President Joe Biden's foreign policy seems unfortunately to consist of abandoning allies, emboldening adversaries, and placing our national security at great risk. Biden's Afghanistan surrender to the Taliban was a strategic failure with enormous global consequences that humiliated the nation and cost countless lives. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)
President Joe Biden's foreign policy seems unfortunately to consist of abandoning allies, emboldening adversaries, and placing our national security at great risk. Biden's Afghanistan surrender to the Taliban was a strategic failure with enormous global consequences that humiliated the nation and cost countless lives. Unfortunately, Afghanistan is now the "lens" through which to see the Biden administration's feeble foreign policy.
Looking ahead, the proposed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is woefully inadequate in addressing ongoing Chinese aggression -- not just towards Taiwan but on all geopolitical fronts. While China surges ahead with its third "blue water" aircraft carrier and plan for a military base off the Atlantic coast, the NDAA seems to be five steps behind addressing the real threats. Meanwhile, as the Biden administration ignores the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which the United States, Russia, and Britain committed "to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine" and "to refrain from the threat or use of force" against the country. Those assurances played a key role in persuading the Ukrainian government in Kyiv to give up what amounted to the world's third largest nuclear arsenal, consisting of some 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads. In addition, Iran races to threaten Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States with a nuclear weapon. Apparently in over his head, it seems to be just "all too much" for Biden and his hapless squad.
Not just the police have been defunded; foreign policy has been defunded, literally as well as figuratively.
Biden, despite the assurances of protection promised to Ukraine in the Budapest Memorandum, says he is not going to commit US combat forces to defend Ukraine from a Russian invasion, thereby further eroding "Washington's already tarnished credibility on the world stage."
One day after warning Russian President Vladimir Putin that he would face "severe" economic sanctions, "like ones he's never seen," should Russia invade Ukraine, Biden flatly stated that sending U.S. combat troops to Ukraine is "not on the table."
Fellow Democrat Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts bucked the Biden White House line and went to the opinion page of the Wall Street Journal to advocate on behalf of Ukraine, urging weapons shipments, sanctions, and "clearly communicated grave consequences" (whatever that means). Moulton even had the courage to gently remind Biden of the Obama-Biden failure to respond to Russia's earlier regional conquest writing, "As in 2014, when America failed to deter Mr. Putin's Crimea offensive..." One thing Moulton leaves out of his public plea is any discussion of how Russia supplies 40% of Europe's natural gas and could shut off heat to millions of European homes during the winter. In part, that energy dependence is because Biden already waived sanctions on Russia over their Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline.
No doubt Chinese President Xi Jinping is watching the Biden administration's Ukraine decisions and actions for clues and indications over Taiwan. Xi longs for the return of Taiwan to the motherland after decades of separation –a national triumph that would put Xi's legacy on par with Mao Zedong. What will the Americans do if China attempts to use force to bring Taiwan back? Just as with Ukraine, the United States has no treaty obligation to fight to maintain the independence and sovereignty of the island. Twenty-four million Taiwanese look at Afghanistan, Hong Kong, and Ukraine -- and hope. Not exactly a strategy.
Biden recently ordered a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in China. While U.S. athletes can participate in the Olympic games, no U.S. government official will attend in a formal capacity. That is supposed to intimidate and influence the Chinese? It is difficult to believe anyone finds that convincing.
The Biden administration's inaction or stumbling, half-hearted measures -- should China force the submission of Taiwan -- would shake the credibility of U.S. treaty commitments to Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Australia. Long-term, it may result in the greatest redrawing of global political lines, to America's detriment, in decades.
These challenges -- including an nuclear breakout from Iran "alarmingly soon" -- are not lost on the Israeli military. "Evidence is growing," notes the journalist Caroline Glick, "that members of the IDF General Staff and the Mossad are beginning to realize that the US doesn't share Israel's goal of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power."
During the recent Wall Street Journal CEO Council meeting, CIA Director William Burns said, mystifyingly, that there was no indication that Tehran is attempting to weaponize its nuclear program -- that the spy agency "doesn't see any evidence that Iran's supreme leader has made a decision to move to weaponize." Meanwhile, Iran is accelerating its program of enriching uranium -- needed for nuclear weapons: no enriched uranium, no nukes -- and there are reports (here and here ) that Iran already has nuclear capability.
Biden administration weakness emboldens our enemies and scares our friends. How many other countries -- and which -- will feel compelled to move ahead aggressively towards acquiring nuclear weapons themselves? Japan, Brazil, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Taiwan? If they cannot rely on America to come to their rescue, building nuclear capacity becomes a question of risk versus reward. And will nuclear know-how be sold to bad actors and terrorist groups?
Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel are all potential flashpoints with global consequences. Does the Biden administration present strong, clear, unambiguous leadership for the world? Are friend and foe convinced absolutely of American resolve? Sadly, the only response now is "No."
Chris Farrell is Director of Investigations at Judicial Watch and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.
Shea Bradley-Farrell, Ph.D. is President of Counterpoint Institute for Policy, Research, and Education (CIPRE) and Affiliated Faculty and Policy Fellow at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government.