Entente Multiplies the Threat From Russia and China
By John Bolton
15 February 2022
The misguided idea that the U.S. needs to ignore one to focus on the other intensifies the danger.
Critically, those who exclusively fear China ignore the Russia-China entente. The entente serves to project China’s power through Russia, as Beijing also projects power through North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs. Moreover, Beijing closely assesses Washington’s reactions to crises like the one in Ukraine to decide how to structure future provocations.
Mr. Biden had it exactly backward in Afghanistan. The U.S. withdrawal not only signaled insularity and weakness, but allowed China and Russia to extend their influence in Kabul, Central Asia and the Middle East. Beijing and Moscow thereby also became more confident and assertive. And that’s not to mention that even the Biden administration admits that terrorism’s threat is rising again in Afghanistan.
Beijing is not a regional threat but a global one. Treating the rest of the world as a third-tier priority, a distraction, the U.S. plays directly into China’s hands. Pivoting to Asia wouldn’t strengthen America against China. It would have precisely the opposite effect and weaken our global posture.
We need to see this big picture before the Russia-China entente grows up to be an axis.