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Foreign policy experts call on House to solve ‘chaos,’ warn ‘enemies will be emboldened’


The stunning ouster of California GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker this week sent the House of Representatives into disarray, and leaders from around the world are scrupulously assessing the situation to see what happens next.

The ensuing chaos that came as a result of McCarthy’s removal, according to foreign policy experts who spoke with Fox News Digital, could lead U.S. adversaries to take advantage of the crippling state of Congress on a number of fronts.

“The chaos in the House of Representatives and the Republican caucus is doing the U.S. reputation for governmental effectiveness no favors,” said Alan Mendoza, co-founder and executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, Britain’s leading think tank fighting for the principles and alliances which keep societies free. 

Allies will be concerned that chronic instability appears to have infected the whole House leadership system. Enemies will be emboldened that the U.S. is going to become consumed by internal self-inflicted wounds and may move to seek advantage.”

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Chaos in the House of Representatives came after Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican who represents California’s 20th Congressional District, was ousted from his role as speaker of the House on Tuesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“Whatever process now follows Speaker McCarthy needs to be quick and decisive with individual representatives putting the needs of the country first over their pet issues,” he added.

Rebekah Koffler, a strategic military intelligence analyst and the author of “Putin’s Playbook,” said the “state of dysfunction” in Congress after McCarthy’s removal from his leadership role “will almost certainly embolden U.S. adversaries, such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.”

“The, hopefully temporary, paralysis in Washington means that U.S. attention is consumed by internal squabbles rather than external, i.e. foreign threats, of which there are plenty. Expect Putin, Xi and others to act up in the next few weeks, whether it’s Russia destabilizing other regions in Europe, such as the Balkans — which Moscow is already doing — or China ratcheting up its already aggressive posture against Taiwan.”

Another “negative impact” of the internal friction in Washington, according to Koffler, is that it “plays into U.S. adversaries’ narrative that democracy is not a stable system of government, as it creates chaos.”

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“This is what Putin and Xi have been telling the Russians and the Chinese for years now, and their people believe them,” she said. “For example, most Russians don’t want American style democracy in Russia. They prefer order, even if it means restricting human rights and personal freedoms. In 2018, Putin compared democracy in America and Western Europe with anarchy and oligarchy. Most Russians have bought into Putin’s version of democracy – called ‘managed democracy,’ a term coined by one of his closest former advisors, Vladislav Surkov, in the early 2000s.”

Xi, Putin

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands in Moscow March 21, 2023. (Xie Huanchi/Xinhua via Getty Images)

The current strife among Republicans in Congress, Koffler noted, is “playing into these authoritarians’ hands.”

“Putin and Xi have been rallying the non-Western world to support their fight between Western, i.e. democratic civilization and Eastern, i.e. autocratic and authoritarian one, although of course, they don’t call it like that,” she said. “Their key selling point is democracy means chaos and fractured society while a strong centralized government means stability, law, and order.”

Similarly, Lisa Daftari, who serves as editor-in-chief of The Foreign Desk, insisted the “in-fighting” among certain members of the House sends a signal that “Washington doesn’t have the time, ability or attention” to deal with global crises while tackling domestic issues.

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“It would be naive to think that our internal political chaos does not embolden our enemies, who look to this instability which adds to the United States’ demise on the international stage,” said Daftari. “Regardless of which party occupied the White House, for decades, American foreign policy, as well as domestic politics, have been strong and for the most part, stable.”

“The type of partisan politics, in-fighting and unpredictability we are seeing gives our enemies, like Iran’s regime, China, Russia and others, the signal that Washington doesn’t have the time, ability or attention to tend to any global issues when they’ve got such strife at home,” she added.

The ongoing chaos in the House came after McCarthy, who represents California’s 20th Congressional District, was ousted from his role as speaker of the House on Tuesday.

Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan

Two Republicans, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, right, and Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, both launched bids for House speaker on Wednesday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Eight Republicans voted with every present Democrat on Tuesday to vacate the speaker’s chair, with the final vote being 216 to 210 in favor of McCarthy’s ouster. McCarthy’s immediate removal left Republicans scrambling to fill the role.

Two Republicans – Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Steve Scalise of Louisiana – both launched bids for House speaker on Wednesday.

House Republicans plan to hold a candidate forum next Tuesday and an election the following day.



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