Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Orlyk, Pylyp

June 13, 2019

Orlyk and a part of his General Officer Staff emigrated in 1714 to Sweden, in 1720 to Silesia, and in 1721 to Poland. From 1722 until his death he was interned in Turkish-controlled territories—in Salonika until 1734, then in the Budzhak, and finally in Moldavia. During that period Orlyk sought, in vain, the support of Sweden, Poland, Saxony, Great Britain, Hannover, Holstein, the Vatican, and, through his son, Hryhor Orlyk, France. He also continued trying to organize, without success, a personal army and to incite the Zaporozhian Host to rise against Russian rule.

Orlyk wrote verses in Latin, the panegyrics Alcides Rossyiski (The Russian Alcides [Heracles], 1695) to Mazepa and Hippomenes Sarmacki (The Sarmatian Hippomenes, 1698) to Col Ivan Obydovsky, the political treatise ‘Vyvid prav Ukraïny’ (Devolution of Ukraine’s Rights, 1712), a manifesto to European governments justifying his alliance with the Porte (1712), and numerous memorandums to European rulers and government leaders. His diary of 1720–32 (5 vols) is preserved at the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris. A book of Orlyk’s selected works, edited by Myroslav Trofymuk and Valerii Shevchuk, was published in Kyiv in 2006.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
[Rawita-]Gawroński, F. ‘Filip Orlyk, nieuznany hetman kozacki,’ in Studya i szkice historyczne, ser 2 (Lviv 1900)
Holiichuk, F. ‘Fylyp Orlyk u Halychyni,’ in Naukovyi zbirnyk prysviachenyi M. Hrushevs’komu (Lviv 1906)
Iensen [Jensen], A. ‘Orlyk u Shvetsiï,’ ZNTSh, 92 (1909)
Kordt, V.A. (ed). ‘Dokumenty ob Andree Voinarovskom i Filippe Orlike,’ Sbornik statei i materialov po istorii Iugo-Zapadnoi Rossii, 2 (Kyiv 1916)
Borshchak, I. ‘Het’man Pylyp Orlyk i Frantsiia (storinky dyplomatychnoï istoriï),’ ZNTSh, 134–5 (1924); repr UIZh, 1991, nos 8–9, 11
Krupnyts’kyi, B. Het’man Pylyp Orlyk (1672–1742): Ohliad ioho politychnoï diial’nosty (Warsaw 1938)
Borschak, E. ‘Pylyp Orlyk’s Devolution of the Ukraine’s Rights,’ AUA, 6, nos 3–4 (1958)
Subtelny, O. The Mazepists: Ukrainian Separatism in the Early Eighteenth Century (New York 1981)
The Diariusz podrożny of Pylyp Orlyk (1727–1731), intro by Omeljan Pritsak (Cambridge, Mass 1988)
Iakovenko, Nataliia (ed.). Pylyp Orlyk: zhyttia, polityka, teksty (Kyiv 2011)
Häggman, Bertil. Hetman Filip Orlik – en ukrainsk frihetskaempe i Sverige 1715–1720 (Kristianstad 2014)

Theodore Mackiw
— Läs på www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp

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CHINA’S FUTURE – SOVEREIGNTY AND FEDERALISM

May 16, 2015

I

The question of the origin of the people of Taiwan can be answered with some certainty. The majority originates in Fukien province on mainland China. In addition there is a substantial number of ”mainlanders” who came to Taiwan after 1949. Then there are nine major tribal groups of indigenous inhabitants. But what about Taiwan as a part of China?

It is true that from 1683 to 1895 Taiwan was under the careless and weak control of the Manchu dynasty in far-off Peking. Officials representing Peking lived in a few towns on the island and squeezed the farmers in a way typical of central Chinese bureaucrats. They gave Taiwan nothing and took everything. Besides there were fifteen major rebellions between 1683 and 1843.

