The anti-Western nuclear club -- North Korea, Russia and China, with Iran close to joining the club -- have become emboldened and empowered as never before, thanks to the Biden administration's feeble leadership.
China, North Korea and Russia are building up their nuclear weapons. China may have even surpassed the United States when it come to the number of nuclear warheads on Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that it currently possesses. On February 21, 2023, the U.S. Strategic Command informed Congress that China now has more ICBM launchers than the United States.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered this January that his country carry out "exponential" expansion of its nuclear arsenal and the manufacturing of a more powerful ICBM. Russia is also upgrading and expanding its nuclear arsenal.
U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, warned last month:
"Today, China, Russia, North Korea and Iran continue to invest in technologies to expand their capabilities to hit the United States with nuclear weapons. All four countries have also escalated their threatening rhetoric, indicating their willingness to use nuclear weapons in a military conflict. By expanding their nuclear programs, each has made clear that our nuclear arsenal is no longer a deterrent to their potential use of nuclear weapons.
"If deterrence is dead, then the concept of mutually assured destruction is obsolete and comprehensive missile defense must be revisited as an essential capability to protect our citizens."
The Iranian regime, at present, reportedly has enough enriched uranium to produce five nuclear bombs. "Make no mistake, Iran will not be satisfied by a single nuclear bomb," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos during a visit to Athens on May 4, 2023.
"So far, Iran has gained material enriched to 20% and 60% for five nuclear bombs... Iranian progress, and enrichment to 90%, would be a grave mistake on Iran's part, and could ignite the region."
Russia is most likely helping Iran to boost its nuclear program in exchange for the weapons that the Islamic Republic is supplying to Russia for use against Ukraine. According to a report by Associated Press:
"The United States accused China and Russia on Monday of shielding North Korea from any action by the U.N. Security Council for its unprecedented spate of intercontinental ballistic missile launches, which violate multiple U.N. resolutions and jeopardize international aviation and maritime safety."
The Iranian regime has made its intentions clear. In November 2022, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed, "Death to America will happen. In the new order I am talking about America will no longer have any important role." The Iranian regime, now that it is aligned with Putin's Russia and the Chinese Communist Party, would like to conquer the US. The headline of a report by Iran's state-controlled Afkar News read: "American Soil Is Now Within the Range of Iranian Bombs". The report boasted:
"The same type of ballistic missile technology used to launch the satellite could carry nuclear, chemical or even biological weapons to wipe Israel off the map, hit US bases and allies in the region and US facilities, and target NATO even in the far west of Europe...."
As Rep. Mike Turner pointed out, the Bush and Trump Administrations took US missile defense seriously, but the Obama and Biden administration have ignored it:
"After 9/11, the George W. Bush administration revived missile defense with its deployment of ground-based midcourse defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic to defend against intermediate-to-long-range ballistic missiles targeting Europe or the U.S.
"In 2009, the Obama administration scrapped this plan, opting to adopt a short- and medium-range missile defense architecture instead of an ICBM-focused posture. Then it canceled key parts of its own plan, leaving the U.S. and Europe vulnerable to an array of threats and potential nuclear coercion by adversaries.
"The Trump administration correctly re-prioritized homeland missile defense as a central component of its National Defense Strategy in 2018.
"But despite a war in Europe and the increasing adversary capabilities, the Biden administration has shown a lack of foresight. In its 2021 Missile Defense Review, President Biden ignored our defense industrial base supply chain issues and emerging technologies such as directed energy."
Unfortunately, through its failure to take on the Free World's adversaries in a serious, credible way, the Biden Administration has been empowering tyrants and rogues states, at the forefront: North Korea, Russia, China and Iran.
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