The so-called uni-party is at it again as the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to approve North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership for Finland and Sweden.
(Source: Fox News)
Claiming that NATO status for the two Nordic nations would be in both NATO’s and America’s interests. U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) dismissively said in the run-up to the vote that “If any senator is looking for a defensible excuse to vote ‘no,’ I wish them good luck.”
McConnell’s colleague Josh Hawley must have been feeling lucky because he was the only senator to vote against ratification. The measure passed the upper chamber by 95-1-1. Three senators who would have voted yes were absent, and Rand Paul voted “present,” which is a form of abstaining.
In an op-ed for The National Interest that generally tracked his remarks on the Senate floor, Hawley (R-Mo.) explained why he voted no with an America First theme.
Hawley implied that NATO members, including soon-to-be-members Finland and Sweden, are penny-pinching on their own defense, which means the U.S. military’s obligation to defend Europe against an even more aggressive Russia would be far-reaching.
Former President Trump had also argued that European nations needed to step up in terms of defense spending and not rely so much on the U.S. to bail them out, if necessary.
The U.S. Senate, Hawley added, is also missing the real danger to world peace, i.e., CCP-controlled China, at a time when “our manpower is already stretched thin across the globe,” and the military lacks the resources to theoretically fight two wars simultaneously if it ever came to that.
Today’s vote to expand NATO presents a simple choice: either we do more in Europe – more troops, more resources, more spending – or we focus on our #1 adversary, China. We can’t prioritize both pic.twitter.com/DJdU0uU8Br
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) August 3, 2022
“Finland and Sweden want to join the Atlantic Alliance to head off further Russian aggression in Europe. That is entirely understandable given their location and security needs. But America’s greatest foreign adversary doesn’t loom over Europe. It looms in Asia. I am talking of course about the People’s Republic of China. And when it comes to Chinese imperialism, the American people should know the truth: the United States is not ready to resist it. Expanding American security commitments in Europe now would only make that problem worse—and America, less safe,” he wrote, in part. “To be clear, America shouldn’t abandon NATO. But it’s time for our European allies to do more.”
Hawley added that “In the face of this stark reality, we must choose. We must do less in Europe (and elsewhere) in order to prioritize China and Asia.”
In an interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Hawley elaborated about his vote against further propping up a Cold War relic with the Fox News host:
“Expanding NATO will not make America stronger, and it will not make America safer. What it will do is commit us to sending more troops and spending more money and devoting more resources to Europe. And frankly, I think that’s the wrong choice. I mean, just look at the challenges we face at home with our border and abroad and overseas. We’re talking about our enemies abroad. Our number-one threat is not in Europe; it’s in Asia. It’s in China,” the senator said, in the video clip embedded above.
Essentially rejecting the globalist premise, he continued: “Right now, we are not where need to be to protect ourselves from China’s rise, to protect ourselves from China’s attempt to take over our economy, to push us around militarily. We’re not in position at all. So my view is let’s focus on the things that are really in America’s interest. Let’s focus on China overseas. Let’s focus on our borders at home. But expanding NATO, it just doesn’t have anything to do with any of that.”
Carlson then noted that McConnell had dodged a question on FNC about whether the Ukraine war was more important that the illegal immigration crisis at the U.S. southern border. With that on the table, he then asked Hawley if any senator, other than the latter, regards “our open border as more important than Ukraine’s borders.”
Hawley replied that “I can’t speak for anybody else, but I will say that I sure do hear a lot people who care a lot about other nations’ borders that don’t seem to care a lot about ours. And I hear a lot of people who pay lip service to the fact that China wants to dominate our trade, wants to take our jobs, wants to rip off our technology and take our workers, but they’re not willing to do anything about it. And right now, it is time to stand up and defend American workers, to defend American jobs, to defend our security against China overseas and our border here at home. Those ought to be our priorities.”
Carlson opened the segment by asserting that Ukraine’s potential membership in NATO likely triggered Russia’s invasion of that country, and threw shade on McConnell’s claim on Wednesday that expanding NATO would somehow make America stronger.
“So if Sweden or Finland were to wind up in a war, we are bound by treaty to enter that war. How does that make America stronger?” Carlson wondered rhetorically.
Sen. Paul apparently abstained because the chamber defeated his amendment that would have preserved the right of Congress to declare war rather than be bound by the mutual defense clause in the NATO treaty.
Separately, various analysts have warned that the U.S. and the West are driving Russia and China closer together.
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