Before the Japanese occupied Taiwan in 1895 Formosa was proclaimed an independent republic, the first Asian republic. The new republic did recognize the suzerainty of the Emperor of China and regarded itself as a tributary State to China, but there was no question of Chinese sovereignty. Independent Taiwan was shortlived but ’Taiwan Min-chu Kuo’ is often overlooked by historians.

The Japanese saw the Taiwanese as a colonial people and few Japanese moved there. The Japanese were either in the armed forces, in Government service, or directors of industrial enterprises set up. But Taiwan was never pacified:

”…from the day the Japanese occupied the island in 1895 until they left in 1945…the number of arrested [Taiwanese] for attempts to overthrow the Japanese was never less than 8, 200 [1895 to 1920] …During the entire occupation there were nineteen major uprisings…By day the people toiled and sweated under the watchful eyes of their Japanese masters, but at night their choicest sons gathered in their poets’ clubs to talk and sing about the coming revolution”.

Following the Japanese defeat and surrender in 1945 Taiwan was retroceded to the Republic of China on October 25. After occupation by the Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, Manchus, and Japanese, Taiwan was again under Chinese control. In 1949 the Republic of China moved to Taipei. Economic aid flowed from the United States and a higly successful land reform program in 1953 laid the ground for an uncomparable Taiwanese economic development.

In 2000 the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the presidential election and Chen Shui-bian was installed as president. Already in 1999 the DPP National Congress had passed a resolution acknowledging that Taiwan, with the Republic of China as its formal national title, has been a sovereign country, and that this status can only be altered through a democratic process. Opinion polls have confirmed that 75 to 80 percent of the people of Taiwan reject PRC’s ”one country, two systems” model

for unification and more than 80 percent of the people consider Taiwan, the Republic of China, an independent sovereign country.

II

Thus it is never in doubt that Taiwan, Republic of China, is a sovereign nation. PRC has, has however, repeatedly claimed that it has sovereignty. In 1996 Li Peng stated that ”China has indisputable sovereignty over Taiwan”. In 1998 the PRC director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office repeated ”that China has sovereignty over Taiwan.” These statements continued during 1999. Now it was the Communist Chinese Party Central Office for Taiwan Affairs:

China has sovereignty over Taiwan – and this fact remains unchanged. The two sides are de facto one China.

Finally in 2000 the PRC State Council Taiwan Affairs Office said that ”China has sovereignty over Taiwan [which] remains unchanged…”

Sovereignty is a term of international law and in state law independence. It is that which makes a state a subject in international law. Politically the term is a description of the independence of a state in relation to other states and its equality in relation to these states.

No other conclusion can be drawn from the PRC statements above that they do not describe the true status of Taiwan according to existing legal doctrines.

If Taiwan was to accept the sovereignty of Peking it would not longer have the ability to decide over what could be described as the basic meaning of the concept: ”Sovereign is he who decides on the emergency situation.” 5) The decision would be made in Peking.

III

The European Union is an attempt by democracies to integrate through peaceful negotations and mutual trust. It must be accomplished with the consent of each European people. Every step is evaluated and approved by the citizens. Under no circumstances duress can be applied. The integration process has started with economic cooperation and freedom of movement across the borders. Opinions of small countries are respected and on January 1, 2002, the process takes another step by issuing banknotes of a common currency to replace older ones. But it has been a long process in reality starting not long after Word War II. The final goal might, in the view of some politicians, be a federal system with a president and a federal parliament.

Germany’s social democrat president, Johannes Rau, in September, 2000, called for the adoption of a European constitution stating that a project was needed to replace seven treaties with 13 amendments and 25 changes. This was not understandable to the European peoples. Also the goal of a federal System is not to concentrate power, but to delegate:

Natürlich führt der europäische Einigungsprozess dazu, dass jeder Mitgliedstaat auf einen Teil Souveränität zugunsten gemeinschaftlichen Handelns verzichten muss…die Globalisierung [hat] die Souveränität der Nationalstaaten gravierend aushöhlt und dass das in einem demokratisch unkontrollierten Prozess geschieht.

