The news media is certainly difficult to follow, but from a former military officer’s perspective, it is clear that we must try to see through the bias on either side and pay attention to the details of the story. The world is a dangerous place, and our world landscape is changing.

Following World War II, the United States was the only established world power in good enough shape to take charge of rebuilding the world. We did not rebuild the world because we sought dominion; we were simply the only nation who was able to do so at the time, and it was the right thing to do. Human lives were at stake. America stepped up and provided bold leadership. 

But that is not the world we live in today. The world order the United States and her allies created is changing before our eyes today. By the end of the 2020s, the United States will not be the sole superpower in the world. President Donald J. Trump saw this coming a while ago, and his policies are setting the stage for American being a superpower among superpowers. Because of the world order America built following World War II, countries like India and China are fast catching up to the United States. These states are not inconsequential, considering their immense population, and, in China’s case, their growning military largesse.

In 2017, after President Obama’s slimming of our military, and after a years long shipbuilding scheme, China surpassed the United States as the world’s largest navy.  

President Trump is right to focus on the United States’ military capability. This is not bluster; this is the survival of the world order as we know it. The United States and her allies must stand strong against a new Axis power: Iran, China, Russia, and North Korea. 

Iran is a place where women cannot sing in public places, and gay men and women are executed for being who God made them to be. North Korea is a place where millions of children are left to starve because their family has to prioritize food rations to the members of the family who serve the state.  Russia is a place where opposition political candidates are attacked viciously, and have acid thrown on their faces, just for protesting against the president. Iran is a country with no problems shooting a civilian airliner out of the sky just to make a point to its enemies. It is a country in the chokehold of religious zealots, who do not represent the majority of the people in that country with such great potential. 

These are not countries with governments we should apologize to or acquiesce to. These governments are evil. Period. And President Donald Trump is right to stand up to them. Nobody wants war, least of all we soldiers, and so I applaud the president for taking every possible step to avoid war with the new Axis powers, and in Venezuela. At the end of the day, the United States should no longer participate in regime change and nation building. That is no longer our role. 

NATO must be ready to respond to any threat to civilized, peace-loving people around the world. The United States’ support of NATO and the United Nations must not waiver in these trying times. 

President Trump is right to strengthen these institutions and demand everyone pay their part. Axis 2.0 are upgrading their military capabilities, and in some cases, are far ahead of NATO. Just look at the ice-breaker ship capabilities of the Allies versus the Axis powers. We are far behind. If we are not careful, the melting Arctic will belong to Russia and China. 

We built the world as it is, now it is time to let it mature on its own terms. Just as parents do when their children enter university.

We can still be here to provide bold leadership and guidance, but we shouldn’t be paying everyone’s bills and we should expect our allies to honor their commitments. And we must accept that our children will grow up. We can only hope they remember how they were raised.