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Biden’s Foreign Policy Weakness is Endangering the World

AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Roman

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On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a “virtual summit” to discuss ongoing tensions over Ukraine and growing animosity between Russia and the West. While the administration has been stingy on the details of the meeting, all evidence points to this being another example of the Biden administration’s approach to foreign affairs – sending confused signals, registering concern to all parties, and then blaming everyone else for not heeding Biden’s warning when things go bad, as if it was not the American President’s job to be doing something about a major international crisis. Ultimately, Biden has provided a clear impression that his primary concern when it comes to every major U.S. interest is being able to surrender while saving face rather than being forced to fight. And rather than appeasing aggressors, it is serving to convince them that aggression is the way to secure concessions.

According to both Ukrainian intelligence and the White House, Russia has been massing forces for the last two months along Ukraine’s border. These forces, according to Ukrainian sources, are not just Putin’s “little Green Men,” the sort of unofficial paramilitaries used in Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, and the Caucuses, but actual regular formations of the Russian Army. Not to worry, Joe Biden is on the case—right?

If Biden botches this delicate situation as he did in Afghanistan, it could give us a nice start to WWIII going into the New Year. This has implications not just for Eastern Europe but also for Taiwan.

Figuring out exactly what is happening right now in Eastern Europe is quite hard. That is partly because multiple different conflicts appear to be on the verge of merging into a general crisis, and multiple actors have an incentive to build up the importance of their own roles for what they expect will be a diplomatic showdown.

First, there is the border conflict between Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko and Poland, where Lukashenko has engaged in a “hybrid war” of sending refugees over the Polish border in an attempt to force the U.S. and Europe to back off their efforts to overthrow him. I have previously written a piece on this conflict detailing the drawbacks of the appeasement currently being pursued by the West. I warned that the temptations of appeasing Lukashenko would be highly appealing for both the EU and Biden administration, because in isolation, buying off Lukashenko would appear “cheap.”

But the problem was that an extortionist learns from example, and now Lukashenko is openly warning that if there is conflict between Russia and the Ukraine, “it is clear whose side Belarus will be on.” That is a major change from his refusal to recognize the Russian annexation of the Crimea. Biden has failed to either deter or to appease Lukashenko, the worst of both worlds. Lukashenko neither fears Western consequences, nor believes he has anything to gain from cooperating with Biden. Belarus, and the whole border conflict is thus a strategic loss for the U.S.

The West’s appeasement has also produced terror beyond Poland in the Baltic states. If Putin can use Lukashenko to engage in “hybrid warfare” against Poland, a NATO member, by forcing refugees across the border at gunpoint, he can do the same to the Baltic states to the north, especially Latvia.

The Baltic states are isolated, and Russia has seen them as part of its sphere of influence since at least the times of Peter the Great, who seized them from Sweden in the Great Northern War (1700-21). Later, Stalin demanded basing rights under the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in all three, leading to their annexation in 1940. In effect, Russian leaders always move to secure the Baltic states as a buffer zone to Western encroachment whenever Russia feels threatened and the West is distracted. And both appear to be the case at the moment. Unlike with Poland, which Russia can, if need be, coexist with, the independence of the Baltic states is not a situation many Russian leaders are inclined to accept indefinitely unless the West gives them no choice. And Russians would say there is a basis for their claims due to the presence of a large and disenchanted Russian minority, a legacy of Stalin’s efforts to change the demographic balance during Soviet rule. In light of all this, Latvia has gone as far as to call for U.S. troops to establish permanent bases to protect it.

That brings us to Ukraine. Russian saber rattling over Ukraine has reached a fever pitch over the last few months. Russian troops have massed for what Ukrainian intelligence claims is a planned invasion in the New Year. Ukrainian intelligence also alleges that a pro-Russian coup was recently foiled, though some doubts have been expressed. As for the U.S., the Biden administration has been releasing intelligence for almost two months pointing to a Russian invasion, most recently three days ago. The Russians, while arguing that plans for an invasion are a malicious lie, have also indicated that if the U.S. does not give an iron-clad guarantee that Ukraine will never join NATO, they may be forced to act, while Russian media has launched a campaign attacking the legitimacy of Ukraine as a historic entity.

The Biden administration has in response been up to its old tricks. If there is one common approach to international problems for Biden and his team it is that they tend to seek to avoid responsibility for them. The model, used in Afghanistan, but also with Poland this summer, can be summarized as “warn, consult, throw up hands, blame, and move on.”

The “warning” phase involves the release of intelligence data warning that some sort of bad thing may happen. The Afghan Army may collapse before we think, there “may” be a refugee crisis, Taiwan “may” be under threat from a PRC attack.

The consultation phase involves meeting with foreign governments and sharing this intelligence. Critically, this phase does not involve planning on the U.S. side of what to do, much less discussing options with allies. The concept seems to be that it is their job to collectively propose solutions, and that the U.S. role, as “leader of the free world” is merely to ensure everyone gets the email updates of the agenda.