Die Erweiterung und die dafür nötigen Voraussetzungen führen uns überdeutlich vor Augen, dass die Verfahren, nach denen Europa bisher gebaut und gesteuert wurde, reformbedürftig sind.

Gemeinsam mit dem italienischen Staatspräsidenten Ciampi habe ich die Schirmherrschaft für eine Konferenz europäischer Forschungsinstitute im November 2000 in Mailand übernommen, bei der den notwendigen Bestandteile einer europäischen Verfassung erörtert werden sollen: die Grundrechtscharta, ein europäische Kompetenzkatalog in klarer Abgrenzung zu nationalen und regionalen Kompetenzen und europäische Institutionen, die demokratische legitimation und politische Handlungsfähigkeit miteinander verbinden.

President Rau continued to state that the first part of a constitution would be a charter of basic rights. What about the second part:

Worum muss es im zweiten Teil der Verfassung gehen? Wir müssen präzise festlegen und abgrenzen, wer in Europa für welche Entscheidungen zuständig ist.

Die drei Abschnitte der Verfassung – Grundrechtskatalog, Zuständigkeitsregelungen und Verhältnis der Institutionen – geben einem Europa Gestalt, wie wir es uns für morgen wünschen können; ein Zusammenschluss von Staaten, die einen Teil ihrer Hoheitsrechte gemeinschaftlichen Einrichtungen übertragen, damit sie durch gemeinsames Handeln Souveränität und praktische Handlungsfähigkeit zurückgewinnen.

An alternative to a constitution of the European Union, which is necessary, could until then be a ”reorganisation of the Treaties”. The first part would list all constitutional regulations in a way understandable to every citizen. The second part would comprise the regulations of implementation.

Could this be a model for integration of Taiwan and PRC? First the matter of the political system of the PRC would have to be taken into account. PRC is not a political democracy but a one party state ruled in effect by the Chinese Communist Party. An integration of Taiwan with such a state could not follow the European example. The European Union is based on the existence of parliamentary democracy in all states. Secondly, even under those circumstances, there remains the problem of the member states handing over all or part of their sovereignty to a commission or government based in Brussels. At present the European Commission is not elected by the peoples of the union through a majority of the members of the European parliament. So under the present circumstances the European Union is not fully based on democratic rules. With a federal constitution and a commission responsible to a European parliament these flaws in the democratic structure could be rectified.

This of course does not mean that at some time in the future the European Union, if it fullfills all democratic demands, could be a model for the integration between Taiwan and China. But that means that both partners in the latter integration must be democracies. At this time only Taiwan is a fullfledged democracy while PRC remains a one-party state controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

IV

At the writing of this manuscript the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Shanghai has been completed. Taiwan correctly boycotted, after PRC refused to accept former Vice President Li Yuan-zu, after Peking repeatedly refused to accept President Chen to attend himself. Taiwan was also barred from an anti-terrorism ministerial meeting.

At Shanghai the PRC formula for reunification was repeated at a meeting between President George W. Bush and China’s Jiang Zemin on October 19: We hope that the United States adhere to the one-China principle and abide by the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques. President Bush reaffirmed that the U.S. government pursued the principle and the communiques.

Although progress has been made in the field of U.S. defense of Taiwan and willingness to sell military equipment, the one-China formula still seems to be the basis for USA-PRC relations. Former United States President Ronald Reagan commented as far back as 1978 on the interpretation of the Taiwan formula:

Commenting on the risks of treaties he said:

Let’s take an agreement which while not a formal treaty was still a joint communique between the heads of state of 2 nations enunciating a policy. I’m talking about the Shanghai communique that climaxed the visit of an American Pres. to the Peoples Republic of China a few years ago. In looking at it one is apt to be more confused than enlightened.

