Vivek Ramaswamy’s Foreign Policy Would Usher In The Collapse Of American Influence

China & Russia would be the big winners, while the free world would be in full retreat.

Vivek Ramaswamy – the youthful self-financed candidate gaining some ground in Republican Presidential primary polls – has presented himself as the ‘America First’ choice.

To do so, he has pandered to simplistic sentiments regarding the role of the United States in the world, claiming he would entice Russia to leave their military alliance with China, while defending Taiwan only until 2028, after which the island would be open for Xi Jinping to invade once the United States achieved semiconducter independence. Ramaswamy has also said he would let Russia take parts of Ukraine while promising Putin Ukraine would never be part of NATO. And, he has questioned why the United States provides military aid to Israel.

This is certainly an easy political case to make with a segment of the American population, as the desire to spend money on securing America’s geopolitical position tends to decline in times of high inflation. But just because something is effective short-term politics, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be absolutely disastrous in the long-term.

While Ramaswamy has claimed his foreign policy stances would strengthen America’s position on the world stage, it would ‘accomplish’ the exact opposite.

Here’s why:

Rewarding tyrants

As we know, human beings tend to do what they are rewarded for doing. They will tend to continue doing those things, in the anticipation of further reward.

Vladimir Putin’s stated objectives in his brutal invasion of Ukraine are to seize eastern portions of the country and prevent Ukraine from ever joining NATO. Because of Ukraine’s fighting spirit, courage, and the military aid provided by many of the world’s democracies, an invasion Russia thought would conclude in 3 days has now gone on for about a year and a half. Russia has been weakened economically and militarily, with tens of thousands of soldiers killed, thousands of tanks and armored vehicles destroyed, ammunition stockpiles depleted, and growing internal unrest weakening the Putin regime.

Without losing even one American soldier, and by spending about 3% of the US defence budget, the United States has assisted Ukraine in weakening on of America’s top adversaries. Russia – once seen by many as a great power with the world’s second most powerful military – is now struggling to assert itself as a regional power.

Yet, if Ramaswamy had his way, Russia would end up getting what it wants as you can see in the clip below:

After the immense price paid by the Ukrainian People, Ramaswamy wants to simply give Putin what he seeks, and even says the United States shouldn’t want to see Putin lose.

What makes this so amazing is that Putin isn’t subtle about his desire to see the Western world weakened. Putin regularly talks about his goal of seeing the United States lose power and influence throughout the world.

Putin has increasingly embraced a worldview that sees Russia as a separate civilization that is in direct opposition to the idea of individual freedom and democracy in the Western world. Putin has forced that vision on Russia, as his regime has become more and more autocratic over time and is now largely a totalitarian state. Putin has even put significant effort towards rehabilitating the reputation of Stalin, the Communist dictator who committed genocide against Ukrainians.

With all of that in mind, Does anyone think that Putin is just waiting for the right offer from the United States in order to completely upend his worldview and turn against China?

Of course not.

Let’s remember that other countries and people have agency as well.

Putin is not simply reacting to what the United States or the West does. He chose to push Russia in a totalitarian direction. He chose to set himself and Russia in civilizational opposition to the democratic West. He chose to launch an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. And he is choosing to continue that war even as his own country is being drained of manpower and wealth.

Vivek Ramaswamy giving into Putin wouldn’t change any of that.

Rather it would – as noted at the beginning of this section – serve as a reward for Putin. If anything, he would sense weakness from the United States and would seek to grab more territory. And, a Russia that controls a significant portion of Ukraine would have a larger population, and a larger military-industrial complex, thus posing a more significant threat to the West. Putin would take what he wanted, buy some time to rebuild his forces, and then either seek more of Ukraine or attack another nation in his attempt to rebuild the Soviet sphere of influence.

When it comes to China, Ramaswamy also wants to give in Xi Jinping – only with a bit of a delay.

Ramaswamy has repeatedly noted that he would defend Taiwan until 2028 – the point at which he says the United States could achieve semiconductor independence – and then pull back the U.S. commitment. He made that point again speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt:

“The truth of the matter is there are two reasons why China wants to annex Taiwan,” he said. “One is to squat on the semiconductor supply chain so they can exert leverage over the United States of America. That’s not happening on my watch. I’d take a firm position on that.”

“But the second reason why is that they have unfinished nationalistic business dating back to their civil war in 1949,” he added. “And if that’s the sole basis for Xi Jinping going after Taiwan after we have semiconductor independence, then you know what? I am not going to send our sons and daughters to die over that conflict. And that’s consistent with my position on Ukraine as well.”

Ramaswamy’s position has been widely criticized, including by former Trump Administration official Peter Navarro – one of the strongest advocates of pushing back against Communist China:

“This is about the stupidest self-inflicted political wound I’ve ever seen. Sure, let’s let one of the world’s most vibrant democracies be crushed under Commie China’s jackboots as long as Silicon Valley gets its chips. Keep Taiwan free you idiot.”

Ramaswamy is in effect telling Taiwan that they be on their own in five years, while telling China that they just have to wait five years to be able subdue Taiwan without any American intervention.

Why would Taiwan partner with the United States under those circumstances?

And if the United States gave in to Putin, why would anyone in Europe trust the word of the United States?

Destroying American influence

Ramaswamy’s foreign policy would represent the destruction of American influence, the weakening of the free world, and a decisive victory for both China and Russia.

Contrary to Ramaswamy’s claim that his actions would weaken the China-Russia alliance, he would make that alliance far stronger.

Russia would be stronger by taking part of Ukraine and buying time to build up again. China would be stronger by taking Taiwan. America’s abandonment of Taiwan and Ukraine would thus drive America’s former allies in Asia and Europe to make deals with China and Russia for their own protection, submitting to the terms of the authoritarian states.

Ironically, this would dramatically heighten the chance of a broader war which would end up drawing in American, Canadian, and troops from other NATO countries. If Russia sensed enough weakness in the West to make a move on Poland, Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania, there would be an open war between NATO and Russia.

China – no longer constrained by pro-Western democracies in the South China Sea – would be able to gain more control over key shipping lanes and could make a move on Japan or the Philippines.

And on top of all of this, Ramaswamy has questioned U.S. military aid to Israel – the strongest democracy in the Middle East. The trifecta of abandoning Taiwan, abandoning Ukraine, and abandoning Israel would be the death-knell for American influence.

The fact is that by stopping Russia in Ukraine, and dissuading China from invading Taiwan, the prospect of a wider war is greatly reduced.

This is a lesson the world should have learned by now.

Germany was repeatedly appeased in the 1930’s with France and the United Kingdom repeatedly giving in to German demands for more territory, only to realize their mistake too late when Germany had built up a massive military force.

Had Germany been stopped in 1937, tens of millions of lives would have been saved.

Now, thanks to courage of the Ukrainian People, and the desire of the Taiwanese People to live in a free and democratic country, we can avoid a wider war by holding the forces of authoritarianism at bay before they expand and gain more strength, thus avoiding a wider and more destructive conflict.

America, as the world’s most powerful nation, is indispensable to the fight against authoritarianism. America’s influence in the world has been an overwhelming net positive, and it would be a tragedy of historic proportions if Vivek Ramaswamy oversaw the dismantling of that influence.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube