“What are our national security interests in Venezuela?” Adam Smith, the Washington Democrat who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, asked Erin Burnett on January 29 during her CNN primetime show. “The idea that we’re going to go in and do battle in Venezuela over who should be running that country, I don’t see a single U.S. national security argument for doing that.”
Not a single interest, Chairman Smith? In December, two Russian Tu-160 Blackjacks landed near Caracas. The Mach 2, nuclear-capable bombers can launch cruise missiles with a range of 3,410 miles, putting the U.S. homeland at risk from the airspace over Venezuela. The Blackjack bombers also buzzed America’s West Coast as they left the region last month.
Representative Smith charged President Trump with making Venezuela policy “on whims and fantasies and no reality behind it.”
On the contrary, Trump policy is based on the reality that the U.S. must be involved in the resolution of the Venezuelan crisis and not on the whims or fantasies that bad actors on their own will produce constructive solutions.
Unfortunately, there is no shortage of misguided ideas when it comes to Venezuela. Tony Blinken, for instance, deputy secretary of state in the Obama administration, told Kate Bolduan on her CNN show on January 28 that Washington should bring China and Russia into discussions about the crisis.
Why, you may ask, is this a less-than-brilliant idea?