The Chinese made a statement with regard to our long time ally the Free Republic of China on Taiwan, that it, quote ”opposes the creation of 2 Chinas, and independent Taiwan or a seperate solution” unquote. The U.S, in turn, says quote ”that it does not challenge that view.” To Americans this was plain English that meant we neither agreed nor disagreed – we simply avoided the issue.

Unfortunately it is not that easy & simple. The Chinese translation of the phrase, ”does not challenge” is taken to mean that because we make no objection we agree with Chinas position. Then there is a sentence to the effect that there should be a peaceful solution to the problem of Taiwan. We would interpret that to mean that Peking won’t launch an attack or try to conquer Taiwan by force of arms. Again Peking denies that this language binds them to seek a peaceful solution.

These comments by Ronald Reagan before he became president no doubt shows that there could be a misinterpretation of the Shanghai communiques. It would really be deplorable if the U.S. one-China policy at least partly is based on an incorrect interpretation of the texts.

V

A step forward was made in 2001 the ROC accession to the World Trade Organization. President Chen Shui-bian rightly concluded that: ”as an independent sovereign country, the ROC” 10) would comply with the World Trade Organization ”and would actively participate in all WTO activities ”under the principle of equal participation”. No observer can seriously consider the PRC designation ”Chinese Taipei” forced upon the WTO by Peking.

It is to keep in mind that Iraq, Iran, Libya and Pakistan have developed nuclear, chemical and biological weapons with the aid of PRC. China is only too happy to use the struggle against international terrorism for its own purposes, although verbally supporting the coalition. The present ad hoc alliance between the United States and Pakistan can be used by the Chinese government to pressure India, which is regarded as one of the competitors of PRC in Asia. A move toward peaceful relations between India and Pakistan would remove opportunities for Peking destabilization. It is also important to point out to Russia that it must reduce its sales of advanced weapons to China. By providing help to build a stable, democratic, and free market the reliance of Moscow on weapons export can also be reduced.

Chinese attacks on American hegemony continue after the September 11 terrorist attacks. In 1999 two PRC colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, published a text on ”War Without Limits”. The basic thesis was that attacks can be undertaken that go beyond the scope of military warfare but achieves the objectives of fighting a war:

The series of attacks taking place in the United States were very dreary and terrifying, but they must not be viewed from a single perspective. While the thousands of innocent people killed or injured in the attacks were victims of terrorism, they also were victims of US foreign policy. The September 11, 2001 very likely is the beginning of the decline of the United States, as a superpower.

The attacks demonstrated the United States’ fragility and weakness and showed that essentially it is unable to stand attacks. The National Missile Defense [NMD] system cannot save it. The United States, a giant ‘tiger,’ has been dealing with mice; unexpectedly, this time it was bitten by ‘mice’; it has been wielding a large hammer but has been unable to find the flea. From a short-term perspective, the attacks in the United States will very likely have some effect on China’s economy — they might affect China’s economic growth. However, from a long-term viewpoint, they could be favorable to China.”

These views expressed by the Chinese military no doubt reflects the basic attitude of PRC. There is interest in Peking to take advantage of trade as strengthening the economy. In this respect it is important for the leadership to retain good relations with the United States. But there is an undercurrent of belief that any weakening of the United States could be an advantage in the long term for PRC.

It is important, therefore, to view the continued cross strait relations between ROC and PRC in the light of realistic politics. No doubt there is value in continued expansion of contacts between the two nations but at the same time caution is recommended. There is an interest in Peking in a weakened Republic of China. As relations unfold vigilance is important. PRC’s long term strategy remains. It is a regional policy to weaken the influence of the United States to be able to achieve sovereignty over the Republic China as soon as possible.

An economic slump for PRC may mean growing aggressive nationalistic behaviour from Peking. There is reason for the Republic of China to be on its guard. Meanwhile it is important to look ahead for the possibly biggest victim of the September 11 attacks. The People’s Republic of China.

