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One Year in, Biden’s Foreign Policy Record is a Catastrophe

Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2021
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by AMAC Newsline
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85 Comments
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AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Roman

On Tuesday, Voice of America reporter Patsy Widakuswara asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki a seemingly simple enough question: “What does the administration consider to be your biggest achievement in foreign policy this year?” It was the usual type of softball question often asked by the left-leaning White House press corps, but after stuttering for a moment, Psaki deflected, saying, “I want to talk to the president about it.”

It was a telling episode for an administration that has, to put it mildly, struggled on the foreign policy front in its first year. In particular, Biden’s failures are stark when compared to the historic successes seen under the Trump administration.

Instead, with the memory of COVID dominating the last year of his presidency and a hostile media and foreign policy establishment, it is often overlooked exactly how much Donald Trump accomplished during his term of office.  Few four-year periods are so momentous, and it is only after seeing what has happened in the 11 months since that the scale of many of the accomplishments of those years become clear–not to mention how the charges against Trump of pettiness and prioritizing domestic political vendettas look absurd when compared to a Biden Administration that has applied exactly that model to international affairs.

 Let’s take a brief look, shall we? In Trump’s four years on the international stage, he achieved:

  • A Renegotiated trade deal with Canada and Mexico (USMCA)
  • Four years of peace and quiet between Ukraine and Russia
  • Normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo
  • The Abraham Accords between Israel, Sudan, UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco
  • A Victorious trade war with China that did NOT lead to any sort of threats to invade Taiwan
  • Otherwise mobilizing the U.S. government and American partners to respond to China
  • The Destruction of ISIS and eradication of numerous high-ranking terrorist leaders
  • Elimination of the Iran Deal
  • Development of COVID vaccines and therapeutics that have saved millions of lives around the world

It is quite a list, and it appears all the more impressive considering Joe Biden’s first year in office. Joe Biden’s major foreign policy move has been a catastrophe, namely the pullout from Afghanistan, which allowed for the Taliban to overrun the country. On a wider level, the number of things that have gone wrong around the world should highlight exactly how many things Donald Trump did not get credit for, simply because his achievement was ensuring that wars did not break out, countries were not invaded, governments were not overthrown, and crises did not occur.

Some examples speak for themselves. Democrats and the media mocked Donald Trump for allegedly not succeeding in building some sort of modern-day Great Wall of China along the United States-Mexico border. But the “wall” was never a vanity project. It was a policy vision which involved multiple approaches ranging from actual physical construction, hundreds of miles of which were indeed completed, to the renegotiated NAFTA agreement, to reform of asylum policy, to security cooperation with Mexico and Central American states that drastically reduced illegal immigration. The policy succeeded because it was not premised on merely building a steel structure to keep migrants from entering the U.S., but by deterring them from coming in the first place by setting up multiple lines of security, not just on the U.S. border but on Mexico’s southern border as well, and by making clear that there was nothing waiting for them if they did manage to arrive.

Joe Biden, by disassembling the political agreements with the Mexican and Central American governments, effectively opened the border, while rhetorically his pledge to welcome migrants psychologically ended Trump’s deterrence. At that point, all that was left was actual U.S. border security, itself undermined by the stop to wall construction and by political attacks on border agents. The result is the crisis we see today.

Joe Biden applied the same approach in Eastern Europe, which is why he is facing another crisis that did not occur under Donald Trump: a threatened Russian invasion of Ukraine. Donald Trump received over-the-top criticism, open abuse and was subject to constant conspiracy theories when it came to U.S.-Russian relations. He was even impeached for supposedly holding up aid to Ukraine by House Democrats. Yet during Donald Trump’s entire tenure, Russia was remarkably quiet. There was no invasion of Ukraine, and the Donbass was largely calm. The mixture of rhetorical respect for Putin and Russia, with a firm refusal to make substantive concessions that would look like appeasement, allowed Trump to avoid either provoking Russia or encouraging Putin to try his hand. Because the U.S. calculatingly played to Putin’s ego for the Russian leader’s domestic political purposes, Putin had no need to pick fights. And the U.S. made clear that if he did, there would be hell to pay.

