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Is the United States Creating a ‘Legion of Destiny’?

This has put all three countries under varying degrees of US-led sanctions regimes, and understandably they are starting to work more closely together.Iran is in the final stages achieve full membership At the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a security forum led by China and Russia.China helped broker a middleman between Iran and Saudi Arabia. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said:more and more worriedChina may supply Russia with arms to help Ukraine. Relations between Iran and Russia have burgeoned over the course of the war in Ukraine, which NSC spokesman John Kirby called “full-fledged defense partnership

The US has good reason to oppose all three countries. China is a rival that has become increasingly authoritarian and belligerent under Xi Jinping. The Iranian regime continues to pursue policies that threaten US allies in the Middle East and remain highly incapacitated. Russia’s actions in Ukraine speak for themselves.Still, if you throw a claim like North Korea suspected of selling weapons To Russia, it can sometimes seem as if the United States has had its own influence. A non-comical Legion of Doom.

This nascent alliance influences the U.S. penchant for lumping all U.S. adversaries together in the same basket. During the height of the Cold War, many US policymakers assumed that the communist bloc would be monolithic. This century, segments of the foreign policy community have frequently argued that the United States is facing an axis of some kind. In January 2002 George W. Bush accused Iran, Iraq and North Korea. his State of the Union addresswarned that “National states like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil armed to threaten world peace”.None of these nations are models of virtue. But they weren’t cooperating with each other or with Al Qaeda. A decade later, in the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney’s foreign policy warned of the rise of authoritarianism.Romney’s warning was dismissed at the time, but over the past year observer from beyond of Political spectrum I wholeheartedly accepted the idea. The vague unease felt by US observers adds to this fear that much of the world is united against the US, as most of the global South has not joined Russia’s sanctions.

Currently, Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, others acting against the interests of the United States. However, it is not clear that cooperation between these countries is anything more than tactical in nature. For Iran and North Korea, the opportunity to fine-tune US hands and move out of their current economic isolation is a welcome move. Similarly, Russia desperately needs help from all sides to counter the damage sanctions and war are inflicting on its economy. Not all of the historical grievances and anxieties that Russia, China and Iran have dealt with with each other have magically disappeared, but have simply been sublimated by their collective resistance to US pressure.

The United States has two ways it can respond to this new coalition, neither of which is appetizing. One approach is to embrace the Manichean worldview and continue to adopt policies against these clusters of nations for the foreseeable future. Examining the countries of this early Legion of Doom, the US has a valid basis for sanctions and other forms of containment. Iran pursues a nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program and has spent large sums of money destabilizing US allies in the Middle East. Russia has repeatedly invaded neighboring countries and is responsible for starting Europe’s largest land battle since World War II.Beyond that blatant fact, Vladimir Putin is willing to pull pranks in NATO countries, from disinformation campaigns to assassination attempts on dissidents. wolf warrior diplomacy Increased oppression abroad and at home is not consistent with being a responsible stakeholder. North Korea is…well, North Korea.

Bundling America’s adversaries together may sound conceptually appealing, but it also creates complications. First, it makes building containment coalitions very difficult. India, for example, may be embarking on the containment of China, but its historical ties make it difficult to oppose Russia.America will have to rely on For this A federation that is completely out of sync.

The bigger problem is that the Manichean worldview overlooks the myriad ways that U.S. foreign policy has thrived when it has divided rather than united rival coalitions. A key element of George Kennan’s doctrine of containment was to exploit the rifts in the communist bloc. This strengthened relations with Tito’s Yugoslavia in the 1950s and Mao’s China in the 1970s. Neither of these countries came close to being a liberal democracy, but the United States found a common reason to focus on the greater threat, the Soviet Union. (Oddly enough, this point underlies Republican opposition to supporting Ukraine against Russia. Among the MAGA crowd, China is the biggest threat Any Russian opposition would therefore be a futile effort or bring Asia’s two largest land powers closer together. )

The paradox for U.S. policymakers is that of all nations opposing the U.S., China is simultaneously the greatest threat and also ripe for more aggressive outreach. is. In any case, China is the only country that comes close to competing with the United States. Opposing China is inspire truly bipartisan supportAt the same time, compared to the likes of Russia and North Korea, China is the Legion of Doom member with the largest stake in the current international system. The main reason China’s assistance to Russia has been limited so far is that Beijing benefits far more from its trade with the rest of the world than it does with Russia. This week’s summit between Putin and Xi Jinping should provide clues as to just how solidly the partnership between the two countries is growing.

For U.S. policymakers, the problem ahead is choosing from a range of unfavorable options. They can continue to implement foreign policies that encourage anti-American coalitions. They can prioritize containment of China and soften their approach to countries that pose a more immediate threat to the United States and its allies and partners. Alternatively, China could decide that they are the devil that knows best and seek to promote a new equilibrium in US-China relations.

Given the unstable global situation, repairing US-China relations is the most promising option. But given the precarious state of American politics, it’s unfortunately the least likely option for both President Joe Biden and his Republican opponents to accept.

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