Unlike religions, such as Islam and Global Warming, which will eventually peter out, the Laws of Geo-Politics are immutable. They abhor power vacuums. Recall, during the period between World War I and World War II, Great Britain, France, and the United States allowed a geo-political power vacuum to form that was filled by three well-armed totalitarian powers: Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and Imperial Japan.
In fact, the United States by itself did not have enough military power to defeat Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. Only because our ancient aircraft carriers were on maneuvers away from Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, was America able to defeat Imperial Japan. Even then, it took two atomic bombs to subdue the slaughter in the western Pacific.
During World War II, the only way for the western democracies to survive the onslaught by the totalitarian powers was for one of the three totalitarian powers to join in on the side of the western democracies (the Allies). Fortunately, on June 1, 1941, Hitler made the mistake of attacking the Soviet Union.
At that point, even though millions more would die or be wounded, the Allies were virtually certain of victory. But, if Hitler had attained a nuclear-weapons capability prior to D-Day, the 6th of June, 1944, the Allies would have been forced to sue for peace, leaving Western Europe and the rest of Hitler’s territorial conquests in Nazi hands.
Today, one of the totalitarian powers of World War II is on the geo-political rise again. Just how far west Vladimir Putin will roll a rampant Russia remains to be seen. The Islamists of an irrational Iran are on the verge of attaining the nuclear weapons Hitler sought and almost achieved.
China thinks it has a vital fossil-fuel interest in doing what FDR would not allow Japan to do: Secure the oil of Indonesia and control the flow of oil through the Strait of Malacca. Just when the United States military is undergoing its largest reduction in 40 years, Russia and China are creating aircraft carrier task forces and developing undetectable submarines and unstoppable anti-ship missiles. A madman rules a nuclear North Korea.
Ever since World War II, the indispensable role of the United States has been to provide the leadership and military power necessary to preserve the freedom of the western democracies and to offer hope to the millions still living under totalitarian regimes. Today, statesmen around the world hear the sound of Russia, China, India, North Korea, Iran, and even illegal immigrants, being sucked into the geo-political space being abandoned by the Obama Administration.
President Obama’s political base of minorities, undocumented Democrats, mixed genders, Wall Street high-rollers, academics, Hollywood liberals, dot.com millionaires, and utopian socialists seems unconcerned by this geo-political power vacuum. But, when the next conventional war comes — as history teaches us that it sadly will — our diminished volunteer military, with its politically purged leadership, will be too weak to avert defeat.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame.