AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott
Late last week, the FBI arrested a 21-year-old member of the U.S. Air National Guard for leaking top-secret government documents in an apparent attempt to win an online argument. Among other things, the documents revealed the Biden had been lying to a number of top U.S. allies – marking the latest in a long line of foreign policy failures for a president who made improving America’s standing on the world stage a central part of his campaign.
The documents in question have reportedly been floating around on several online chat sites since at least March and possibly as far back as January, but only garnered widespread attention after a New York Times story on April 6. The cache of top-secret information detailed troop numbers and positions in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as well as casualty estimates for the entirety of the war.
While the leak is undoubtedly damaging to Ukraine’s war effort, however, it has also been a diplomatic nightmare for Biden. Some of the documents appeared to show that the U.S. was engaged in spying operations on its close ally South Korea, complicating relations with the Asian country as China and North Korea become more aggressive in the region.
Other documents confirmed that the U.S. was spying on Israel, adding more tensions to an already fraught relationship between Biden and America’s closest Middle East ally.
This latest fiasco came just a few weeks after a shocking report from NBC News concluded that the Chinese spy balloons deployed over the U.S. earlier this year did collect significant intelligence on United States military sites and relayed it to China – contrary to previous assertions by the Biden administration. The analysis found “China had enough control over the balloon to steer it to make multiple passes over some sites, at times flying figure-eight formations, and the balloon transmitted the information back to Beijing in real-time.”
Biden and his foreign policy team have also irked other U.S. allies throughout their first two years in office through a number of unforced diplomatic errors. In March, a botched deal to trade American fighter jets for Russian MiGs in order to aid Ukraine’s fight against Russia left both Polish and Ukrainian leaders frustrated. Back in 2021, Biden’s clumsy handling of a submarine deal between France, the U.S., and Australia led Paris to take the unprecedented step of recalling its ambassador from Washington.
And of course, the entire world is still dealing with the fallout from Biden’s shameful failure in Afghanistan, which has led to untold suffering in the Middle East and greatly diminished U.S. prestige on the world stage. Despite being rebuked by dozens of American allies and soldiers on the ground during the evacuation, the Biden administration has continued to defiantly insist it did nothing wrong, releasing a report earlier this month that incredibly tried to pin blame on the Trump administration.
Many of the problems the United States and the world face today can be traced directly back to Biden’s Afghanistan debacle and his continued refusal to learn any lessons from it. Soon after the U.S. withdrawal, Russia felt emboldened to launch its attack on Ukraine.
Seeing the chaos unfold, Taiwan has also expressed doubts about America’s military capabilities in a potential conflict with China, which has only encouraged Beijing to ramp up its aggressive posturing. Saudi Arabia, once a staunch U.S. ally in the Middle East, is now cozying up to Beijing, even working with Chinese officials to resume diplomatic relations with Iran – another chief U.S. adversary.
Even France, America’s oldest ally, is making moves toward Beijing.
All of these failures have occurred under the watch of Joe Biden, the man whom Democrats, the foreign policy establishment, and liberal governments around the world hailed as a “senior statesman” ahead of his election in 2020.
But two years in, it is the candid and confrontational style of Biden’s predecessor that many Americans appear to be longing for. Despite cries of protest from the left that Trump was “violating diplomatic norms,” the reality is that, over his four years in office, China was kept in check, Russia seized no new territory (the first president this century under whom this was the case), America entered no new foreign wars, U.S. allies finally began pulling their weight in defense spending, and the Abraham Accords brought real promise for U.S.-led peace in the Middle East.
By any objective metric, Biden has utterly failed at what was supposed to be one of his great strengths as a leader, and things show no signs of getting better anytime soon. Yet instead of fostering common ground and working across the aisle to find solutions – another supposed strength of Joe Biden – the president has castigated his critics as “Putin apologists” and continued to plow ahead with the same failed strategies.
By now, many Americans are likely simply looking forward to the day they can replace Biden with someone else. But if the administration continues down its current path, reversing the damage done to the United States’ global strategic position and prestige will be a tall task indeed.
Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.