By John Ubaldi, “Ubaldi Reports”

Speaking before a Joint Session of Congress, President George Washington stated, “The surest way to preserve Peace is to prepare for War,” but is Washington doing enough to protect the national security of the United States?

America is facing consequential challenges it has never faced before even during the height of the Cold War, but now the U.S. faces threats from Russia and China who seek to dominate the world and upend the liberal international order set up by the United States after the Second World War.

Unlike during the Cold War, Russia was more of a military threat, but China has the military and economic capacity to challenge the U.S., especially in the Indo-Pacific region, something Moscow was never able to do.

Beijing now seeks to upend the liberal economic order, by pushing back on America’s economic dominance which should be a wakeup call for the United States to get its fiscal house in order, and that means reducing America’s national debt. So far, America is failing to address this national security threat, coupled with its inability or unwillingness to address this fiscal crisis.

America should have listened to the dire warning by retiring Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen in 2011; when he was asked what do believe is America’s greatest national security threat.

The response stunned his listeners with his bold warning, “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.”  At the time our national debt was hovering around $12 trillion, today its $31 trillion.

The admiral continued “And the reason I say that is because the ability for our country to resource our military — and I have a pretty good feeling and understanding about what our national security requirements are — is going to be directly proportional — over time, not next year or the year after, but over time — to help our economy.

“That’s why it’s so important that the economy move in the right direction, because the strength and the support and the resources that our military uses are directly related to the health of our economy over time.”

Both political parties have contributed to this national crisis, but recent comments and policies by President Biden have made this situation even more perilous.  During Biden’s recent State of the Union Address, the president took credit for reducing the federal debt, and he believes his policies will reduce it even further, unfortunately facts don’t seem to matter, nor was he pressed by a complicit media over his inaccurate comments.

Just this month the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the national debt will significantly rise by nearly $19 trillion from its current level of slightly over $31 trillion; this if federal spending continues its course and which includes all the spending enacted over the past two years.

The CBO also reported that the Congress needs to increase the debt ceiling before the end of this fiscal year which ends in September. The unfortunate part is the national debt is increasingly becoming America’s greatest liability coupled with the servicing of the interest on that debt.

Every time the Federal Reserve raises interest rates the government has to spend more to service that debt, a few years ago it was around $300 billion now it’s hovering around $400 billion a year, and expected to reach a trillion dollars if nothing is done to reverse this trend.

As America faces a fiscal catastrophe, China and Russia are doing everything to supplant the U.S. as a global power, and currently Beijing views America as a diminished country.

This view by Russia and especially China began in the early days of the Biden administration, with the Chinese and American national security delegations meeting in Anchorage, Alaska where the Chinese dressed down and humiliated the U.S. by lecturing the U.S. on how bad America is. The American delegation led by Secretary of State Antony John Blinken just sat there and accepted the tongue lashing, without any response or push back.

Then factor in the humiliating pullout of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan and the failure by President Biden to fulfill a campaign promise to hold China accountable for the world wide outbreak of the coronavirus, which he stated during the 2020 presidential campaign that he would force a team into Wuhan which was the epicenter of the outbreak to seek the full cause of the epidemic.

The past couple of year’s China has advocated on retaking the island nation of Taiwan, which they have always viewed as a breakaway province and one they plan on incorporating back into the fold.

No one wants war, but remember Washington’s admonition to a Joint Session of Congress, “The surest way to preserve Peace is to prepare for War.”

One only has to learn the lessons of history, as countries don’t go to war against a country they perceive as strong, conflict always arises when they perceive the country as weak coupled with a feckless leader China views this in President Biden.

Many will disagree with this narrative, but notice how China is making moves internationally with little push back by the United States despite claims by President Biden. Beijing was reluctant to push the U.S. during the last administration as President Trump was unpredictable but when he acted he acted decisively.

Now China is witnessing the decline of the U.S. military, and this isn’t lost on Beijing, the Pentagon seems more interested in diversity and equity then on warfighting. With all the provocative moves by Beijing, they see little push back from America, as Biden believes China to be a competitor then a true national security threat.

Just examine how President Biden handled the Chinese surveillance balloon incident that was allowed to traverse across the U.S. before it was brought down by a U.S. fighter aircraft over the Atlantic.

The war in Ukraine is a test case and China is watching to see how the U.S. responds and will calculate accordingly as it decides if and when it moves against Taiwan.

President Biden has made the decision to arm the Ukrainians, but he has over the course of the conflict issued conflicting statements on how much the U.S. should arm Ukraine and to what weapons systems that would be sent.

Currently the United States is depleting its own stores of weapons by sending them to the Ukrainians to be used against Russia, without replenishing America’s own stock pile.

This is why Admiral Mullen’s remarks are very pertinent to the situation America finds itself in, “That’s why it’s so important that the economy move in the right direction, because the strength and the support and the resources that our military uses are directly related to the health of our economy over time.”

America national debt is now a liability in countering China’s rise.

Without the fiscal resources, America would be hard pressed in any protracted conflict, especially if China decides to move against Taiwan.

Right now the U.S. defense base is not ready for any potential war with China and America needs to act now to one avert a conflict and be prepared if a conflict does arise.

Seth Jones of the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote that in a major regional conflict—such as a war with China in the Taiwan Strait—the U.S. use of munitions would likely exceed the current stockpiles of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

According to the results of a series of CSIS war games, against a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan the United States would likely run out of some munitions—such as long-range, precision-guided munitions.

America better heed the axiom put forth by Chinese General Sun Tzu, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

Either America prepares now by listening to the words of Washington or to the counsel of Sun Tzu or face the destructive nature which war brings.