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Biden’s weakness created the conflicts in the Red Sea

OpinionBiden’s weakness created the conflicts in the Red Sea

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America is weak under President Joe Biden and our enemies know it. Just look at our southern border, no one respects this administration. That is why America’s enemies are exploiting us and our great ally, Israel. Look at where we are … we have a wide-open border, there is a land war in Europe, Israel is under constant attack, and evil tyrants like Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are watching and waiting to pounce. The conflict in the Red Sea makes this fact indisputable. 

The increasing number of attacks by the Houthi militia in the Red Sea matter to every American family. These attacks are a huge problem because so many vessels go through this area that are critical to world trade.  

Right now, companies trying to get goods across the globe have a decision to make: go through an area with clear and present danger or choose a much longer, more expensive route which will lead to delays and increased costs for customers. 

LLOYD AUSTIN SCANDAL DISPLAYED ‘HUBRIS,’ ‘DYSFUNCTION’ IN BIDEN ADMINISTRATION: WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST

This is what happens when you let terrorists and their sponsors, like Iran, run rampant and dictate how the world works. The result is always more violence, less security and serious consequences for American families in everything from the price of goods to their safety overseas.  

The cargo ship

This photo released by the Houthi Media Center shows a Houthi forces helicopter approaching the cargo ship Galaxy Leader on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023. Yemen’s Houthis have seized the ship in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen after threatening to seize all vessels owned by Israeli companies. (Houthi Media Center via AP)

That’s what we see today as Biden’s weakness needlessly pushes America toward World War III. Americans don’t want war, but instead of standing up to Iran with a credible deterrent to prevent it, Biden has rewarded them with billions of dollars, which the Iranians have used to enrich their nuclear program and fund terrorist enterprises like Hamas and the Houthis. 

Before Biden took office, the U.S. oversaw the deployment of more naval assets, which was good for Israel, the U.S. and global commerce. Now, he is weakening this posture. Biden started his presidency by removing the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) on February 16, 2021, which was a massive mistake.  

This has empowered them to raise funds and grow in power as Iran’s proxy against Israel. The U.S. needs to redesignate these terrorist thugs as an FTO today. For weeks, Biden’s administration has tolerated their attacks which has created danger and disruption to the global economy.  

The U.S. and capable partners should have stymied these attacks before they started by destroying Houthi assets months ago when they began terrorizing our trade operations. Biden would have been wise to have taken a page from the Trump playbook sooner and acted quickly and early to show U.S. strength and deter ongoing attacks. 

Biden has refused to do any of this because he is a weak president. For a president who ran on multilateral internationalism, Biden has proven completely ineffective in bringing along most of our allies to stand with us in times of conflict.  

We know Biden will never be capable of being a strong leader. He will never really stand up to terrorism, hold our allies responsible to truly stand beside us, not behind us, and show the world the grave consequences of threatening the shared economic and security interests of the U.S. and our allies. 

U.S. power and engagement ensure the freedom of the seas without interference from bad actors and make the world safer and more prosperous. That has been why Iran is not directly attacking Israel.  

Currently, the U.S. Navy is the only military force in the world that can see and attempt to control the various battle spaces that exist or could exist. Our superiority and intelligence gathering allow our allies to cooperate in this effort to deter and, when necessary, defeat our enemies.  

Yemeni Coast Guard boats

Members of the Yemeni Coast Guard affiliated with the Houthi group patrol the sea as demonstrators march through the Red Sea port city of Hodeida in solidarity with the people of Gaza on January 4, 2024, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and terrorist Hamas in Gaza. (AFP via Getty Images)

But, right now, there is a serious disparity in what the U.S. taxpayers contribute towards this critical issue compared to other freedom-loving nations – I believe this needs to be fixed.  

The U.S. spends $886 billion a year on defense to protect ourselves, and our interests around the world, the European Union (E.U.) spends just $295 billion. On top of that, the U.S. currently has a more than $130 billion trade deficit with the E.U.  

Just as we forced NATO countries to agree to a minimum 2% spending on their own military power, we must insist on support from all those benefiting from our protection of the seas. These nations need to boost military spending and fix these trade deficits with increased purchases of American goods. More importantly, we need a president to hold them to that.  

Iranian proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen continue to escalate because the Biden administration has shown it will do little to stop them. Communist China, Iran and Russia want to use intimidation tactics to dictate the flow of goods and services around the globe. The U.S. must lead the free world to ensure these bad actors are deterred, but should not do it alone. 

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I am glad that the United Kingdom has stepped in with the United States to act with the retaliatory strikes that occurred last night. South Korea, Japan and India need to join as well. If military and intelligence assets cannot be provided, these nations should support the effort with actual defense dollars that can be spent to provide security in the region.  

As President Ronald Reagan said, the key to security and the preservation of our sovereignty is “Peace through Strength.” His words echo George Washington’s farewell address to the nation, who told us that if you want to live in peace you must prepare for war. 

Neither of these great leaders were warmongers, but both understood that diplomacy and international agreements without great strength do not secure peace; rather, it is having the means and the will to deter and defeat enemies that guarantee peace and our sovereignty. 

The increasing number of attacks by the Houthi militia in the Red Sea matter to every American family. These attacks are a huge problem because so many vessels go through this area that are critical to world trade.  

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Given the president’s track record of lawlessness at our southern border and ineptitude in international affairs, it is unlikely that this administration will be able to effectively engage and deter our enemies like the previous administration was able to.

There is no reason to believe that American strength will be respected again until we get Biden out of the White House and re-elect Trump. The posture of the U.S. as sitting on the sidelines and watching until it is too late must end. When terrorists target the U.S. and our interests, they need to be wiped from the earth.  

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM SEN. RICK SCOTT

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