Colby, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development under the Trump administration, told Carlson that the Chinese Communist Party currently ranks as the country’s greatest adversary and largest geopolitical threat to the international system.
But, Colby cautioned, while Biden officials and others have expressed similar sentiments, Americans are not treating the threat as seriously as they should.
“Part of the thing that had been frustrating in the preceding 15 years was this sort of threat inflation, this routine threat inflation you’d get, where members of Congress and the like would say, ‘we’re living in the most dangerous period.’ And I mean, I think the 2000s– certainly the 1990s– were probably the safest period, certainly in recent memory, and in some ways in history,” Colby explained.
“But now,” he said, “we’re actually dealing with a problem. And part of the struggle is that we actually have to convey the severity and seriousness of this threat to people who have been kind of dulled by this threat inflation, frankly.”
Colby said that Americans are not internalizing the severity of the threat because they have grown “accustomed to being the only superpower. It was the late 19th century when the United States became the largest economy in the world,” he explained.
“But,” he warned, “the Chinese are going to surpass us – partially because they have a lot more people, but partially because a lot of them are becoming really rich. And they’re very productive. And this is by far the most significant challenge. I mean, they are the only power, the only force in the world that can impose its will on us, violently or otherwise, in the face of our determined resistance.”
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