A New Axis of Evil as the Enemies of America Unite


Wesley Smith

March 21, 2023

6 min read

Foreign Policy



Forces of evil led by cruel and power-possessed men have banded together throughout history to aggressively defeat free people and to bring unspeakable horror to innocent human beings. In relatively recent history, we have the example of Germany’s Adolf Hitler, Italy’s Benito Mussolini, and the Empire of Japan’s Hirohito creating a war pact that led to the death of untold millions. They were coined the Axis Powers. These three countries waged war on the rest of the world, convinced that they could conquer all civilized people, especially by defeating the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

For a while, their plans appeared to work. As an important footnote, it must be recalled that Russian/Soviet leader Joseph Stalin—himself a megalomaniac monster—signed a pact with Hitler, too. Only after Hitler double-crossed Stalin and attacked Russia did Stalin pretend to be a friend to the West and freedom.

At the end of World War II, a new world order was established, along with the United Nations. People believed that unwarranted aggression on a large scale was a thing of the past. Over the decades following that global war, the idea that any major powers would ever invade another country was unthinkable. Democracy, human rights, and international law were the guardrails that would keep the peace.

Certainly, there continued to be aggression and world hot spots: Communist North Korea invaded South Korea, for example. But the major players—while sometimes supporting one side or another in various conflicts in a proxy fashion—were never the chief aggressors. The U.N. and the Security Council, with its permanent five members (the U.S., France, England, Russia, and China), were to be the bulwark in new international norms that respected international borders and the sovereignty of other countries. Even in the Cold War, mutually assured destruction ensured that the Soviet Union would not attempt to conquer the U.S. and its allies—and vice versa.

Yet a new axis threatens the international norms we thought were here to stay. Mark Twain is often credited with saying: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” Russia, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin—who is very much a Hitler-like leader—has violated the sovereignty of Ukraine and launched an invasion with the desire to conquer all of its neighbors. A free Europe with established borders is under threat. The war in Ukraine is the largest land and air war in Europe since the end of World War II. Russian attacks on civilians, along with rape, torture, and other clear violations of the Laws of War (sometimes known as international humanitarian law), are evident. Last week, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Putin for alleged war crimes. Since Russia does not recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction, it is unlikely Putin will ever be arrested and held in a jail cell at The Hague. It is also unlikely that he will give up his aggressive ambition to conquer Ukraine.

Also, Iran continues to sow violence and instability in the Middle East and around the world. On the verge of possessing nuclear weapons, Iran continues to call for the destruction of Israel—declaring that the Jewish State and only democracy in the Middle East be wiped off the face of the earth. They continue to send missiles and weapons technology to various terror groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthi rebels. Iran, through its terror proxies and agents, is a threat to the people of the United States. Iran also poses an existential threat to the Arab Gulf States and other nations within range of their ballistic missiles.

In addition, with the goal of being the world’s only superpower, China openly advocates for the diminishment of the power and influence of the United States. The Chinese Communist Party intends to establish a new world order based on its beliefs and values that are not pacifistic, nor will it respect human rights—anywhere. The Chinese Army is the largest in the world, as is the Chinese Navy. China now has more nuclear launchers than the U.S. and is closing fast on its goal of having more nuclear warheads than the United States. Most notably, China has vowed to take its neighbor, Taiwan—by force if necessary.

China also holds the world hostage financially and commercially. Through slave labor, theft of intellectual property, and currency manipulation, China is quickly becoming the world’s financial behemoth. It is buying influence by making investments globally, including in Africa and South America. China is the world’s second-largest economy; they hold a significant portion of the ever-growing debt of the United States. They import more goods to the United States than any other nation—including medical supplies and vital medicines the U.S. and the rest of the world need.

These three nations—Russia, China, and Iran—have literally allied together in opposition to the democratic West. Like Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan, they are the new Axis alliance—another axis of evil. This week, these three nations are engaged in unprecedented joint military exercises. China has yet to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Iran is supplying weapons to Russia as it targets civilians in Ukraine. Russia and China agreed to a  friendship with “no limits” last year. In it, they agreed to challenge “the United States as a global power, NATO as a cornerstone of international security, and liberal democracy as a model for the world.” China’s President Xi travels to Russia to meet Putin this week. Last year, China and Iran signed a 25-year pact that includes China buying off-market Iranian oil (in violation of sanctions) and giving the Iranians satellite and communications technology that has dual use for Iran’s military.

Despite many cultural and geo-political differences, the three nations of this dark new alliance have one thing in common: The United States is their sworn adversary. Additionally, they see the entire West, with its emphasis on fairness, freedom, and human rights, as a true threat to their goals and contrary to their values and way of governing. These three nations desire the downfall of the United States and the principles the U.S. shares with its allies. Make no mistake: They are a threat to the national security of the U.S. and our friends.

America must be strong in responding to this new confederation that seeks our downfall. A strong military and a strong response to the threats and behaviors of these three are mandatory. We cannot take our eyes off this threat for even a moment. We must set aside petty differences and political one-upmanship and be united—and demand that our elected leaders do the same. This alliance of Russia, China, and Iran not only wills us evil but is also clever. They are playing the long game. As our colleague Mike Pompeo reminds us in his recently released book, as a beacon of freedom, we must Never Give An Inch. Indeed, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Support the work of the ACLJ as we continue to bring you expert analysis and legal action on the issues that matter most.