CHINESE NUCLEAR SUBMARINES CAPABLE OF WIDESPREAD ATTACK ON U.S.

November 2, 2013

The Washington Times on October 31, 2013, reported in a column by Miles Yu that Chinese state-run media revealed for the first time that Beijing’s nuclear submarines can attack American cities as a means to counterbalance U.S. nuclear deterrence in the Pacific. Excerpts below:

…leading media outlets including China Central TV, the People’s Daily, the Global Times, the PLA Daily, the China Youth Daily and the Guangmin Daily ran identical, top-headlined reports about the “awesomeness” of the People’s Liberation Army navy’s strategic submarine force.

“This is the first time in 42 years since the establishment of our navy’s strategic submarine force that we reveal on such a large scale the secrets of our first-generation underwater nuclear force,” the Global Times said in a lengthy article titled “China for the First Time Possesses Effective Underwater Nuclear Deterrence against the United States.”

The article features 30 photos and graphics detailing, among other things, damage projections for Seattle and Los Angeles after being hit by Chinese nuclear warheads and the deadly radiation that would spread all the way to Chicago.

China’s sub fleet is reportedly the world’s second-largest, with about 70 vessels. About 10 are nuclear-powered, and four or more of those are nuclear ballistic submarines capable of launching missiles.

Heavily influenced by Soviet naval models that stressed underwater forces, China’s nuclear submarine development began with the reverse-engineering of a Soviet Golf-class conventional-powered sub in the 1950s.

Chinese calculations for nuclear attacks on the U.S. are chillingly macabre.

“Because the Midwest states of the U.S. are sparsely populated, in order to increase the lethality, [our] nuclear attacks should mainly target the key cities on the West Coast of the United States, such as Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego,” the Global Times said.
“The 12 JL-2 nuclear warheads carried by one single Type 094 SSBN can kill and wound 5 million to 12 million Americans,” the Global Times reported.
China also has developed land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles — notably the DF-31A, which has a range of 7,000 to 7,500 miles.
“If we launch our DF 31A ICBMs over the North Pole, we can easily destroy a whole list of metropolises on the East Coast and the New England region of the U.S., including Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Portland, Baltimore and Norfolk, whose population accounts for about one-eighth of America’s total residents,” the Global Times said.

All the state-run press reports stressed the point that the PLA’s missile submarines are now on routine strategic patrol, “which means that China for the first time has acquired the strategic deterrence and second strike capability against the United States.”

CHINA IS NOT ABOUT TO OVERTAKE THE US IN SPACE

October 21, 2013

The Diplomat on October 2, 2013, in an article assured that China is not about to overtake US in space. China’s growth trajectory overall and more particularly in the space domain has been impressive. However, John Hickman’s categorical assertions in a recent Foreign Policy article that China is catching up and “may surpass the United States… to become the world’s preeminent spacefaring power” seems to us a touch far-fetched.

China attributes its “military technological backwardness” to its past national humiliation at the hands of other major powers. Indeed, this is an important part of the national psyche and helps drives the Chinese space programs.

The problem lies in the tools needed to turn determination into material outcomes. The most important: China has nothing near the commercial space sector that the U.S. boasts. Sure, NASA now gets less than 1 percent of the U.S. federal budget, but much of America’s true capabilities are embedded in its private sector, which plays a much larger role than its equivalent does in China’s space sector and gives the U.S. a major advantage in space technology innovation.

China is taking steps to beef up its own commercial space sector (read: state-owned enterprises) but it still lacks the massive private-sector investment in R&D that will be vital to sustaining the success of any space program. For now, China must rely on public investment to advance its space program.

More importantly, China does not innovate, it copies. That helps it catch up, but without innovation China will have difficulty taking over the top spot. Its growth looks like a parabola, approaching the number one spot before falling away.

