Former Trump NatSec Adviser Outlines Measures To Avert War With China

Robert O’Brien, who served as national security adviser under former President Donald Trump, provided a detailed strategy to prevent a potential conflict with China in the coming years. Speaking on CBS News’ “Face The Nation” with Margaret Brennan, O’Brien emphasized the need for a robust military presence and strategic ambiguity to deter Chinese aggression, particularly concerning Taiwan.

O’Brien stressed the importance of “strategic ambiguity,” a policy where the U.S. does not clearly communicate its response to potential Chinese actions, thereby keeping China uncertain and cautious. He highlighted that maintaining “peace through strength” is essential, advocating for a stronger U.S. Navy and the repositioning of military forces.

“If we have a strong Navy, if we move our soldiers and Marines out of Europe, in Germany, where they’re garrisoned, and put them in Guam and Hawaii and the Philippines, and Australia, where we have Marines already, that sends a strong message to the Chinese not to invade,” O’Brien explained.

He underlined that the goal is to deter war rather than to engage in it. O’Brien criticized the current administration’s handling of Russian aggression in Ukraine, suggesting that a lack of deterrence there emboldened further conflicts.

“The key is to deter war, not to fight and win a war, which we need to do if it happens,” O’Brien continued. “But we need to deter the Chinese and the Communist Party from invading Taiwan in the first place, which we failed to do with Russia in Ukraine.”

O’Brien proposed that the U.S. should also consider moving a carrier strike group to the region, further bolstering its presence and signaling to China that any aggressive moves towards Taiwan would be met with a formidable response. Additionally, he recommended increasing energy production and rebuilding the military, particularly the Navy, to ensure that the U.S. can project strength and maintain readiness.

“We need to increase our energy production,” O’Brien said, adding that the U.S. also needed to “rebuild our military, rebuild our Navy, get our shipyards producing ships again.”

O’Brien’s remarks come at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and China, with concerns over Taiwan’s security being a focal point. His strategy emphasizes a proactive approach to military readiness and strategic positioning to prevent any potential conflicts and maintain stability in the region.