Then, when the crisis breaks, we get the “throw up the hands” moment when the Biden administration claims that they warned everyone, consulted them, and yet the West as a whole failed to come up with a plan so there is nothing to be done and it is a collective failure. After which the Biden team of Blinken, Sullivan, and the President himself hold testy press conferences where they say they did all they could and it was everyone else’s fault.

We saw this on Afghanistan, where the Biden administration informed NATO allies and Afghan partners about “concerns” but made no plans itself, much less tried to coordinate. When the sudden, unplanned U.S. withdrawal led to the collapse of the country and a Taliban takeover, Biden and his team blamed European governments for not having their own evacuation or security plans. The Biden administration then reacted to criticism from Europe by suggesting it was their own fault for not pulling their weight.

What is worrying about the Eastern Europe situation is we are seeing the same thing. U.S. Diplomats have been touring European capitals providing briefings to European officials that they believe Russia is planning an invasion of the Ukraine. They are expressing it publicly. But they appear to be doing little. No U.S. troops are on their way. Only a small amount of ammunition has been sent. A few ideas have been floated, such as cutting Russia off from the SWIFT banking system, but the U.S. has refrained from saying it will do that, much less asked for a joint statement from European governments committing to it.

While the U.S. could act unilaterally in these cases, such action would impose enormous costs on European allies. Cutting Russia off from SWIFT, for example, would prevent them countries like Germany from being able to pay for Russian gas. Moscow would have every reason to believe that other European governments would be upset and oppose such a move unless they explicitly endorsed it ahead of time. The White House merely “floating the idea” presents no deterrent to Russian action without a statement from Germany and other nations that they would back the move in question despite costs to their own population.

The failure to even try and secure such a united stand speaks volumes. The Biden team seems determined to ensure that if Russia invades Ukraine, everyone will know they warned everyone – but they have no interest in actually doing anything to avert it. Critically, the administration has not even pushed the Europeans to kill the Nordstream 2 Pipeline, which indicates they probably wish to blame the failure to do so on someone else – like their own impending failure to stand up to Russia. They tried but their allies weren’t interested.

The Biden-Putin phone call and future action on the Ukrainian conflict needs to be considered in this context. The Biden administration has put very little effort into preparing a military or diplomatic response to a potential Russian move into the Ukraine. On the contrary, the administration has put enormous efforts into giving the impression it was very concerned about such a move, shared those concerns with the media and allies, but that nothing happened.

This is preparation not for standing up to Putin, but for justifying a surrender.

The danger is that the Biden team is nowhere near as clever as they think they are. In fact, based on the evidence of the last ten months, clever is not a word that should be used anywhere in proximity to Jake Sullivan or Anthony Blinken. Putin and Lukashenko can see through the charade. Even if some of the mainstream media are fooled, Putin and Lukashenko won’t be. They will read Biden’s behavior in Eastern Europe, correctly, as indicating that Biden wants to surrender, and see that his primary concern is selling such a move domestically, and if possible, to allies. What that means is that Putin and Lukashenko have no reason to offer generous terms of surrender. You only compromise if you think you might have to fight. If they know Biden does not want to fight no matter what, then they can make Biden pay dearly for the surrender he wants above all else.

Furthermore, just as Putin and Lukashenko were watching Afghanistan, it is hard to believe China is not watching what is happening in Europe. If Biden’s primary concern is to surrender in order to save face in Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, why would that not also be his priority with regard to Taiwan? In that case, China needs to only work to give Biden an excuse to surrender Taiwan to Beijing, which will mean threatening war if he does not.

Compromise can work, but only from a position of strength. The entire Biden approach to foreign policy has served to convince our enemies that application of pressure combined with public saber rattling to the media will provide Biden “cover” to give them what they want. The result has been increased saber rattling and danger, not decreased. Biden has failed to learn the lessons not just of the 1930s but of the elementary school cafeteria. The world may pay for his weakness.

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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George
5 months ago

Mr. Roman has put into words all the concerns I have over WWIII starting. This is serious. We can no longer concern ourselves with creating a victim class in the United States. We shall all be victims, and it won’t be pleasant.

Teresa Fish
5 months ago

Isn’t there a way to get these idiots out of office immediately? They are running us into the ground in every way. We shouldn’t have to wait 2 more years to get them out when they are putting us at so much risk. I’m waiting for Russia and China to team up and take us over! This is crazy and it seems like there is something in the constitution that gives us a way to get out of this incompetent leadership!

ops
5 months ago

This man and his puppeteers could not orchestrate a one man parade.

Sam
5 months ago

No worries, America! This guy, the newest leader of the Free World, is on the job! What could go wrong?

David
5 months ago

Destroying America’s ability to be the world’s top oil exporter is the single most danger to the world’s security. How much trouble did we have with Russia or the Middle East when we were taking their oil revenue. Peace in the middle east was because they didn’t have the money to fight, now they are ramping up hostilities as we speak and idiot joe has given the keys to Europe to Putin.

ops
5 months ago
Reply to  David

And let us not forget the massive “entitlement debt” this admin is piling on the American tax payer.
30 trillion and climbing…

Mario Capparuccini
5 months ago

Biden said that when he would become president, the grown ups would be back in charge. Well, it is abundantly clear that Trump was the grown up and Biden is certainly not.