By contrast, Joe Biden has openly provoked and insulted Putin and Russia while giving no indication that he would do anything if Russia acted. In the case of Ukraine, Biden seems to have pressed the Ukrainians to launch a wide-ranging purge of anyone seen as having worked with Donald Trump, likely as payback for attacks on Hunter Biden during the 2020 election, and the effect was that Ukraine shut down major Russian language media and drove Pro-Russian politicians into exile. If Biden had also stationed troops in Ukraine or done this as part of some sort of wider strategy, it might have made sense, but it appears to have been petty revenge. The result has been to cause the victims of this purge to appeal to Putin for help while at the same time encouraging Putin to think if he “helped” them, Biden would do little or nothing.

In Asia, Biden and the D.C. foreign policy establishment seem in the grip of total panic about the security of Taiwan. Donald Trump never compromised on Taiwan’s security or its autonomy, but it is worth noting that for all of the criticism of Donald Trump for being anti-China – the tariffs which Democrats alleged qualified as a “trade war,” calling out the Chinese for their role in the spread of COVID, and defending Hong Kong – China never seriously threatened Taiwan while Trump was President. Chinese military maneuvers and threats to invade Taiwan only began under Joe Biden. The implication is again that Joe Biden’s mixture of provocation and appeasement is provoking conflict – a conflict the U.S. may lose – where Trump’s mixture of firmness with a clear willingness to work with leaders we may not have liked did in fact keep the peace.

Those are just a few high-profile places. But they are not the only ones. North Korea has resumed its menacing behavior, and Biden seems to have no idea what a successful approach might look like. In Europe, Trump was attacked for being unpopular in the West, anti-NATO, and Pro-Russian. Yet both the European Union and NATO functioned well under Trump, and American partners finally began to pull their weight financially. Brexit occurred before Trump was elected, and under his presidency, the U.K. and E.U. reached not one but two deals, and Northern Ireland was quiet. Under the “Irish” Joe Biden, Northern Ireland has erupted into sectarian riots, Britain and France have come close to “war” over fishing rights, Poland faces sanctions from the E.U. while receiving little support against hybrid warfare from Belarus, and Bosnia is threatening a breakup that would likely trigger an outbreak of war. Even Kosovo and Serbia, the leaders of which Trump hosted at the White House in September of 2020, were threatening war exactly one year later.

In the rest of the world, things are bad, so bad almost no one in the American media even bothers to keep track. The governments of both Myanmar and Sudan were overthrown by the military, in the former case with brutal killings of students and other Pro-Democracy activists. Trump had managed to secure a peace deal between Sudan and Israel and removed Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in October of 2020, conditional on the new civilian government remaining in power. Biden seems to have forgotten that commitment or lost interest, as no action was taken when the army seized power. Nor was much action taken when an agreement for new elections that had ended seven years of civil war in Libya was abandoned by one of the parties. In the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia, once the fastest growing economy in Africa, has fallen into a brutal civil war, with Chinese, Turkish, and UAE drones dueling in the skies, while America is nowhere to be seen. Although Joe Biden has threatened economic sanctions if the fighting does not cease, his demand was ignored by Chinese drone operators.

It would be easy to blame this all on the loss of American prestige following the withdrawal from Afghanistan. That symbolic defeat was important and acted as a psychological shock that encouraged America’s enemies and undermined the faith of our allies. But there is as much correlation as causation here. It might be more accurate to say that the same flaws in decision-making, defective decision-makers, and general indifference to anything which does not personally interest Joe Biden’s inner circle are causing a similar unraveling everywhere.

Donald Trump was also accused, especially by aides of Mattis and Tillerson, of not understanding the importance of the network of alliances or America’s complex web of obligations around the world. But it is the Biden team that seems unable to grasp the delicacy of political balances within regions or countries and is prone to breaking them. Donald Trump was impeached for trying to take an interest in Ukrainian internal politics and anti-corruption efforts. The Biden team reduced all Ukrainian politics to a binary conflict between “Pro-Russian” forces, namely anyone who worked with Donald Trump or said mean things about Hunter Biden, and Pro-Western forces, namely anyone willing to go after the former. The result was to shatter the balance. The same approach was brought to the southern border. The deals made with Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador were negotiated by Donald Trump, so by definition, they had to be “bad deals” and the leaders of those countries had to be “bad leaders” by virtue of having worked with Trump. The result was again to apply the wrecking ball. The deals with Sudan, Kosovo, and Serbia were all suspect. After all, those leaders had “helped Donald Trump” by having the nerve to make peace during an American election year.

This total lack of interest in any possibility that something other than U.S. domestic politics could matter to foreign governments or populations, combined with an obsessive desire for payback for the 2020 campaign (call it the January 6th-ization of foreign policy), appears to be the one abiding principle of the Biden team. The result has been aggression and attacks on anyone seen as Pro-Trump. Total indifference to anything or anyone else. And the consequences have been devastating.

The Trump administration’s record was–contrary to conventional wisdom among elites–incredibly successful, and would have been a tough act to follow for any administration. It is doubtful, given their performance in other fields, that the Biden administration could ever have done so. But instead of trying, they have done the opposite, with the result that after just one year, the world is on fire.

Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

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Blondie
Blondie
2 years ago

We the People knew that this would happen, and that it would be a fast downward spiral the day this corrupt, swamp dwelling snake took office. Thanks to those that voted for the braindead traitor, just because you couldn’t handle a mean tweet. FJB

Boz
Boz
2 years ago

One year in? It all started on Day One!

Preston
Preston
2 years ago

Haven’t used this title in a long time but Biden is fulfilling the meaning more every day.

He is: FECKLESS: (from Webster–“1. Ineffective: weak 2. Careless and irresponsible)”

Everything his does he does FECKLESSLY and his total administration is consumed with FECKLESSNESS. .

R.J. from Arizona
R.J. from Arizona
2 years ago

He has no foreign policy, not a clue how to establish a policy and surrounds himself with fellow idiots. All this mess because people didn’t like Trump’s personality.

George Washington's Admirer
George Washington's Admirer
2 years ago

Congratulations to MSNBC, CNN, and associates. Have been a Republican for a month now. This is due to their lousy, sloppy, propaganda methods. Foreign Policy of Biden & Company? Nobody on this Earth; has a clue what kind of glue holds this despot together. After just one year he has managed to confuse this country and the world. He keeps on smiling; just as he scrambles up his recipe for disaster. The forte of this administration is blacklisting everybody. Everybody from ‘Our Founding Fathers’ to anybody; that just might have a slightly different view from Biden & Company. Some of us are still in shock how the Democratic Party moved so far left that they are oozing Marxism. Somehow, they went into a coma. The Democratic/Communist Party is a burnt omelet; with little bits of rat doodles decorating it inside and out. No wonder America doesn’t buy this recipe!

Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen
2 years ago

Jo(k)e Bye-then is not doing ANYTHING. Got it ?
Soros, the CFR, and Oboingo are calling ALL the shots

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
2 years ago

Puh-saki couldn’t answer what to any other President would have been an EASY question! ZERO accomplishments, whether foreign policy or domestic, for the red hag to cite!
How many more innocent people will die due to the senility of this joker? We’ve got our 13 service personnel in Kabul plus any other American civilians who may well have been slaughtered. Throw in Afghan civilians and , no doubt soon, Taiwanese and Ukrainians!

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Afghanistan was the Worst of all.,
With 14K still in the Stan since Aug.

Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen
2 years ago

So you want to VERIFY ME ? Every blog / post ? Fine. I wont be renewing AMAC.
Jerks.

Patriot Bill
Patriot Bill
2 years ago

Are we being verified? Had simmering changed here?

Joyce Wichman
Joyce Wichman
2 years ago

Lets go Brandon

Steven H
Steven H
2 years ago

The man has no concern for this country. All he cares about is power and establishing socialism in America.

Hal
Hal
2 years ago

I wonder if the recent pugilistic attitude of China towards Formosa might have something to do with having enough political blackmail on Joe Hidin’ Biden (aka, Buck Fiden), such that they know they can be more aggressive and the US will not react militarily in response.

David
David
2 years ago

From the CCP’s point of view it is a rousing success!

Hal
Hal
2 years ago

Let’s face it. Buck Fiden has messed up every thing he has done so far and there is no reason or hope that it will change. So bad, that I think many, many Americans are starting to catch on … which means it’s like the News Media will start legitimately reporting his and the Democrap’s ineptitude.

