The Biden administration has a longstanding habit of embarrassing itself on the subject of foreign policy — and the latest fumble by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is no different.
On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Magazine published a lengthy piece authored by Sullivan on its website providing an overview of U.S. foreign policy under President Joe Biden. The article — which reads like a White House press release — touches on different areas of foreign affairs, such as U.S. competition with China and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Of course, the national security adviser couldn’t resist taking shots at former President Donald Trump, whom Sullivan claims “damaged” U.S. alliances with key allies.
Most notable about Sullivan’s diatribe, however, are the significant differences between the online edition published on Tuesday and the print version published earlier this month. Included at the bottom of the online edition of Sullivan’s piece is an editor’s note revealing that the section of the article discussing Middle Eastern affairs had been “updated” from the print version “to address Hamas’s [Oct. 7] attack on Israel.” A closer look at the lines scrubbed from the original reveals what little understanding Sullivan and the Biden administration have of the geopolitical environment in the region.
1. Biden has the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under control
In his original piece, Sullivan claimed the “Israeli-Palestinian situation is tense, particularly in the West Bank, but in the face of serious frictions,” the administration has “de-escalated crises in Gaza and restored direct diplomacy between the parties after years of its absence.”
Did the Biden administration forget to tell Hamas about this restoration of “direct diplomacy”? Because five days after Sullivan’s article was published, the Iran-backed terror group launched the deadliest attack against Israel in the Jewish state’s history. Among the more than 1,300 civilians slaughtered were 30 Americans.
2. No more attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria
Following his assertion that “U.S. troops were under regular attack in Iraq and Syria” under the Trump administration, Sullivan claimed “[s]uch attacks, at least for now, have largely stopped.”
Unfortunately for American forces in the region, Sullivan’s analysis turned out to be total bunk. In the weeks following Hamas’ attack on Israel, U.S. troops stationed at military bases throughout Iraq and Syria have been under siege by Iran-backed proxies. According to Fox News, U.S. military personnel “have been attacked 14 times — 11 times in Iraq and three times in Syria — between Oct. 17-24 … resulting in 24 people getting injured.”
3. Biden’s approach to Middle Eastern affairs leads to peace
Sullivan originally contended that Biden’s “disciplined approach” to Middle Eastern politics “frees up resources for other global priorities, reduces the risk of new Middle Eastern conflicts, and ensures that U.S. interests are protected on a far more sustainable basis.”
Do any of these “other global priorities” involve giving $100 million in aid to Hamas-controlled Gaza?
4. All quiet on the Middle Eastern front
It’s tragically obvious that Sullivan’s original claim that the Middle East “is quieter than it has been for decades” holds about as much validity as Bruce Jenner’s belief that he’s a woman — Zilch.