Theresa Coughlin
5 months ago

democrats will never learn. APPEASEMENT AND NEOGITATING FROM A POSITION OF WEAKNESS DO NOT WORK AND NEVER WILL!

Rich C
5 months ago

Much of the free world is looking for strong leadership and is not finding it, especially from America. Anyone that thinks elections really don’t matter has their head up their….well, you know. As we are all surprised at how fast everything is turning to feces I can’t even imagine what it will be like by 2024 if we don’t start to turn this mess around in ’22. When we elect socialist rookies into offices that our very lives depend on, we suffer. Hopefully we will not suffer severely before things take a turn for the better. Make sure everyone you know is ready to vote and vote the right way. We can’t afford to let the uninformed vote on who they think MIGHT be the “best” candidate. The difference in the two parties has never been more clear cut. Our very existence as a nation will depend on doing the right thing.

Robert Zuccaro
5 months ago

Surprised? No. The only thing that would surprise me is if Biden DIDN’T F-up something! Surprised is if we are not under threat of Chinese expansion into SW Asia, Russian expansion into Eastern Europe and a US economy not in unrepairable shambles after 4 years of President Digbat… then I can be surprised I still have HOPE left of a BETTER DAY TO COME!

ops
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert Zuccaro

Think how much damage was done internally under Obama and even with President Trump’s efforts to drain the cesspool, it is still in place. Obama just one of the puppeteers?

Leo
5 months ago

Excellent analysis.

Rik
5 months ago

Jackass Joe’s Foreign Policy is Peace Through Surrender! . . . No wonder his son Hunter is weak just like the old man!
Jimmy Carter can now die happy knowing that he is no longer the worst President in American History!

David
5 months ago

The second idiot joe was declared president Russia and the middle east troublemakers knew their funding for terrorism was going to increase dramatically because of the dems desire to destroy the oil industry in the US. As for China, they just own his sorry ass.

H L Howell
5 months ago

The third horseman is preparing to ride.

Tim Toroian
5 months ago

Don’t you mean strengthening China?
And radical Islam?

ShellzNCheez
5 months ago

Worst case scenario would be WWIII with Biden/Harris at the helm. May God have mercy on us all. These two are going to make history…as the all-time worst administration to happen to America. LGB!

CoNMTX
5 months ago

Biden has a foreign policy weakness. Duh, good guess Sherlock. He’s been weak in everything for his entire 45 years as a professional politician. However, his most prominent weakness is between his ears. That and the fact he is a Godless, lying, satanic socialist.

breachplug
5 months ago

Biden NEVER worked a day in his life, or put on the uniform and risked his ass to protect this country! Because of this cowardly pussy who hasn’t ever had a backbone, he is going to destroy this country one way or another! There isn’t any chance, if this asshole and NATO give in to the Russians, it’s going to result in WWIII. Those in the know are even forecasting Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine in January or February 2022.
If anyone has an ounce of historical knowledge, you will realize this is the exact scenario played out on September 30, 1938, the Munich Agreement, with the naive British Prime Minister Arthur Neville Chamberlain attempting “to secure a peaceful settlement” with Adolph Hitler over Czechoslovakia. For those who don’t know their history, this resulted in WWII! History IS repeating itself, TODAY! As side note, at that same moment in history when this kiss ass charade was going on in Europe, in the Far East another player, Japan was raising havoc and was emboldened to further its standing in the world, taking the place of Japan’s adversarial role now is Communist China.
If Russia isn’t stopped, by any means, it will send a signal of affirmation to China to invade Taiwan (something they’ve been wanting to do since the days of Mao); and that folks, is when you tuck your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye! Because these two actions will provoke a war mankind isn’t going to survive!
A final consideration, for the sake of this country, and the world, the pretender in the White House and his minions need to be removed, sooner than later!!

Eddie Van Halen
5 months ago

Uh-oh, I’m “waiting for approval” again.

breachplug
5 months ago

me too!

Eddie Van Halen
5 months ago

I just “wish” that many years ago we ( as a nation ) would have minded our own business and NOT fought other peoples wars. 2 moves every American needs to make for sanity – Join JBS at JBS.org and read the book “The Unseen Hand.” You don’t know how you got here till you know where you’ve been. Me ? I am completely disgusted with this whole mess that the “Supremes” court and Mike ‘Pants’ allowed to take place. Thoroughly disgusted.

PFArizona
5 months ago

If only the Biden Administration was as knowledgeable as you are! Jake Sullivan and Anthony Blinken are clueless as is evident by their deer caught in the headlights look when faced with questions by the media.

Also, China and Russia are thrilled to have a weak President. They were fearful of President Trump and didn’t dare to prepare to attack these countries. These 2 know that timing is right and the time is now!

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