As Winston Churchill famously pointed out, "I never worry about action, but only about inaction". The Biden administration's inaction has led to the creation of a new axis of tyrannies: Russia, China and Iran, with North Korea not far behind. As the Tehran Times, which has close ties to Iran's foreign ministry, wrote: "[T]oday we are witnessing the formation of a new world order...."
Iran, China and Russia recently conducted joint naval exercises in the Sea of Oman, dubbed Marine Security Belt 2023. Iran's state-controlled Press TV boasted that to oppose the United States, China and Russia have also stepped up their "joint military exercises in recent years as part of their aligning of foreign policies."
"Back in December, the naval forces of China and Russia launched a one-week joint exercise off the coast of the Chinese Zhejiang Province in the East China Sea. China's Eastern Theater Command of the People's Liberation Army said at the time that the joint exercise was directed at demonstrating the determination and capability of the two sides to jointly respond to maritime security threats, and further deepen the China-Russia comprehensive new-era strategic partnership of coordination."
When these kinds of critical axes develop in the world among authoritarian regimes, they will most likely last for many years, if not decades. As US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told lawmakers, the alliance among China, Russia and Iran would be a problem for the US. Speaking before the House Armed Services Committee alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Milley said that Russia and China are "getting closer together.... And then... Iran is the third. So those three countries together are going to be problematic for many years to come I think, especially Russia and China because of their capability."
The Iranian regime, especially, is fully benefiting from this axis; it is selling weapons to Russia; selling oil and trading with Russia and China in spite of sanctions, and counting on Beijing and Moscow's support in the UN Security Council. As Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, surprisingly acknowledged to Iran's state-controlled Tasnim News:
"We are one of the few countries in the world that clearly stands against the United States, strongly continues its political life, and establishes relations and deals with other countries. So, what's wrong with us having relations with countries like Russia, China, and India?! These countries have advanced technology, and many times, unlike the West, they have been responsive to our requests and offered their capabilities to us. What else should we expect from an allied country?.....Yes, during the years of sanctions, our best customer has been China, and in some years, we have traded goods worth up to 52 billion dollars with China....Recently, in the latest move made by the West and led by the United States, a resolution was supposed to be issued against us (in the UN Security Council), but it was vetoed by both Russia and China."
The Biden Administration has created a vacuum of leadership on the global stage.
If the US further pulls out of Asia, the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East, Ukraine, Latin America -- anywhere -- the vacuum created will surely be filled by the new axis of China-Russia-Iran. A US pull-out is, most probably, just what they are hoping and waiting for.
If Putin sees any gains in Ukraine, China will try to seize Taiwan.
Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton accurately told radio host John Catsimatidis on the WABC 770 morning show:
"We're sitting still, and the Chinese, the Russians, Iran, North Korea, and several others, are moving to shore up their relations and threaten us in a lot of different places... It's an indication that the Saudis and others are [also] trying to hedge their bets with China and Russia, because they don't think the United States has the resolve and the fortitude necessary to do what they need to do to protect the world against Iran and its intentions."
"The Chinese," Bolton added, "have a strategy they've been following... We kind of wander around from day to day."
Thanks to the lack of leadership and the vacuum that the Biden administration has created -- and appears continuing to create (here, here and here) -- on the global stage, the new axis of Iran-China-Russia has been shaped with Beijing, Moscow and the ruling mullahs -- rather than the brutalized people of Iran. The Axis is seizing leadership of the new world order, or -- if the world's communists manage to defeat the world's democrats, as they seem tenaciously determined to do -- it will be, more accurately, the new world disorder.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu