Fifty years ago this week, President Nixon signed the Shanghai Communique with the People’s Republic of China. It was a bold act of statecraft that helped drive a wedge between Communist China and the Soviet Union.
For most of the Cold War, the United States had a clear and guiding mission: defeat the Soviet Union and communism, divide our enemies, and protect our allies. Today, the enemies of the United States have taken on the reverse mission: defeat Western democracy, divide the United States and her allies, and protect autocracies.
The Sino-Russian alliance and the regimes they prop up from Caracas to Tehran form a dangerously formidable opponent. It is vital that our elected leaders meet that challenge. Sadly, they are far from meeting that task.
As a candidate for president, Joe Biden promised he would mend our supposedly broken alliances, “bring the adults back in charge,” stand up to Russia by arming Ukraine, and make America more prosperous. Across all these accounts, he has failed.
Biden has isolated our allies and partners in the Middle East so badly they would not even vote with us at the United Nations to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His administration repeatedly blocked and stalled military assistance to Ukraine, and only promised Stinger missiles to them last week after dovish countries like Germany and the Netherlands had already committed them as well. Inflation is higher than it’s been in 40 years and gas prices are on the rise even further.
Biden Sacrifices America For Climate Change
As my former boss, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has stated many times, each administration governs with guiding principles for its foreign policy. For the Trump administration, it was America First. This is the lens through which we viewed all foreign policy decisions: what was best for the American people?
It led to enormous and transformative victories around the world: four peace deals brokered in the Middle East with the Abraham Accords. The world’s most deadly terrorists, ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Qassem Soleimani, were taken off the battlefield forever. Our diplomatic pressure campaign against the Chinese Communist Party’s covert 5G espionage program, Huawei, reduced that threat.
For President Biden, however, his foundation is climate change and the supposed restoration of American standing in the world. That has led to a first-year track record on national security that is nothing less than abysmal. Because of repeated capitulations across the world, our enemies no longer fear us — a catastrophic development made evident by revelations that Iran is daring to plot kidnapping and assassination plots against American citizens on our own soil.
Biden’s Foreign Policy Failures
Within four months of Biden taking office, Hamas was attacking Israel; after seven months, Kabul fell to the Taliban; and within 13 months, we have the first major ground war in Europe since 1945. Today, we are on the brink of losing our democratic partner, Ukraine, to a power-hungry dictator.
The Biden administration’s strategy to prevent the war from taking place was laughable. Their approach relied on scaring Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin with the threat of undisclosed sanctions when Biden had already folded on Nord Stream 2 and New START, and had failed to respond to the Russian hack of the Colonial Pipeline. Biden sought to deter Russia from invading and failed. Now Canada and the Europeans are picking up the slack — who would have guessed we’d be taking cues from them?
These are just a sampling of the failings we’ve seen in Biden’s first year. Without a fundamental change, what do the next three years look like? We could see China mount a deadly invasion of Taiwan. North Korea could use nuclear extortion to change the status quo on the Korean peninsula. Iran could cross the nuclear threshold and hold the Middle East and Israel hostage to its threats. Our top generals have already warned that Al-Qaeda and ISIS are likely to regain their ability to strike outside of Afghanistan in the coming months.
Putin will be listed in history next to other evil men, from Adolf Hitler to Mao Zedong to Joseph Stalin. He only respects the language of power, and he is fluent in every form of deception. But President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken were naive enough to believe that Putin could be dissuaded solely through rhetoric and the weak threat of sanctions.
Importantly, they lack a critical skill in national security officials: the ability to understand, predict, and disrupt the devious plots of our enemies. Just two weeks ago, Blinken repeatedly lamented that he “did not understand” why Putin would attack Ukraine when he could work on combatting climate change instead. Read that again: our own secretary of state admitted he can’t understand how our adversaries think.
The mounting disasters are not just a coincidence or bad luck — they are a direct consequence of individuals who believe misguided ideologies that oppose American exceptionalism, American power, and the fact that America has been the greatest source for peace and prosperity in the history of the world. When you can’t stand up for America at home, you will never stand up for her abroad.
We’re in a new era of hard power where autocrats don’t care if we post pictures of solidarity or hashtags for days on Twitter. Biden and his team need to get serious. Only strength will deter these regimes, which is why it is so vital we continue the task of rebuilding our military strength and nuclear abilities.
Here’s a scary fact: the United States has not designed or built a new nuclear warhead since the end of the Cold War, and we no longer have the infrastructure to create new nuclear weapons. The average age of the nuclear warheads in our stockpile is over 25 years — older than most of the soldiers tasked with operating the weapons.
Today, China has the world’s largest standing ground forces, the largest navy and coast guard, the largest sub-strategic missile force, and the largest air force in the Indo-Pacific. Russia has been serially cheating on its nuclear treaty obligations, under which China isn’t even constrained. Despite such rising threats, Biden’s defense budget request for this year was the equivalent of a 5 percent cut after accounting for inflation. How is the United States supposed to deter Russia and China when our leaders apply the disastrous logic of “defund the police” to our military?
Despite Biden’s repeated failings, he has doubled down on the ideology and outlook that led us to the abdication of American power. He has not evaluated his failings and changed course. His next major blunder may be if he inks a proposed nuclear deal with Iran that would provide the regime a rapid path to a nuclear weapon and $90 billion in no-strings-attached sanctions relief.
Change of Course Urgently Needed
Biden needs to change course and can only do so through new leadership in his national security team. But there have been no firings — except of an Army colonel who dared speak out about the failed approach in Afghanistan.
Recently, a top State Department diplomat working on Iran negotiations was pushed out for disagreeing with the pending capitulation to the regime’s nuclear extortion in Vienna. Biden needs to stop the leadership decay in his administration — and he’s got to stop listening to the naïve lackeys who are pushing the few good men out.
One of the greatest differences between democracies like the United States and autocracies like Putin’s Russia is that our elected officials are supposed to serve the people, not the other way around. We evaluate our leaders by their results and hold them accountable when they can’t perform.
By any measure, Biden and his top foreign policy officials have failed the American people. They should resign their offices. If they do not, the American people must vote them out. That starts this November by electing new leaders to Congress who will hold the Biden administration accountable and restore American leadership and strength.