America is an Empire Stretched Thin

Four crises around the globe test the limits of America’s power.

Written by Anthony Constantini

What’s happening: Several international crises in the past few years have tested the influence and long-held dominance of the United States.

  • Ukraine: It seems clear Ukraine will not retake most territory from Russia, even with Western support. But that support is increasingly in doubt: the West is literally running out of ammunition to give Ukrainians. And with American ammo stocks looking slow to replenish, it’s hard to see how Ukraine will be able to make further progress.

  • Israel: Earlier this year, the U.S. transferred weapons earmarked for Israel to Ukraine. Now, the Pentagon is scrambling to find enough weaponry for Israel in its war against Hamas.

  • Taiwan: A recent leak revealed that Defense Department planners do not believe Taiwan could likely defend itself against China. With Taiwan still refusing to spend 3 percent of its budget on national defense, America would have to come to the island’s aid in the event of war and is already turning the island into a weapons stockpile.

  • The U.S. border: There were 269,735 migrant encounters at the southern border in September and 2.48 million in FY 2023. The federal government has been so absent that states are mostly acting on their own.

President Joe Biden responded to these crises by asking Congress for $106 billion. But Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently labeled America’s fiscal path “unsustainable,” adding to deeper fears about the economy.

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