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Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) delivered opening remarks at the committee‘s hearing with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Chairman McCaul emphasized that the United States must return to President Reagan’s doctrine of achieving peace through strength amidst the Biden administration’s weakness on the world stage. 


— Remarks as delivered — 

Mr. Secretary, first let me say thank you for being here today. 

As you know, we are living in dangerous times. The world is on fire.

We are witnessing the largest land invasion in Europe since World War II. The Middle East is on the brink of a full-scale war, and an increasingly aggressive China is testing our resolve as they look to invade Taiwan. 

The similarities between a war in Europe and increased aggression in the Indo-Pacific are dangerously parallel to the events leading up to World War II. 

Russia, China, Iran – they are all connected in their efforts to destroy freedom and democracy.

Weakness invites aggression and our adversaries see that.

It all began with the fall of Afghanistan.

This deadly and chaotic withdrawal was catastrophic and will remain a stain on American foreign policy for generations.

Despite warnings from the [Department of Defense (DOD)] and the Intelligence Community, the State Department, Mr. Secretary, failed in its execution of the [Noncombatant Evacuation Operation (NEO)] – despite the dissent cable from your own staff on the ground warning of dire consequences of abandoning Afghanistan.

Despite the President’s promise to get everyone out, we now know over 1,000 Americans and almost 200,000 Afghan partners were left behind. 

Following the shameful withdrawal from Afghanistan, this administration projected weakness on the world stage. 

Shortly after the withdrawal, we saw the satellite imagery of Russian federation amassing troops on the Ukrainian border. 

Then, we failed to provide the Ukrainians with the lethal assistance they needed until after the invasion.

Out of fear of provoking the Russians, this administration slow walked weapons necessary for Ukraine to win, giving them just enough to bleed out, but not for victory. 

If fear of provocation bound American foreign policy, the Nazis would not have been defeated, the Berlin Wall would still stand, the words “Evil Empire” would have never been said, and nuclear missiles would still be in Cuba. 

American leadership must never be dictated by the whims of despots. 

That is why I mandated the administration, in the supplemental bill, send long range ATACMS and other weapon systems to Ukraine as soon as possible to ensure a victory. 

When it comes to China, we have failed to establish the deterrence necessary to counter the malign threat of the CCP. 

We now know that China is supporting the Russian defense industrial base. 

Failure to project strength on the world stage has only led to an increasingly hostile China.

Weapons I signed off on five years ago for Taiwan have yet to get into that country. 

And, I am also disappointed that the president failed to certify AUKUS [International Traffic in Arms Regulations] exemptions on the April 19th deadline.

This trilateral partnership, as you know, is key to deterring China. 

For Chairman Xi is watching, and I believe he is the only one satisfied with this administration’s actions. 

Finally, we are on the brink of total destabilization in the Middle East. 

Israel is in a fight for its very existence from the terrorist threat of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran.

And during their darkest hour, what did this administration do?

They turned [their] backs on our ally.

President Biden’s decision to withhold weapons approved and appropriated by Congress is tantamount to an arms embargo.  

This administration is preventing Israel from their final key military objective of taking out the remaining battalions in Rafah. 

We need to put maximum pressure on Iran and its proxies. 

By not enforcing energy sanctions, Iran now has over $80 billion in oil revenue. 

We have appeased the Ayatollah and funded his terror operations. Including their ability to attack Israel directly – which they did for the first time in history.  

By projecting weakness on the world stage, this administration has invited increased aggression.

So why is it after this administration came into office, there is a war in Ukraine, a war in the Middle East and a potential war in the Indo-Pacific?

Why are we limiting our allies’ ability to win wars they didn’t start?

Mr. Secretary, red lines are for our enemies, not our allies and our friends. 

You go back to Chamberlain [and] Churchill, we know that appeasement only invites aggression, conflict, and war. Churchill proved that to us.

And Ronald Reagan taught us peace through strength. I believe it’s time that we return to the Reagan doctrine of peace through strength.