(ConservativeInsider.org) – While much of the news and media these days focuses on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and barbaric invasion of Ukraine, there are still other regional tensions demanding attention. China is still threatening to take back Taiwan, and other countries around the globe could also become unsettled. However, the United States would currently be unable to fight in two regional conflicts, like Ukraine and Taiwan, largely due to a 2012 policy instituted by then-President Barack Obama.
Obama Ends the Pentagon’s “Two War” Doctrine
When President Obama took office again in 2012, he tried to focus his efforts on domestic issues and cut spending, urging Americans that his administration could resolve most international tensions or potential conflicts through diplomacy. With this, he drastically cut back on military spending, which meant ending the “two-war” policy that kept enough US troops active to fight two large-scale conflicts if needed.
The “two-war” planning construct is what allowed the US to fight in both Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11, and it helped the military navigate through the Korean and Vietnam wars. However, with the military budget cut, a reduction in active soldiers, and a smaller navy, such strategies are simply no longer feasible.
What a One-War Nation Means in Today’s Climate
As the entire world watches President Putin relentlessly attack Ukraine and its civilians, many are wondering if or when other nations should step in. If the US chooses to defend Ukraine, it would be unable to send troops to another large conflict, like Taiwan if China were to invade. While the United States is not obligated by a treaty to protect either nation, both are democracies striving to give their people freedom, something this nation stands for.
The US already deployed around 10,000 troops to Poland to strengthen the country and Europe as a whole while Putin attacks Ukraine on its doorstep. However, the US is also sending around 2,200 troops to Australia’s Northern Territory to support the nation amidst China’s growing threats to take back Taiwan.
According to senior research fellow for Defense Programs at the Heritage Foundation Dakota Wood, if the US got involved in two wars, “national leadership would have to decide which theater is more important.” Is that something the current administration is prepared to do?
When Does the US Get Involved?
As the leader of America during this contentious time, President Joe Biden must decide if and when to get involved in either of these conflicts. However, if China were to see the US fully invest in a war in Ukraine, would that give it more reason to invade Taiwan, knowing the US couldn’t support two wars? What about the opposite scenario?
It may be time to reevaluate the current military spending budget in case the US needs to be in multiple conflicts at once, although that would mean acknowledging the scary thought that our world is one where two major wars could be taking place.
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