President Trump meets the Saudis in June 2017. Photo: Wikipedia Commons
President Trump meets the Saudis in June 2017. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

The Great War of 1914-18 was supposed to be the war that ended all wars. Theory suggests that if the United States had accepted Article X of the Versailles Treaty in 1919 establishing the League of Nations and if today’s enlightened countries accepted the ad-hoc authority of the United Nations, then war would be a thing of the past. And despite the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact outlawing war, it failed to prevent history’s deadliest conflict: the Second World War.

Under the presidency of Barack Obama, the idea of war was a thing of the past, embodied in his 2009 Cairo speech when he never mentioned terror or terrorism. This was in stark contrast to President Donald Trump’s recent speech in Saudi Arabia during which he mentioned the word “terror,” or “terrorism,” 30 times.

Here’s the outcome of President Obama’s bowing to dictators, his war on terror, his foreign policy and the loss of deterrence: Syria’s destruction allowed Russia and Iran to take a strategic foothold in the Middle East, unwisely leaving Iraq and thus allowing the creation of  ISIS, acquiescing to North Korea through “strategic patience,” and signing the Iran nuclear treaty that is now a disaster. However, Trump confronting Arab leaders during his trip to Saudi Arabia let the world know that the words of former Nato secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen have renewed meaning: “Only America has the material and moral greatness to stop the slide into chaos and foster peace.”

Saudi welcome for Trump outshines Obama

No one would’ve predicted that the home of Salafi piety and Sunni-Wahhabi Islamic terror would open a terrorist monitoring center, and that Saudi King Salman would lavishly welcome Trump, while his predecessor, who was devoted to Iran, was snubbed by the Sunni king on his final visit as US president. Trump is the best hope for the Middle East and Asia.

Instead of the feckless Europeans, and an administration infatuated with global warming, deterrence, a balance of power and a forceful re-entry of the US to combat evil are now on display — and are economically successful. Even oil companies are thriving again. Whereas Trump is tackling real evil and lives lost, Obama is giving speeches on global warming while spewing CO2 from private aircraft and large motorcades. North Korea, Iran, ISIS and China laugh at the US and a global community that believes in the weak nothingness of the environmental movement. War is never far off when ridiculous Western proclamations about climate change are at the forefront, instead of confronting and eliminating evil through strong militaries, nuclear triads and active intelligence methods.

The world is growing more dangerous as each day passes, because of non-contributing Nato countries, and the toothless former US administration that allowed evil to run rampant. Trump and Asia have inherited a world that could erupt in conflict at any moment. North Korea continues testing ballistic missiles, and boasts they can hit the US anytime they want. Meanwhile, the Europeans at the G7 and Nato summits didn’t speak about North Korea, Chinese aggression in the South China Sea or Russia on their doorstep, but choose to obsess over the Paris Climate Agreement that will do absolutely nothing to alleviate unproven global warming.

It’s laughable, if it wasn’t so terrifying, how the left thinks about Iran: that the Iranians just elected a moderate president, according to Kasra Naji in a recent issue of Foreign Affairs. Unfortunately, President Hassan Rouhani has amassed Iranian-led troops near American forces in Syria, built a third underground ballistic-missile factory and broken the recent Opec production-limit agreement. And Rouhani recently said: “We don’t need anyone’s permission to test ballistic missiles,” while the US-Saudi-Iranian rift deepened after Trump chose the Sunni-led Saudi’s over the militant Iranian Shias.

Sending the wrong signal to rogue states

Additionally, China has started harassing US aircraft again, and Russia continues violating airspaces. Why Trump, Nato and Asian allies don’t take defensive measures is beyond reason — and dangerous — because it allows rogue, and undeveloped countries to believe they are strong.

That’s also what a robust nuclear deterrent has accomplished — keeping the world at bay — without a major world war in more than 70 years.

Deterrence isn’t difficult to lose, but nearly impossible to reacquire. Yet that is exactly what is happening from North Korea to the Middle East. It doesn’t require shots fired or lives lost, but respect has to be its No. 1 outcome. That’s also what a robust nuclear deterrent has accomplished — keeping the world at bay — without a major world war in more than 70 years. While the weapons are hideous, they serve their purpose. But that’s what deterrence does — it deters the aggressor from engaging in war-like behavior.

However, the West is harming itself by attempting a bloodless coup against Trump through a series of unfounded leaks, a former CIA director who politicized the job, and the Obama administration which oversaw vast intelligent breaches that earned a severe rebuke from the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance.

Trump’s foreign tour produced respect in the Middle East, but muddled resistance elsewhere. When the Pope and European leaders lecture Trump and the US on climate change (whose rules should be eliminated) yet crave the US military and Asian money to prop up their destructive governments and economies, then war-like trouble is on the horizon.

Pragmatic realism has overtaken the Trump administration that was lost when President George W. Bush bowed to American and European media that strongly resisted him over Iraq. The new Axis of Evil now has a new member — China — and they are on the march along with Russia, Iran and North Korea. Let the first bomb drop, and the Europeans, South Koreans and others will beg the hated Donald Trump to protect them from the devastation that awaits if they continue acquiescing to this expanded axis.

Deterrence and realism have re-entered the American presidency, calling out enemies and making new economic friends. It’s the best hope the world has to allay the beasts of a third world war from escaping their cage and fulfilling the words of Lenin: “Who can do what to whom?”

Todd Royal

Todd Royal has a master's in public policy from Pepperdine University and has worked for Duke University. He is published by the U.S. Library of Congress on hydraulic fracturing and the geopolitical implications of expanded US oil and gas production. He is a consultant and writer on international geopolitical strategy, energy, and US state and local government.

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