Reagan on Peace
Andy By McKinney
President Ronald Reagan used the phrase “Peace through strength.” He talked about it. He fostered it. He built up the US military to a point where our strength was unassailable. In 1983 in a speech in Saint Louis, he said, “There have been four wars in my lifetime. We didn’t get into any of them because we were too strong.”
If we remember our time in third grade, we might understand the concept a little better. Was there a boy in your school that everyone recognized as a bully? Maybe he was in fifth grade. He was bigger, stronger, and much meaner than you. If he wanted to twist your arm until you cried ‘Uncle’ and gave up your lunch money, there was nothing you could do. He was stronger, you were weaker, and that was that. There was no way you could suddenly get bigger and stronger. You were doomed to a long, dangerous year.
But if your brother in middle school stopped by, the bully would find the shoe on the other foot. Now you were protected by a stronger boy. The bully, out of fear, would leave you alone in the future.
We don’t have an accomplished military so we can start wars; we have an accomplished army so we don’t have to fight wars.
But what if your brother just didn’t want to get his hands dirty? What if he didn’t have the will to put the bully in his place? In terms of nations, what if our president didn’t have the will to use the force available to him?
Everything the president does or says helps form the notion in the mind of a dictator bent on mischief. What will President Biden do, Putin must ask himself. The deadly fumble of the chaotic retreat from Afghanistan did not frighten Putin; quite the contrary. The bully was not concerned.
In the run-up to the invasion, President Biden said on TV that if Putin only “took a little bit of Ukraine, that would be OK.” That phrase did not put the fear of retribution into the dictator’s heart.
I suggest that Reagan had it right. His idea of Peace Through Strength makes a lot more sense than President Biden’s bumbling, incoherent policy.
Under the rule of President Obama in 2014, Putin bit off a big chunk of Ukraine. Under the inept bumbling of President Biden in 2022, Putin took another big bite out of Ukraine and almost gobbled the whole country up. But under President Trump’s clear, firm policy, the mad dog Putin stayed prudently in his kennel.
Openly equivocating in foreign affairs, as both Obama and Biden have done, works poorly in a dangerous world. It is similar to the stupidity and futility of the Democrat Party’s idea that we can fight crime by cutting back on our police officers and letting criminals out of jail to offend again.
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