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In the shadows of America’s strategic defeat in Afghanistan—the epicenter of her Twenty Years’ War against Islamist extremism—an authoritarian steel trap descends across the Eurasian landmass. The People’s Republic of China, the next global superpower, is on the march. Its ultimate goal is to methodically displace the United States as the world’s dominant power and to establish a new world order.

Today’s great ideological battle is not necessarily communist versus capitalist. Rather, it is authoritarianism versus democracy. The old Washington Consensus of liberal democratic capitalism is defending itself against rapacious authoritarian state capitalism, the “Beijing Consensus.” With the incompetent U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, that Beijing Consensus is gaining ground.

Chinese power marches in all directions: from increased naval patrols in the South and East China Seas, to India, to the strategic high ground of space. China’s trade and military moves have allowed it to make inroads into Africa and Latin America, and now, Afghanistan looms. If one were to look at the Eurasian landmass, one would immediately see how Chinese power is moving farther to the west.

Meanwhile, China’s newfound strategic partner, Russia, moves steadily to its south, meeting China’s growing power in Central Asia—specifically, in Afghanistan.

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