February 7, 2022

WASHINGTON — Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) published an op-ed with Fox News on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and why China, not Russia, is America’s biggest enemy.

The United States is better off without Ukraine joining NATO. But when I sent a letter to Secretary of State Tony Blinken last week explaining why, the usual Washington suspects – the people who delivered two failed wars, botched the evacuation in Afghanistan, and enabled the rise of China – had their usual meltdown.  

American foreign policy should be based on what’s best for preserving American freedom and American prosperity, not expanding an empire of “liberal order” around the world. Too many in the Washington cartel – of both parties – have forgotten this. With China rising, now is the time to get it right. 

For decades, the Washington foreign policy establishment has aimed to extend a “new world order” of liberal values across the globe…

That project has not succeeded. Instead, Americans have spent decades fighting endless wars in the Middle East under the banner of democracy promotion and surrendered millions of working-class jobs to China. Thousands of American have lost their lives, with tens of thousands more wounded. The Washington elite have shelled out trillions on nation-building abroad while families and towns in this nation have languished, denied industry and good-paying jobs.

Americans deserve better. They deserve a foreign policy that protects their interests. Above all, that means preventing any other nation from imposing its will on us. Today, the principal threat comes from China. Beijing took advantage of America’s adventures in the Middle East to grow its strength. Now it towers over Asia, an economic and military giant ready for conquest.  

So we must not let Beijing succeed. Fortunately, there is still time to deny China’s hegemonic ambitions, starting in Asia. But – and here is the key point – doing so will require us to do less in other theaters.  

The United States should also end its support for Ukraine’s membership in NATO. To be sure, America has an interest in Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity. And we have a strong interest in deterring Russian adventurism. But these interests are not so great that we should commit ourselves to fight Russia over Ukraine’s future. Instead, we should provide Ukraine what lethal and other aid it needs to defend itself and use sanctions and other non-military tools to support its defense, while reducing our military footprint in Europe. 

The Washington establishment will fight hard to keep this from happening. But this is the same establishment whose failures brought us to today’s sorry state. Americans deserve better. American freedom in the 21st century depends on it.

Read Senator Hawley’s full op-ed here.