Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

– By Nick Reid

world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and severity of dangers facing the United States has increased drastically in the seven and a half years of President Obama’s reign. Without any further ado, it’s time to take a look at the three most dangerous threats to the United States right now:

China: Known as the People’s Republic of China (which is, by the way, neither a republic nor governed in the interests of the people), the PRC, or just China, this Asiatic power poses a critical and sophisticated threat to the United States. Despite considerable economic ties, decades of diplomatic relations, and public cooperation, China remains hostile to US interests. Much like Japan in the decades leading up to WWII, China sees itself as future lord of Asia, a destiny which the Chinese government and military see as blocked by the presence of the US military in Asia. Since the beginning of the modernization of its vast military, China has focused on developing ship-killer missiles and satellite-killer missiles, designed to cripple the US military by destroying the bulk of American communications systems and aircraft carriers early in any potential conflict. During the Obama presidency, however, China’s actions have grown more brazen than developments of these weapons, as Chinese troops restrict freedom of the seas in Asia through new island bases. Did I mention that China is also a nuclear power?

The National Debt: Now, while the other threats on this list threaten America and our interests from the outside, our ballooning national debt threatens to corrode us from the inside. During the Obama presidency, this debt has almost doubled, standing at around $19 Trillion today. And the borrowing of money to fund the ever-expanding leviathan of the Federal Government has gotten so pervasive that 46 cents of every dollar spent by the Federal Government is borrowed money. The amount of debt racked up so far is so high that soon the interest on the debt alone will become the single largest expense by the Federal Government yearly. If the debt continues to grow, then the United States economy will collapse much like the economy of debt-laden Greece.

Islamic Terrorism: It comes in many forms, including, but by no means limited to: ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, the Taliban, Hamas, and Hezbollah. And although different factions clash with each other from time to time about details, the ultimate goal is clear: to spread political Islam, which uses the religion of Islam as a framework for government. This involves the subjugation of women, the murder of homosexuals, the destruction of all things deemed “un-Islamic” (mainly Western forms of entertainment and education), and the destruction or conversion of non-Muslims. Although this motley assortment of religious fanatics and cold-blooded killers that seem to be characters straight from a Mad Max movie is currently weak and disorganized, Islamic terrorism presents the greatest potential to grow as a threat if left unchecked. For example, under President Obama’s (ineffectual) watch, ISIS has emerged out of relative obscurity to destroy the fragile peace the Americans had created in Iraq, becoming the most spectacularly successful (in a morbid sense of the word) Islamic terrorist group in terms of territory held. ISIS, in particular, shows how rapidly Islamic terror can spread if not countered by strong military action to stop its spread (which the Iraqis most certainly did not provide). This speed and ease of spread is why Islamic terrorism makes this list.

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of the threats facing the United States today. However, these threats, unless checked, will only continue to grow. This election season may very well decide whether this happens or not.

Nick Reid is a graduate of Loudoun County high schools and is currently pursuing a degree in geology and paleontology at the South Dakoda School of Mines.