BUCK: Welcome back to Clay and Buck.
That was the FBI director Chris Wray — and he’s an institutionalist, by the way. I don’t think that it’s even so much that he is a Democrat-aligned individual as he can aligned with the institution of the FBI above all else, which is often the case for people that rise through these bureaucracies. But that said, I was just telling you it’s a wake-up week for us in politics for Republicans, for conservatives.
I also think on the national security side, we got a bit of a wake-up call in a number of fronts, a number of places around the world. Let’s start with the strike in Afghanistan against Ayman al-Zawahiri. So, Zawahiri’s gone, hit with a so-called Ninja missile, big blade come out of it, doesn’t have the same shrapnel effect as a more conventional explosive missiles do, so it’s like…
They call it a Switchblade I think, as well, right, isn’t that — or maybe just the Ninja missile. They’re Switchblade drones. I don’t know. It’s tough to keep up with all the cool names for these things. They didn’t have… Back in my day, we didn’t have Ninja missiles. We had the old school missiles. But they took out Zawahiri which is a good thing in that it is justice.
But for anybody who understands the region, he was living in a big house right in downtown Kabul; 100% that the regime, the Taliban knows about his presence, welcomed his presence, and were defending him, were giving him safe harbor. There’s no question about that. So, just understand that Al-Qaeda’s top leader, the number two to bin Laden for many years, the guy who was directly involved in plotting 9/11 as well as other major attacks, h was staying as a special guest, a VIP guest of the Taliban in Kabul.
Now, right now we see the situation Afghanistan, they’re having food shortages, their economy is a mess, and we just hope that it stays pretty quiet for a while. But everybody who knows the region… I know many of you served there; you know all too well the realities of the Taliban, the Taliban mind-set. It’s just a matter of time before they start to support in ways that maybe at first have plausible deniability on the world stage.
But I don’t even know how much they care about that, support jihadist terrorist groups in their own country but also throughout the region. Only a matter of time. What are we going to do about that? That’s a tough conversation to have right now, isn’t it? We know we don’t want to go in there and try to rebuild the country, but Afghanistan as a platform for global jihadists again, I would say it is likely that that happens in…perhaps, it’s gonna take a few years, but that’s where it’s heading.
That’s what’s going on there. Iran has said that they have gotten even closer to nuclear breakout capacity. The Iranians now flexing muscle on that issue. With Russia, remember in the early days we were told of the Russia-Ukraine war, first of all, there was such a focus on the Ghost of Kiev. Fake. The sailors who died on Snake Island?
Didn’t happen that way. The Russians are gonna pull out any moment because the Ukrainian military is valiantly defending their home territory against the Russian bear. True, in the sense that they were valiant. False, in the sense that obviously the war has been going on for many months now. The Russian economy has proved durable throughout, even though we have all these sanctions and the rest in place.
And Putin has not for one second forgotten that we are sending munitions that are being directly used to kill Russian soldiers. I’ll remind everybody, you have to think about this the way your enemy does to understand what their next moves may be. There was a period of time when the Iranians were sending EFPs — and then the Iranians just had their militias, their people conducting these kind of attacks too, and the Iranian hand in Iraq has only gotten strong in the last 10 years.
But they were sending over EFPs, explosively formed penetrators, where the explosion behind a copper plate creates this almost like a metal, molten hyper bullet that punches holes even in up-armored vehicles. And that was used to kill and maim a lot of our service members. The Iranians did that, and we remember, we held them to account in some ways, though not nearly such as we should have.
But that was certainly on the minds of the people around Trump when they ordered the strike that took out Qasem Soleimani. Remember that Qasem Soleimani strike? He had that whole program of supplying arms to Shi’a militias in Iraq that were attacking U.S. soldiers. Point here being Putin is not okay with what’s going on, and he will find ways to try to offset the U.S. influence, offset U.S. stability around the world, and at home now. You can be prepared for that.
And, of course, China. China, in the aftermath of the Pelosi visit there, which very interesting to see. People are on the right supportive of the visit but also critical of what the visit will accomplish. There’s a very confused messaging over Taiwan. It’s strategic ambiguity is our policy in more ways than people are willing to admit. It’s really just ambiguity in general because I don’t know what the heck we’re gonna do.
What are we supposed to do here? We keep saying that we support — and when I say “we,” I mean, the U.S. government supports — the One China Policy and not unilateral independents independence for Taiwan, but doesn’t support a Chinese… Obviously would that he talk to oppose even with military force a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. All right. Where does that leave us?
“In response to the Pelosi visit,” AP is saying, “China announced it will end all contact with the U.S. on major issues. Climate cooperation that led to the international Paris Accord.” Yeah, well, that doesn’t worry me. Other things do, though. “High level military discussions,” freezing lines of communications there. There are exercises going on right now, including the fire of missiles that have splashed in Taiwanese waters, Chinese firing those missiles.
The USS Reagan, the aircraft carrier, has been told to stay in the region to keep an eye on things. This is a downturn in the regional stability and security that Biden administration didn’t really invite. Nancy Pelosi did. So, what exactly are we gonna do in response to all that? I sense a deterioration coming. I do not believe that people can predict the future, but I think you can see trends. Look at this White House. Look at the people making these decisions.
They are incompetent. They take the “America last” position as often as they can. And these areas of the world that have been major regions of either conflict or serious instability for years now, things are heating up. Things are heating up. And we got Joe Biden in charge. So, I don’t know where it’s gonna happen, but I do think this administration, it’s not gonna — it’s likely that it won’t — happen before the election.
But I think you’re gonna see this Biden administration tested with an international relations and national security crisis that rocks it to its core. We already saw in Afghanistan with the withdrawal what a debacle that was. Same people are in charge, my friends, same decision making sure at the top. Something’s coming our way. And unfortunately with this team calling the shots, it’s not gonna go well. So, we need to be prepared, we need to get ready.