WE COULD REALLY USE JFK RIGHT ABOUT NOW
The Chinese are in discussions with Cuba about establishing a joint training facility in that island nation.Given the template the Chinese have used in other nations, this means almost certainly an agreement that will allow for the basing of Chinese military personnel on Cuban soil. Once that occurs and a platform is established, we will have no control over how much this presence expands.
It is completely possible that in a short space of time, a Chinese military presence will grow to include offensive weapons as well. That means missiles. That means aircraft. That means an immediate, no-notice threat to the continental United States. China’s new YJ-21 hypersonic missile has a top speed of Mach 10.
That works out to well over 7000 miles per hour. A missile moving at Mach 10 can cross the United States from coast to coast in 30 minutes. Flight time from Cuba to Miami for such a weapon would be two minutes. We will never be able to intercept missiles fired from Cuba in time to prevent them from striking their targets.
We know Chinese hypersonic missiles can carry conventional warheads. We also know the Chinese are working on mounting nuclear warheads on such weapons. We are standing on the brink of a second Cuban Missile Crisis. What we are facing is a mortal threat to our national security.
Since the Monroe Doctrine was enunciated in the early years of the republic the United States has stood steadfast behind the principle that we will not allow foreign powers to intervene in the Western Hemisphere. That two-hundred-year-old doctrine is now being directly challenged.
All of this is occurring against the backdrop of a broader ongoing Chinese attack on the United States. Fentanyl is killing over 100,000 Americans a year. It is “cooked” in Mexico. The precursor chemicals for its manufacture come on an industrial scale from China with the knowledge of the Chinese Communist Party and its at least tacit approval.
Military-age Chinese males are coming across our southern border by the thousands. There is every indication that this is happening with the knowledge and assistance of the Chinese government. The purpose of this remains unclear. The Chinese have established a presence in the Bahamas focused on spying on a secretive American underwater test range where nuclear submarines prepare for deployment.
The intent is obviously to give the Chinese the capacity to track and destroy both our attack and missile subs and thereby gain a strategic advantage in a future conflict. More broadly the Chinese are aggressively expanding the scope of their influence all across Latin America.
Nation after nation is being bought. We are being challenged, repeatedly, on our own doorstep. In 1961 John F. Kennedy recognized immediately that the presence of Russian missiles in Cuba was completely unacceptable. There was nothing to discuss or negotiate.
The Russians needed to withdraw their missiles, and they needed to do it immediately. Kennedy then took the necessary steps to signal that he was prepared to fight in order to compel the Russians to comply. He deployed naval forces. He directed the military to prepare to carry out strikes on targets in Cuba.
The Russians correctly assessed that they had misjudged Kennedy and he would do what was required to push them out. The Russians withdrew their missiles. We are back to 1961. A hostile foreign power has signaled that it intends to move military personnel into a nation 90 miles from our shores.
The response that needs to be taken is clear. We must advise the Chinese that we will not tolerate the presence of their military personnel in Cuba. We must prescribe a fixed time period 72 hours seems reasonable within which the Chinese need to commit to complying and walking away from any stationing of their soldiers on Cuban soil.
And, then, we need to precisely articulate the steps we intend to take if the Chinese do not comply. Those need not be limited to kinetic military actions. The Chinese live or die based on their access to U.S. markets and American investment capital.
If China is cut off from that access their entire economy collapses and in short order Xi Jinping finds himself deposed. We are not powerless. We have a wide range of options. What we lack right now are leaders at the national level who have the backbone and integrity to stand up to the CCP.