Although China’s space program has come a long way since its launch failures in 1995 and 1996, that dramatic rise has been aided by the reverse engineering of Russian technology. For instance, many observers believe that the Shenzhou space capsule that heralded China’s manned space flight was based largely on the Russian Soyuz capsule. However, China’s ability to catch up with the other space superpowers by copying alone is fast approaching its limits.

Moreover, China lags significantly behind the U.S. generally in scientific innovation. Consider, as an example, that the U.S. is at the vanguard of revolutionizing manufacturing techniques with the use of 3D printing, which it intends to utilize in the International Space Station, or the involvement of NASA scientists in experiments that could bring them closer to the development of a warp-speed engine.

If ambition is cited as a factor for the possibility of Chinese dominance in space, then surely one must consider the U.S. aspiration to explore the far reaches of space. Even if China is quickly catching up with U.S. dominance in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), its program is largely restricted to that realm. The U.S. meanwhile has set its sights beyond our planet’s periphery.

While American satellites are exploring the far reaches of our solar system, with the Voyager 1 havingreached interstellar space, closer to Earth satellites belonging to the U.S. and its partners outmatch Chinese satellites in number and scope. The former owns more than half of all satellites currently orbiting our planet. In terms of their capabilities, American satellites are still far superior to their Chinese counterparts.

In contrast, China’s commercial space sector is still very much nascent. In fact, China’s space sector is comparable to the Russian model: state sponsorship and commensurate state interference. Even though Russia continues to be one of the foremost space powers, it has experienced a sustained decline owing to financial constraints and manpower concerns.

China’s impressive ascent in space capability has been driven by massive state financing. While this has undeniably worked well to date, the sustainability of this model as the Chinese economy rebalances is questionable. If state support is capped, or tapers, then with only a modest private sector to fill the gap it is difficult to see how China will sustain the extraordinary progress it has made over the past 15 years.

And finally another factor that must not be discounted is experience. American astronauts have logged thousands of hours of space flight. That gives them long experience dealing with issues China is just beginning to encounter.

Yet despite these limitations, China’s space program could continue to impress given sufficient time and patience.

In fact, China has shown it understands the importance of commercializing its space efforts.

Meanwhile, China could try to attract technical talent from abroad. This will, however, require more than generous remuneration, since it will be tough to match the American private sector in that regard. For China, this should be a long-term plan for educating the next generation of engineers. If the Chinese are willing to invest time and resources, a new generation could innovate and develop new technology, instead of reverse engineering, creating a slow but more certain path to preeminence.

Finally, dominance in space requires more than just technology. China will need to become a persuasive force in the making of space policy, and this in turn will require that it demonstrate an ability to act responsibly. Beijing’s 2007 anti-satellite test and the resulting space debris was an example of what not to do, especially as the U.S. managed to shoot down a satellite with minimal residual space debris.

So, yes, China has clearly made very significant strides in its space capability. However, it is still a long way short of matching U.S. capabilities and alarm bells need not ring just yet. China’s rise is a function of heavy state investment based on a model that is unlikely to be sustainable. The American model of public-private partnership is more innovative and less of a taxpayer burden. China will need to undertake significant reforms before it supplants the U.S. as the world’s leading space power.

CHINESE PROPAGANDA: IT’S TIME TO ‘DE-AMERICANIZE’

October 15, 2013

The Washington Times on October 14, 2013, reported that China is taking advantage of the US government shutdown and budget crisis on Capitol Hill to push for more favor on the world stage, telling other nations that relying on America to lead in the coming decades would be folly.

“It is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world,” Chinese news suggested, The Guardian reported.

The cited reasons: America’s government, economics and leadership were in shambles, China authorities said in the official state-run news agency, Xinhua.

…China’s chiding ratchets up pressure, especially in terms of how the U.S. political scene is viewed around the globe. The nation is America’s largest foreign debt holder — it owns $1.28 trillion of U.S. bonds.

