Projecting Weakness is Provocative and Dangerous

The fecklessness of the Biden Administration has been on display for the world to see. As a result, our natural allies and friends are being forced to consider other ways to achieve security. Earlier this year, China has successfully inserted itself into the Middle East. This illustrates that weakness is provocative and dangerous and invites bad actors to spring into action.

Just three years ago, America was signing historic peace accords with our allies in the Middle East. Now China is stepping in and they are not promoting world peace or security. China managed to get Saudi Arabia and Iran to establish diplomatic relations in an attempt to end the war in Yemen. That might sound like a good development, but Iran is, and has been for decades, the world’s leading exporter of terrorism and has proven that it has no interest in promoting peace or security and China only wants to expand its grip on power around the globe through its Belt and Road Initiative.

Iran has funded and supplied the Houthis in Yemen to wage a horrible civil war. They’ve also supplied efforts to bomb Yemen’s neighbors in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The truth is China’s move is about obtaining oil resources and a military foothold in the Middle East — not promoting security and peace.

Helping the Houthis take over Yemen will simply mean that Iran will have yet another client state to help it export terrorism, war and violence. Moreover, Yemen is one of the most strategic locations in the Middle East. The Bob-el-Mohbeb Strait connects the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea and also the Suez Canal. Yemen also has over 600 miles of coastline along this critical trade and energy corridor — imagine Iranian small naval vessels expanding their reach to harass and endanger shipping as they have done in the Strait of Hormuz.

Yemen also has one of the most important ports in the region – Aden. An Iranian client state in Yemen would mean increased Chinese military access to this crucial port. China has already developed military assets in North Africa across the the Bob-el-Mohbeb Strait. Being able to control the port in Aden would give them a powerful choke point in world commerce and help China project its totalitarian aims across the globe.

There is a viable option for a Yemen that is not a threat to its neighbors or the West. The Southern Transitional Council (STC) is the largest bloc within the Yemeni government that is recognized by the United States and the United Nations as well as many of its neighbors like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This government is known as the Presidential Leadership Council.

While ending the war in Yemen is a worthy goal, neither Iran nor China will be working to end war in a way that promotes freedom and security in Yemen or for its neighbors. They will be promoting their ability to destabilize the region and promote terrorism and violence and advance their Belt and Road Initiative.

Simply put, if mobster Al Capone were to suggest a way to reduce crime and violence in Chicago, you’d know that he wasn’t working to protect the security of the good citizens of Chicago. He would be promoting his own interests and power and doing some crafty public relations to make it look like his self-interested power play was for the public good. This is how both China and Iran operate. It is unwise to trust the good intentions of either. Their totalitarian regimes have repeatedly proven they do not have good intentions.

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