Gary
Gary
2 years ago

Thanks for presenting achievements of the Trump administration together with the failures of the Biden Administration. There were NO achievements of the Biden administration. Just one failure after another . This was a study in contrasts . And , amazingly , Democrats are not embarrassed .
It’s good to remind the people of Trump’s achievements . The main stream media do not report Trump’s achievements . They engage in censorship and omission . Lies .

Lois DB
Lois DB
2 years ago

At this point there is no turning back. We must be very sure about next election & remove those that have so disappointed
us. Hatred for Trump made them turn their backs on the country we love & freedom we charish.

Rik
Rik
2 years ago

But Jimmy Carter can now die happy knowing he’s not the worst President in American History.!

Mario Capparuccini
Mario Capparuccini
2 years ago

God tells us to honor our leaders, but must we honor the so called President after he stole the election? I think not. The Democratic jack ass is a good symbol for Biden. On second thought, my comparison is an insult to a noble beast of burden that once carried the Mother of Our Lord. Perhaps the Democrats should change their emblem to the devil. That would be more fitting.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
2 years ago

People say Joe Brandon is a failure but he did more in one year what Jimmy Carter took FOUR to accomplish… Democrats are getting better at fundamental transformation these days!

Rich C
Rich C
2 years ago

It’s pretty simple actually. Some people see it, some don’t; or won’t. So sad.

Stephan
Stephan
2 years ago

Pick any aspect of the Biden administration and you can make a plethora of arguments that it’s a total disaster, because it is. Biden has done nothing constructive in his first year in office.
God Help us!

Packard
Packard
2 years ago

Anyone with an inkling of understanding for the year 1914 can well understand how quickly events can spin out of control in foreign affairs. In June of that momentous year, people all across Europe were living a relatively tranquil sort of life. In a scant seven months, the collective armies of Germany, Russia, France, Italy, and Great Britain had managed to put over 1 million young men in their graves. Another 8 million dead, young men would follow over the next three years.

Lesson: When wars begin, things tend to move very fast and oftentimes in many unforeseeable ways. It is only afterwards that the belligerents think about their own original strategic interests that demanded so much blood, treasure, and sacrifice.
____________
So again please, why is the sovereignty and freedom of Ukraine so important to the United States? Also, how has pushing NATO further east these past twenty five years made anyone in America safer?

Asking for a friend.

Robert L Smalser
Robert L Smalser
2 years ago

Just a year ago we had energy dominance, little inflation, Arab peace deals, Afghanistan was quiet, the border and crime were  under control, migrants remained in Mexico, Iran, North Korea and China were in check, gasoline was cheap, the stock market was good and the US was respected. How far we have fallen.

Scott Dog
Scott Dog
2 years ago

Afghanistan has been taken over by closed-minded cultists who disdain free speech, Western Civilization, individual liberty and try to silence anyone who doesn’t adhere to their ideology….

…..in other words, the same thing that happened to the democrat party has happened to Afghanistan.

Imagine that…

Winston Bela
Winston Bela
2 years ago

The number one governing tenet of the Biden Administration seems to have been to blindly reverse every achievement and every policy that Trump had. A clear look at the contrast makes Trump’s positive achievements even more obvious.

Bobster33
Bobster33
2 years ago

If you combine all the jobs created under HW Bush, (4 yrs) plus all the jobs created under W Bush (8 yrs) and all the jobs created under tRump (4 yrs), Biden has created MORE in his first year. So from a job creation perspective, Biden beats the Bushes and tRump combined.

Alan VerValin
Alan VerValin
2 years ago

Excellent article that clearly shows what Trump achieved even under relentless false attacks from the left and the lying media, and exposes Biden as the incompetent fool he is!

SciFir
SciFir
2 years ago

Testing

BAE
BAE
2 years ago

I know President Trump accomplished so much under so much stress and now we are stuck with a corrupt and lying j. biden. Biden is 3 beers short a six pack.

Henker
Henker
2 years ago

“My Democratic colleagues in Washington are determined to dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face,” Manchin said in a statement following his announcement. “I cannot take that risk.”
J.Manchin

Hal
Hal
2 years ago

Offhand, I can’t think of anything Buck Fiden has done that is NOT harmful to the present and FUTURE of our Constitutional Democracy. And this goes back and include the rigged election. And it is getting to the point that it is doing great damage to the future of the DemocRat Party partly because, as a political party, they have the only controlling influence over him and the voting public has caught on to it.

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