and movements seeking World domination have their roots in the past.
First, he points out the since the United States became a World power it has always been a force for the rule of law and justice. It continues to be a stabilizing force in the World advocating individual liberty, democracy and free markets over those who favor tyranny and closed economic systems for the benefit of those in power. Other powers have not sought to extend the principles of liberty and justice. ( He forgets that the concepts he talks about are European ideas spread through out the World by their effforts to create colonies. Thus they planted the seeds for their own imperialist decline. The most notable example was the the English colonies that later became the United States. Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are based on ideas taken from European thinkers and philosophers and brilliantly used to to create these unique documents by the American colonists.)
The three entities that are pursing power and possibly World or regional domination at present are China, Russia, and the Jihadists. Of course all these groups seeking power have been around for a long time and have always been a power in some form regionally if not on a World basis.
China has risen again out of its long sleep and is building its military capability. It has nuclear weapons, missiles, nuclear submarines and a growing navy. It is consolidating what it considers the past parts of its country like Tibet and has designs on Taiwan and other places including islands in the bordering seas which have come important because of possible oil and gas deposits.
He notes that militarily it is not the equal of the United States nor is it likely to be in the next twenty years. However it will soon become the dominant power in its region of the World and a force to be reckoned with regionally. Also it may soon be able to neutralize our power in Korea, Taiwan and even Japan.
Thus they will be a threat to American power in that part of the World even though they contend that their military plans are for defense. Therefore we should endeavor to bring China into the community of nations and seek to build strong relations with them as a partner in bringing peace and stability in the World. (However China is not a democracy and is still controlled by the Communist Party. It has no free press and practices censorship among other things. Leaders of the party change and new leaders may have more aggressive goals than the current leaders. This is especially true as competition for the World’s dwindling resources intensifies. However historically Russia and Japan have been have been its enemies not the United States.)
Romney sees the changes under Putin as making Russia less democratic and the press less free as it was under Yeltsin. Also Russia is re establishing its influence and power over bordering states either economically in the case of Europe, it controls most of Europe’s gas supply, or in the case of Georgia by military invasion. Romney believes Russia, under Putin, is trying to regain its past powers and trending more towards a dictatorship albeit not a Communist style one. (Russia’s fortunes seem to depend on the price of oil and gas and while they will remain a significant power in the world it is unlikely they will seek World domination or could even if they wanted to. Like the Chinese they have too many economic problems at home or in their own region of the World to become a likely challenger to the United States dominant position as the preeminent power in the World.)
Romney sees a significant drive for world domination by Islamic Jihadists. This would include Iran. Islamic Jihadists have been around a long time and at one time an Islamic Caliphate stretched from the Balkans through the Middle East across North Africa to Southern Spain. Romney sees the terrorists and the more radical Islamic countries like Iran, Yemen and Sudan as trying to reestablish that empire.
(While the great danger from these entities is that they will obtain nuclear weapons and use them against the West which could result in a limited nuclear retaliation. However a full scale nuclear war is unlikely because it would wipe out life on Earth as we know it. The West would most likely respond conventionally at first then with nuclear weapons in a limited way if necessary. However it is a serious matter because terrorists not controlled by a nation state have no stake in the status quo and therefore may believe they can use limited nuclear terrorism with impunity. This seem to be the real danger in the World not the waxing and waning of Russian and Chinese power but the proliferation of nuclear weapons among non nation groups like the Jihadist terrorists and others . Again Romney’s focus is not on the donut but on the hole.
If we don’t stop rogue nations like Iran, North Korea and even rogue elements in Pakistan from disseminating nuclear technology to Jihadist terrorist groups serious consequences for the West and their cities could result and maybe the world environment. After a nuclear event with nuclear fallout some parts of the World or all of it would no longer sustain human life.
Also Iran, with nuclear weapons, will become the dominant power in its part of the world threatening the Worlds access to the regions oil and gas. Further Iran may attack Israel either directly or more likely through a surrogate terrorist group armed with a nuclear weapon. If Israel preemptively attacks Iran World peace will be in serious jeopardy. Contrary to what Romney’s saying Russia and China are both allies in the prevention of nuclear proliferation as they have as much to lose as we have. While they are economic competitors, Russia in oil and gas, China in manufacturing, this is part of the free market philosophy, economic competition not military competition, you don’t attack your customers or suppliers.)
This book is beginning to sound more like a Sarah Palin rant than a serious and insightful discussion of issues.