Biden’s foreign policy is embarrassing, no foresight, poor hindsight, compounding errors. Every big move is made after – not before – adversaries make theirs. Major consequences flow from such poor decisions and not anticipating. Biden’s foreign policy is dumb and dangerous.
Six Biden decisions make the point.
First, no foresight on Afghanistan’s withdrawal. This week, Biden’s Secretary of State Tony Blinken goes to India and Kuwait, ostensibly to discuss China, Afghanistan, global warming, and COVID. Reality: They are concerned withdrawal was a major error.
Thousands of US supporters – who believed promises of protection and a peace deal – are about to be slaughtered. See, e.g.,
“They are going to slaughter us”: Afghan interpreter speaks out as Taliban advance; Special Report-Afghan Pilots Assassinated by Taliban as U.S. Withdraws; https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/06/afghanistan-deliberate-killing-of-civilians-must-be-investigated-following-deadly-attacks/.
The slaughter has begun, with Taliban rushing to command half the country, shattered Afghan police and army pulling back, commandos executed Capone-style, women, girls, educators, interpreters in Taliban sights. See, e.g., A slaughter at a girls’ school may foretell Afghanistan’s future; Killing Schoolgirls in Afghanistan; Taliban fighters execute 22 Afghan commandos as they try to surrender.
Biden now sends Blinken to Kuwait – in fact, to ask helping absorbing ten thousand refugees, including thousands of interpreters for US personnel. Blinken is in India not for climate but to apologize for giving China the upper hand across the region. See, e.g., Afghan Interpreters Who Await Visas After Helping The U.S. Now Fear For Their Lives; As Western forces pack bags in Afghanistan, aid agencies brace for new round of displacement; Blinken To Seek India’s Support In Stabilizing Afghanistan During Upcoming Trip To South Asia; US races to find safe haven for Afghan translators in Central Asia as troop withdrawal nears.
As the US leaves Afghanistan, China is preparing to outflank India, link China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (via a Peshawar to Kabul highway), take control over three trillion dollars’ worth of minerals, and push troops at India’s border. Pakistan and India are sworn enemies, and China’s President Xi just went to Tibet to buck up Chinese troops confronting India. See, e.g., As U.S. Withdraws, China Set to Increase Influence in Afghanistan; China a ‘welcome friend’ for reconstruction in Afghanistan: Taliban spokesman; Chinese leader Xi Jinping makes first visit to Tibet as president.
Yes, a trip to the UAE or any country seeking help in catching thousands of fleeing, pro-US Afghan refugees, including thousands of pro-US interpreters, is a good idea. It would have been a good idea months ago. Now, it is a dropped firestick – panic as the country collapses.
Yes, a trip to India is nice, after singing the praises of China to the world. But where was that trip months ago, when China, Pakistan, and the Taliban would have noticed, India felt supported. And do not forget the map – If China, which shares a border with Afghanistan, links that country with Pakistan, next is Iran. That would leave India surrounded by Chinese “allies.”
So, what should have happened months ago – pushing peace in Afghanistan before withdrawal, thinking ahead about fleeing pro-US refugees, showing support for India, confronting China – did not happen. The result is panic – and chaos, across the region, including within India.
Second, Biden underestimated China. Even as Biden’s miscalculations on Afghanistan grow, creating widening circles of concern – from India to Australia – China is growing bold. Chinese aggression – in the face of Biden’s weakness – is striking. China has ramped up confrontations with Taiwan, crushed human rights in Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet, threatened US allies, declared the West in retreat, Communism ascendent.
They have violated treaties, tested space weapons, in April put up a space station, pushed economic coercion, spread a deadly pandemic, blocked multilateral investigations, and now confront Biden with “wolf diplomacy.” In short, the iron is hot, Biden’s team cold.
Third, Reagan-like opportunity lost in Cuba. As Cuban freedom protestors went to the streets, valuing freedom over life, Biden could have shamed China, Russia, and Iran for supporting Cuba’s oppression, could have supported the movement, advanced freedoms embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, US Constitution’s Bill of Rights, and UN Charter. Instead, he sat silent, before some useless words, making clear: He is afraid to confront communism – even 300 miles away. His lost nerve emboldens enemies.
Nor was Biden’s ambivalence unnoticed within the US. Political forces pushing Marxism feel empowered. White House and Hill response? Biden’s team and Hill Democrats equivocate.
Fourth, Biden just lost Peru. While the final ruling is not recorded, US unwillingness to challenge what observers say was likely election fraud in Peru’s presidential race – a mysterious, last-minute ballot surge from a Marxist – is troubling. The election goes uncontested. Again, the loss of a democratic, capitalist ally brings a shudder. What does it mean for the region, human rights, cocaine- and heroin-related crime and trafficking, reduced US ally pool?
Fifth, Biden is making Putin look good. Biden not only agreed to a national gas pipeline from Russia to Europe, making Europe permanently dependent on Russia but told Ukraine to “be quiet.” See, e.g., U.S. urges Ukraine to stay quiet on Russian pipeline; Wrong again: Biden continues to build a legacy of foreign policy failures.
To be clear, the American and Russian people have much in common, including the largest two populations of Christians on the planet and faith-based pasts. They share a common interest in blunting China’s communist expansion. Finally, the argument can be made that Russia will be as dependent on Europe, even as Europe on Russia. But the bigger point: Putin sees Biden as weak, malleable, indecisive, and – objectively – inarticulate, indecipherable, incoherent.
Sixth, Biden is playing cute with Iran. Iran is after nuclear weapons, ICBMs, and the ability to take hostages on a grand scale.
Can there be any question? They are behind countless terror attacks in the Middle East. In a craven act of self-promotion, Biden wants a Nobel Peace Prize for getting Iran to sign another worthless accord to delay nuclear weapons if Biden will drop Trump’s sanctions, send more cash. Honestly, is that foreign policy?
Concentric circles of failed decision-making continue to appear, as the six foregoing actions reinforce each other, only confirming what much of the world – and most Americans – should see. Biden’s foreign policy is embarrassing, no foresight, poor hindsight, compounding errors.
Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.