America must face reality and prioritise China over Europe

May 23, 2024

“Despite stirring rhetoric from leaders in Congress and the press, a foreign policy of US primacy is simply not possible. We do not have the military for it, and even if the budget were available, we could not field one in sufficient time. Meanwhile, there is growing concern about the size of America’s deficits, and many are warning about increasing our already high debt load. So primacy is not a serious option. Nor, though, is isolationism. Pulling back to our own shores and allowing the chips to fall where they may would almost certainly lead to a Chinese-dominated Asia, with grave consequences for the American economy. Our interests in Europe and the Middle East would fare no better. The answer lies between those two extremes, in strategic prioritisation: grappling with the reality of scarcity and the need for hard choices, focusing resources and willpower where America’s most important interests are endangered — Asia.”

Financial Times

Elbridge Colby is co-founder and principal of The Marathon Initiative, a policy initiative focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition.