What would our world be like without U.S. leadership and presence around the globe? With the War on Terror contained, many Americans feel it is time to reclaim the billions spent to police the world and reinvest it in our own country. It's a tempting idea. Imagine redirecting the billions of dollars the U.S. invests overseas and use some of that cash to pay for our kids' college educations or dramatically reduce our taxes.
Unfortunately, a world without the U.S. would destabilize quickly. Removing troops from South Korea would tempt the communist north to cross the 38th parallel. Removing our Navy from the Far Pacific could be an invitation for China to invade Japan or Taiwan. Walking out on NATO and relinquishing our badge as world's policeman would create a power vacuum that Russia may be happy to fill. Russia is no longer communist, but it remains a nuclear power that has invaded a sovereign Ukraine and supports habitual human rights violators like Bashar Assad in Syria.
I believe the U.S. is the only nation with the military strength and democratic values to maintain peace in an unstable world. Our soldiers have bravely defended our interests and faithfully maintained peace throughout the world for over 70 years. Peaceful coexistence can only succeed if there is a strong nation to lead and maintain it. Would we ever want to delegate that responsibility to the Russians?
Matt Helfrich, Harleysville, Pa.