America needs a strategic reset to confront the new axis of Russia, China, Iran

Gen. Jack Keane: This is why the US isn’t all in on helping Zelenskyy win

Fox News senior strategic analyst provides insight on the Ukraine-Russia war on ‘The Story.’

Let’s begin with an important truth. What’s happening in Ukraine today is the direct result of a Biden administration foreign policy that’s floundering on multiple fronts, and not just in Europe. 

In Afghanistan, in Asia, in the Middle East, even along our southern border; we are witnessing a White House that’s trying to react to crises as they happen, instead of thinking through to a more comprehensive solution to America’s weakening position around the world. 

It’s time for a resolute reset of America’s strategy for confronting the new totalitarians of the 21st century. 

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Because whatever the outcome of the war in Ukraine, it is just the latest round in a concerted, totalitarian assault on freedom and its allies around the world—an assault led by three revisionist powers, Russia, China, and Iran, determined to overthrow the post-World War II liberal world order.   

In fact, during Russian foreign minister Alexei Lavrov’s visit to China on Wednesday Beijing spokesman Wang Wenbin said “China-Russia cooperation has no limits” in moving toward what Lavrov called “a multipolar, just, democratic world order”—meaning one without a United States to worry about. 

President Joe Biden speaks at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland, March 26, 2022, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
(Reuters/Aleksandra Szmigiel/File Photo)

I warned about this growing threat which I dubbed “The New Axis” in op-eds that ran in the Wall Street Journal in 2015 and again in 2019.  

Now, everyone recognizes that what I predicted then is happening now, i.e. there is a coordinated de facto alliance of these three powers who are set on destabilizing the world from Ukraine and Taiwan to the Arabian Peninsula. 

Some have compared this conflict to a new Cold War. It has become far more serious than that, simply because the current White House seems paralyzed and unable to confront what is happening simultaneously on three fronts.   

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during his videoconference with Chinese President Xi Jinpingin Moscow, Russia, Dec. 15, 2021.  (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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    President Joe Biden meets virtually with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the White House on Nov. 15, 2021.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh,)

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with his Xi Jinping at the Kremlin in Moscow, June 5, 2019.  (Reuters/Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool)

Instead, we’ve seen a feckless incrementalism in dealing with the crisis in Ukraine; vague warnings about sanctions against China which President Xi can wave away; while the White House keeps trying to strike a nuclear deal with Iran that will almost certainly lead to war in the Middle East — even as we denounce Putin as a war criminal on the one hand, and negotiate with him on the Iran deal on the other.  

Some have compared this conflict to a new Cold War. It has become far more serious than that, simply because the current White House seems paralyzed and unable to confront what is happening simultaneously on three fronts.   

Meanwhile, China continues to tighten its grip on Taiwan, while the White House refuses to call China out over COVID and Wall Street is free to do business as usual with Beijing. 

Instead, the U.S. must take three steps to prevent this New Axis from blossoming into its World War Two version with war erupting not on one but three fronts. 

The first is Strengthening/Expanding Alliances. That means expanding NATO to the north to include Sweden and Finland on Putin’s northern doorstep, and building up our military posture in the Black Sea with NATO allies Bulgaria, Rumania, and Turkey. 

It means building a strong Indo-Pacific alliance around the Quad alliance of U.S., Japan, Australia, and India which will include South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. It means restoring American support for the Israeli-Sunni alliance that is designed to check Iran’s aggressive expansionism, including Saudi Arabia, while stopping the Iran nuclear deal cold.

The second step is fostering co-development of Advanced Weapons Systems with our trusted allies, so that our joint industrial and innovation bases can build a modern Arsenal of Democracies made of the weapons that will dominate the future battlefield, e.g. unmanned and robotic systems and hypersonics, together with securing trusted supply chains and cyber protections.  

The third is advancing Technologies of the Future.  Ultimately it is America’s innovation and productivity in the high-tech arena that will tip the balance in this global struggle, especially against China. 

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    President Xi Jinping delivers a speech marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China in Beijing on July 1, 2021.  (Ju Peng/Xinhua via Getty Images)

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    President Xi Jinping attends the opening ceremony of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogues in Beijing. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj)

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    Xi Jinping presides over the meeting in Beijing on Dec. 25, 2020. (Getty Images)

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    President Xi Jinping waves at the closing ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Feb. 20, 2022. ( )

We need to make sure the U.S. and its allies invest in the emerging technologies that will allow us to leapfrog ahead of China in the high-tech sector, and disrupt Beijing’s plans for a new world order. These include not only AI and cyber but quantum computers, space and 5/6G wireless technologies, and even cryptocurrencies. 

Alliances, Co-Development, Technologies: together they form the appropriate acronym ACT. Because the US must act now in order to prevent tyranny from overwhelming freedom, not only in Ukraine but around the world—and to deter wars, rather than stumble into them on multiple fronts. The struggle with the New Axis has become global; we need to think globally, and act globally, if freedom has a chance at all. 

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