Johnny come lately, the train has left the station is too little, too late, for the West in general and specifically, the USA, to halt China and Iran in two dangerous areas.
With China, the South China Sea is theirs. They can control it if they wish and one day, they will. The time to halt the Chinese in their claim and build-up in the South China was in 2010-12. The legal efforts made by the Philippine government gave them a win but China ignored it and continued their build-up of many of the key islands there. Now, they have naval and air bases on a a few. They have defenses with missiles that far outrange most and they continue to improve them. Had the West (namely the USA) opposed them in real terms and willing to send a message of some sort via military back when they were just beginning, things might be different now. However, that was the not the case. We were too busy with our own problems and China quietly continued. Now, all the US does is conduct show of strength and freedom of navigation patrols through the area. China warns us, but does nothing for now. They kick out the Philippine fisherman of waters within their own national maritime areas depriving them of seafood and allow Chinese trawlers to harvest this area. Nothing is ever done by the powers of the West, so reluctant to take the dragon on, even a little. How about sinking one of their fishing trawlers as a warning shot? How about supporting the Philippines in building up their own islands in the area?
The bottom line the West IS intimidated by China rapid military buildup and has no clue what to do about it.
Just recently, Israeli experts and others, disclosed that Iran will likely have their first nuclear bomb within a few months or weeks. The Iranian nuclear deal helped to delay that was it. Trump pulled out seeing that it was not tough enough and applied dire sanctions. Smart move. Now, Biden wants to return to it. Return to what, exactly? A framework that does not work then or now. Iran will not even negotiate until the Trump sanctions are gone. If Biden does this, he is a fool. Iran is just playing the West and their fears that they will get the bomb, and they will! Just live with that fact. Nothing has worked and nothing will because of their desire to get the bomb and the ballistic missile to deliver it. They already of the missiles. Perhaps, had the US and Israel conducted that air raid they planned back in 2014-15, destroyed most of their capabilities, Iran would have been deterred more. Maybe that and the sanctions might have worked.
As it is now, Israel is once again drawing up plans to conduct the air attack seeing that this time, Iran truly is close to getting the bomb. The US has given them F-35s and a few B-52s. It seems the US does not want any part of this new air attack plan, but maybe not. The attack now would just cause a real war and damage some of Iran's nuclear capability, but again, in the end, Iran will get the bomb unless China, North Korea, Russia, also stop supporting Iran with the technology they sell to them.
The world is just waiting for the match to be lit.
perrya (author) on February 02, 2021:
your points are well taken and so is mine, that you seem to confirm- it IS too late. The nemesis is out of the bag and the best the world can do is try to minimize and contain it, which will be hard. As we agree, the time to halt them was many years ago, whether in 2000 or even further back. The last cahnces passed by 2010-13.
Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on January 31, 2021:
Here is a good clip:
And i have faith.
We have people who know what they are doing, now.
It’s back to being a country, not a yard sale.
MG Singh emge from Singapore on January 31, 2021:
Perrya, you missed the point, The USA could've easily stopped China from going nuclear in 1964 when Johnson instead of concentrating on Vietnam had bombed China. The USA had the capability with the B-52 and China had no worthwhile defense but now the USA is paying for the folly of Johnson. The second phase was the era of Kissinger and Nixon. These two made the devious plan to try and prop China as an antagonist of Russia and a friend of America. it was never going to work and Russia and China China are allies now and China is certainly not the American friend. The downside of America commenced with Nixon and it has continued through Obama. Trump tried to stop it but he's been thrown out and Biden is not the best man for this job.I have still not been on able to understand what this man's policy is. He just seems to have a one-point plan to try and undo all the work which has been done by Donald Trump including the Abraham accord and the benefits that went with it like supplying F 35's to UAE. In the bargain, he will be strengthening Iran by his silly thinking of going back to the nuclear deal. Comparisons are always odious but I can't help feeling that Joe Biden's presidency is going to bring about results something similar to Gorbachev.
Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on January 31, 2021:
This is a very interesting and informative article. How would it benefit Iran to bomb China? I'm not too savvy about geopolitics.
perrya (author) on January 31, 2021:
Maybe so, but the reality now is that Iran can set terms as they have repulsed all attempts and now they are within reach of a bomb. Since China and Iran have become trade partners, sanctions are less effective. Being engaged is useless if one side is just playing the other to get what they want and they continue to enrich. It seems the military option is becoming the only thing left to deter and delay but the US is not willing, perhaps israel will.
DW Davis from Eastern NC on January 31, 2021:
The Iran nuclear deal kept us engaged and gave us a bargaining position with Iran. Trump's pullout was based entirely on his racist hatred of anything Obama did and accomplished exactly nothing.