Former Trump administration national security adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday laid out a potential game plan to divide the so-called “axis of evil” as relations continue to grow between Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

O’Brien appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and remarked that the Biden administration’s “lack of American leadership” has allowed this new alliance to flourish.

“We haven’t seen peace or strength,” O’Brien said of America’s role on the world stage under Biden.

When asked how former President Trump would drive a wedge between the axis of evil after Russian President Vladimir Putin was seen driving with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in North Korea last week, O’Brien said the first thing the U.S. can do is increase domestic energy production.


former US National Security Advisor Robert OBrien

Former national security adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday laid out a game plan should former President Trump return to office that would divide the so-called “axis of evil.” (Eloisa Lopez/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

“These countries are reliant on Russian energy to run their economies,” he said. “We need to increase our energy production.”

The former Trump official said Biden diminished American energy production after taking office and canceling the Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S., while allowing Putin to open the Nord Stream Two pipeline that runs from Russia to Germany.

  • Putin and Kim driving car Image 1 of 3 next

    Putin drives a car with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sitting in the passenger seat in Pyongyang on Wednesday. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

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    Kim Jong Un and Putin ride on an open car during the official welcome ceremony at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Wednesday. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

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    Putin and Kim signed a mutual aid pact on Wednesday, which reportedly covers defensive security, humanitarian relief, trade and investment concerns. (Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Photo via AP)

Alongside increasing U.S. energy production, O’Brien called for sanctions on the Russian Federation Central Bank, as well as cutting back on Russian oil sales. Regarding Tehran, O’Brien said the U.S. and its allies “need to put maximum pressure back on the Iranians.”


In addition to those steps, O’Brien said that rebuilding the U.S. military and Navy, and getting “our shipyards producing ships again,” would help assert “peace through strength.”

“Those are the things that’ll divide the alliance, this axis of evil,” O’Brien said.

Putin and Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin prior to their talks in Beijing on May 16. (Sergei Bobylev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

After failing to stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, O’Brien said the U.S. must take a strong posture in Asia to deter China from a similar invasion of Taiwan. He said moving U.S. Marines out of Germany and other garrisons in Europe to Guam, Hawaii, the Philippines and Australia would act as a strong message to China not to invade.


“The key is to deter war, not to fight and win a war, which we would need to do if it happens,” O’Brien said. “Strength will deter the Chinese from invading. It’s not talk. It’s how they see our force posture.”

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