Biden’s Defective Foreign Policy Instincts - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Biden’s Defective Foreign Policy Instincts
Joe Biden on Aug. 16 (YouTube screenshot)

Joe Biden’s foreign policy instincts have long been defective. In light of his most recent debacle, it is worth recalling Osama bin Laden’s low estimate of Biden. According to documents seized from his compound in Pakistan, Bin Laden had plotted to kill Barack Obama in the hopes of making the incompetent Biden president. “Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis,” Bin Laden told his associates.

The killing of Bin Laden was one of the Obama administration’s few successes. But Biden can’t even take any credit for that. He had advised Obama to wait on the raid of Bin Laden’s compound. At a retreat for House Democrats in 2012, Biden described the meeting at which the decision was made:

The president, he went around the table with all the senior people, including the chief of staff, and he said, ‘I have to make a decision. What is your opinion? He started with the national security adviser, the secretary of state, and he ended with me…. Every single person in the room hedged their bet except Leon Panetta. Leon said, ‘Go’…He got to me. He said, ‘Joe, what do you think?’ And I said, ‘You know, I didn’t know we had so many economists around the table.’ I said, ‘We owe the man a direct answer. Mr. President, my suggestion is, don’t go. We have to do two more things to see if he’s there.’

Biden’s bragging about his foreign policy pedigree has always been mystifying. It is a record of consistent misjudgment. He learned little from his time on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It is largely forgotten now, but he was a staunch critic of Ronald Reagan’s peace-through-strength approach to the Cold War. He preferred the détente policies of Jimmy Carter, the president to whom he is now compared. Biden was the first senator to support Carter’s run for president.

Biden, who supported the nuclear freeze movement, opposed Reagan’s effective buildup of the military. Biden called Reagan’s pursuit of a nuclear missile defense, a key policy in breaking the spirit of the Soviets, “one of the most reckless and irresponsible acts in the history of modern statecraft.” It is no exaggeration to say America would have lost the Cold War had Biden’s advice been taken.

Biden makes it sound now as if he opposed George W. Bush’s misadventures in the Middle East. But Biden voted for the war in Iraq. He said, among other comments that haven’t aged well, that “I believe it is a march to peace and security.”

His remarks on Monday about Afghanistan first sounded sensible — “Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland” —but then turned silly. “We’ll continue to speak out for the basic rights of the Afghan people — of women and girls — just as we speak out all over the world,” he said. “I have been clear that human rights must be the center of our foreign policy, not the periphery.”

In fact, his State Department, far from protecting women and girls, has been foisting on countries an agenda of transgenderism that endangers them. Instead of keeping close tabs on the Taliban, Antony Blinken, Biden’s secretary of state, has been promoting transgenderism across the globe. “The United States supports the empowerment of the transgender and gender non-conforming community,” he has said.

As the Taliban was gathering strength to reclaim Afghanistan, what was Joe Biden conferring with his generals about? Not about resurgent radical Islam, but about critical race theory and climate change. Biden, in the early months of his presidency, ignored real threats while fretting over fake ones.

He devoted more thought to demolishing Trump’s “Muslim travel ban” than to the return of the Taliban. America is paying the price for his dilettantism. And even as Kabul falls to the jihadists, he maintains his customary Islamophilia. The same administration that told Cuban refugees to stay away from the U.S. is now throwing the welcome mat out to unvetted Afghans. “Human rights” has become Biden’s euphemism for the special interests of the Democratic Party. Democrats don’t let their own self-created crises go to waste.

Bin Laden’s hunch about Biden — that he would lead America into a “crisis” — has come true. And surely the fall of Kabul is not the last crisis. Given Biden’s track record, Americans should gird themselves for many more.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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