The first-ever Bastion Institute event was held in Des Moines Wednesday evening covering the dire state of current world affairs.

The panel featured former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senator Joni Ernst, and Former Ambassador to China and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.

The moderated panel covered a multitude of topics, including the most recent increasingly violent Russian Invasion of Ukraine and China affairs.

“American’s failure to demonstrate resolve,” said Pompeo, noting that the United States needed to show strength and power on the world stage in this time of Russian and Ukraine Conflict.

Ernst agreed, adding how there had been “So many other levels that we could have used till getting to this point,” while noting how the U.S. has lost its footing on the global front.

“But like in this administration, we’ve seen so many lost opportunities to engage those levers that the Biden administration has chose not to pull,” criticized Ernst on overall foreign policy decisions of Biden’s choices involving the Afghanistan withdrawal and currently with the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.

Ernst maintained that the U.S. should have been less reliant on the blunt force power of the U.S. military and gone to different routes of action that would not have led to the loss of American soldiers.

Other topics covered throughout the night consisted of the corruption of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“This is not a problem that is someplace far away, what happens in Bejing sadly does not stay in Bejing-they want to fundamentally rewrite the shape of how the world worlds, whether through the belt and road initiative or by forcing a virus on the world that has now killed several million people,” said Pompeo calling out the lack of regard of human life from Chinese communist officials.

Branstad and Pompeo closed out the night by reprimanding the CCP for its lack of transparency with the World Health Organization and noting the concerning National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds financially supporting the Wuhan Institute of Virology.