By Thomas Brewton at politicalchristian.org in Simplistic Foreign Policy
Obama’s policy of apologetic speeches and working through the UN to impose trade sanctions on Iran has failed to stop Iran’s progress toward operational nuclear weapons. But in the Ryan-Biden debate, Vice President Biden charged that, if Republicans don’t support Obama’s repeated diplomatic palavers with the Ayatollahs, their only alternative is to go to war with Iran.
Our containment policy for dealing with the Soviet Union’s aggressive expansionism after World War II showcased a very different, decisively effective approach. From it we can draw two conclusions. One, that reducing our military power, as Obama is doing, diminishes our ability to protect our national interest around the globe, and, two, that passing the buck to the UN while apologizing to aggressors is an invitation for increased aggression.
The basic elements of our Soviet containment policy, first advocated by diplomat George F. Kennan in his famous “long telegram” to the State Department and in his “X” article in Foreign Affairs Quarterly, were, first, to avoid direct provocation that could lead to war, but, second, to meet every threat from the Soviets with suitable force, military or diplomatic, so that the Soviets had to back off or start a war themselves. That policy was entirely successful, though it required more than forty years of steadfast effort.
Creation of NATO, a military component in our containment policy, was an international effort. But it was the opposite of liberal-progressive reliance on world opinion and promoting a world government under the UN, a body in harmony with the Socialist International. With NATO, the United States took the lead in providing military power and used its diplomatic leverage to get military support from NATO member countries. The United States acted forcefully in our national interests and others followed us. NATO moved credible, real military power to the Soviet Comintern’s western boundary. Soviet military intimidation of Western Europe was stymied; continuing their aggression would have required the Soviets to start a war in Europe. In 1948, when the Soviets blockaded Berlin, we answered with the Berlin air lift to supply food, clothing, and other necessities to the people of West Berlin.