“Such alarming days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated,” the China news agency said. “The cyclical stagnation in Washington for a viable bipartisan solution over a federal budget and an approval for raising the debt ceiling has left many nations’ tremendous dollar assets in jeopardy and the international community highly agonized.”

(Comment: This could be expected from Communist China. It should be pointed out the weakness of Chinese currency and the inherent unstable status of the regime of the Chinese communist party. Instead of propagandistic proclamations Beijing ought to learn from democracy and free enterprise at work in the United States.)

US MUST NOT LET EGYPT SLIP BACK INTO RUSSIA’S ORBIT

October 11, 2013

Fox News on October 10, 2012, published comments by K.T. McFarland on Egypt. Forty years ago this month the Arabs and Israelis fought their last war against each other. Prior to that, they had fought every decade or so, but the fallout from those earlier wars was rarely felt beyond the region. Excerpts below:

The 1973 war was different. It led to an Arab oil embargo against the United States, long car lines at the pumps, oil price hikes and precipitated the 1973-74 stock market crash.

But the October 1973 war had a silver lining. It presented the United States with an opportunity to broker the peace between Israel and the Arab countries.

What followed that war was an intense round of shuttle diplomacy by Dr. Henry Kissinger, which led to a new U.S. relationship with Egypt.

Egypt and Israel laid down their arms, and to this day neither have taken them up against each other.

Both received generous amounts of U.S. military and economic assistance as a result.

The United States replaced the Soviet Union as Egypt’s main partner and patron.

Egypt flipped sides.

Egypt is the largest, oldest and most influential country in the Arab Muslim Middle East. As goes Egypt, so goes the region. Once Egypt was out of the war equation, the remaining Arab states could not make war against Israel.

Flipping Egypt has kept the peace in the region and given the United States special access to basing and over-flight rights, and precedence in transiting the Suez Canal.

It has meant close personal and professional ties between the American and Egyptian militaries, and most senior Egyptian officers speak fluent English and have studied in the United States.

But we are now in danger of having Egypt flip again – out of the American orbit and back into Russia’s.

I have just returned from Egypt and meetings with senior leaders from all elements of Egyptian society – religious leaders, journalists, business executives, student activists, politicians, diplomats and military leaders, including two hours with General al-Sisi.

Egypt is in the midst of a rocky transition to democracy, and they need our support.

Gen al-Sisi told me American military aid wasn’t as important to them as America’s political endorsement. “That wouldn’t cost a penny,” he said, “but it would make all the difference in establishing Egypt’s stability.”

President Obama has suspended most assistance to Egypt as a slap in the face to the Egyptian military for overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood.


Presumably, if the Egyptian government followed their roadmap to democracy, the Obama administration will resume assistance, and return to the close relationship we have enjoyed for four decades.

If not, if President Obama tosses that relationship aside, Russia is waiting in the wings to take our place.

They have waited forty years to find their way back into leadership role the Middle East, and know the best way to do that is by resuming their relationship with Egypt.

President Putin has already sent delegations to Egypt offering military assistance, cyber technology and advanced weapons, as well as friendship and endorsement.

If Egypt flips again, it will have profound consequences for other Arab countries in the region, for Israel and for the United States. It has the potential of playing havoc with the world oil supply, the peace with Israel, and the rise of Islamism.

Sixty years ago, after the fall of China to Communist forces, the United States fell into a nasty political fight over “Who Lost China?”

If we lose our position in the Middle East as a result of losing Egypt, the nasty political debate that will follow over “Who Lost Egypt?” will be far more divisive and destructive.

Kathleen Troia “K.T.” McFarland is a Fox News National Security Analyst and host of FoxNews.com’s “DefCon 3.” She served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. She was an aide to Dr. Henry Kissinger at the White House, and in 1984 Ms. McFarland wrote Secretary of Defense Weinberger’s groundbreaking “Principles of War ” speech. She received the Defense Department’s highest civilian award for her work in the Reagan administration.