The world is a dangerous place. American national security interests are threatened around the globe. The Islamic world is convulsed in chaos and killing, from Boko Haram in Africa to ISIS and other groups the Middle East.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and bombing campaign against moderates in Syria, attest to Putin’s expansionist goals.

In the Pacific, China’s provocative confrontations with Vietnam and claims to offshore oil within the economic zones of other nations heighten international tensions. A nuclear armed North Korea, run by a seemingly lunatic dictator, threatens the entire region.

And Iran, the leading sponsor of terrorism, gets closer each day to producing its own atomic weapons — a nightmare scenario for Israel and the Western world.

In this environment, America needs a commander in chief with experience, seasoned judgment, maturity, and understanding of the issues. Gov. Jeb Bush is that man.

As the former commanding general of U.S. and allied forces in Kuwait and the Pentagon’s chief of war plans, I’ve studied the proposals of all the candidates for addressing these threats. Bush’s strategy for defeating ISIS is the only one that is comprehensive, practical and achievable. “We win and they lose,” is not a strategy. It’s shorthand for, “I don’t have a clue, but maybe I’ll think of something.”

Such fuzzy thinking jeopardizes our men and women in uniform who will be called upon to confront a murderous ISIS regime in control of territory the size of Indiana.

Gov. Bush understands that American power is more than its military. It also includes diplomatic, economic, and informational power, such as ideas about freedom and the free market.

He understands that to secure U.S. interests all four of these aspects of power must be employed in a comprehensive, integrated way.

Competent leadership is not indicated by who can yell the loudest, give the most moving speeches, promise the most free stuff, or insult the most people.

Instead, it’s shown by strength of character, experienced judgment, respect for others, and a record of achievement in governance.

Jeb Bush is the only candidate who is prepared from day-one to be commander in chief. He will keep America safe. He deserves our vote.

Mick Zais, Ph.D.

Brig. Gen., U.S. Army (Ret.)

Tanglewood Road

Columbia

Mick Zais is a former S.C. superintendent of education.