President Joe Biden’s bungled military withdrawal from Afghanistan has resulted in the widespread perception that the U.S. is being led by a weak and incompetent administration.
Now, American friends and foes alike are beginning to believe that the world has become a more dangerous place as a result — potentially increasing the risk of a nuclear war.
Columnist Grady Means made that argument in a recent op-ed published by The Hill.
In it, he described the increased threats of nuclear conflict involving China and Russia as both nations expand their respective weapons stockpiles.
Additional nations around the world — notably North Korea, Iran, India, and Pakistan — are armed with their own nuclear weaponry and remain locked in consistent conflicts that could escalate at any time.
Nuclear-armed allies including the United Kingdom, France, and Israel, could find themselves pressured to launch a nuclear attack in the absence of strong U.S. leadership on the international stage.
Just as a political assassination in Europe more than a century ago sparked what would become World War I, there are many ways in which a small or isolated incident could light the fuse on a nuclear powder keg in today’s geopolitical landscape.
“The only way forward”
Likewise, North Korea remains a wild card with its missile tests and terrorist groups around the world pose a threat of either gaining access to nuclear weapons or launching a more traditional attack that triggers a nuclear response.
Of course, there is always the possibility of an accidental launch or military miscalculation. Some critics even speculate that Biden could order a nuclear strike if for no other reason than to debunk the perception that he is a weak leader.
Most of these potential threats have been present for years, if not decades, but decisive leadership in the White House tends to keep tensions from escalating to such dire levels. Unfortunately, that appears to no longer be the case.
Although it remains to be seen whether the Biden administration will rise to the task, Means concluded that the “only way forward” in the current scenario involves replacing “the inept National Security Council, State Department Defense and perhaps intelligence teams with truly capable, first-class, experienced leaders.”