Joe Biden’s performance at the G7 summit confirmed one lingering rumination for the majority of Americans. We are in serious trouble. His efforts to maintain the credibility of U.S. as a global foreign policy leader continue to fail. Promoting the theme “The United States is back,” Biden only succeeded in convincing the leaders of other nations that we are at the back of the pack.
The leaders of the six other nations comprising the industrialized group are delighted with Biden’s return to their inner circle. In their minds, he can be molded and influenced. His soft positions and incoherent engagement on many critical issues resonate with the bureaucratic and leisurely pace accustomed to the G7 members.
This is a unique opportunity for them to turn the tables from the last four years of the Trump Administration. Biden's immediate predecessor challenged their status quo and upset their equilibrium.
The G7 group and other countries want to exploit its relationship with Biden for their gain. He is a puppet that has been out-politicked time and time again, and there is no sign that Biden recognizes he is being manipulated by his “friends.”
During a visit with Biden, President Macron of France gleefully remarked that, “America is back.” This comment was a nod to returning to the Obama doctrine where Merkel and other foreign leaders had substantial influence in American policies.
The recent gathering provided Biden with a formidable opportunity to spotlight numerous critical issues plaguing the global community at this moment.
It offered a chance for him to project U.S. strength and values. Instead, he cowered behind a marginalized policy agenda that was substantially diluted by his incoherent communications during press conferences.
While meeting with US military forces he cited climate change as the single greatest threat facing our country. No mention of China or Russia escalating military tensions, or Iran enhancing its nuclear program. No indication of support for expanding U.S. military or defense programs.
Despite explosive claims that the coronavirus was leaked by a Chinese lab in Wuhan, Biden projected more concern over the country’s forced labor practices. The one chance Biden had to lead a unified voice to hold China responsible for its irreprehensible actions he choked.
The off cadence of Biden’s foreign policy march has perplexed many in the global community, and it was only exacerbated by his numerous gaffes and ambiguous statements throughout the summit. Even the other leaders of G7 and NATO could not ignore the blunders. There is a legitimate fear that Biden’s incompetence on the world stage will imperil America’s interests now and even after he has left office.
In Biden’s first five months in office the U.S. has faced more global challenges simultaneously than arguably in the last 20 years. Multiple antagonists, including China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and many others have successfully exposed Biden’s soft and frail foreign policy style.
But it is not just our enemies rushing to take advantage of the Biden Administration’s lackluster foreign policy priorities. The UK, Germany, France, and others see clear opportunities to flaunt their influence and build their power from a debilitated and confused America.
It is precisely this wobbly approach of Jell-O diplomacy by the Biden Administration that has diminished the role of the U.S. as a global peacekeeper and champion of democracy.
It has propelled our friends and foes alike to be bold, brazen, and aggressive in their actions at the expense of U.S. interests.
A prime and recent example is Nord Stream 2, a natural gas pipeline that will transport gas directly from Russia to Europe. The combined efforts of Germany and Russia working as partners to forge ahead with this project is disconcerting. Somehow Biden was coaxed into supporting the project which leaves serious questions unanswered.
Why would Biden allow this project to proceed when every U.S. president before him, Republican and Democrat alike, have vehemently opposed it? Biden has aided Europe by allowing it to solidify a reliable energy partnership with our adversary. In doing so, he has decimated opportunities for U.S. energy businesses in Europe, and rewarded Russia by expanding its influence in the region.
The single consequential difference between Biden and Trump in the arena of foreign policy is accountability. Trump held our allies and adversaries to account. Biden does not.
Irrespective of agreeing or disagreeing with Trump’s foreign policy positions world leaders took their lead from his words and actions. He controlled and dominated the dialogue. He was forceful in advocating America’s interests first. Yes, he was unpredictable, but this paralyzed many of our adversaries from acting against the U.S. His style also ensured that U.S. goals were supported by our allies.
Trump’s foreign policy was rooted in former president Ronald Reagan’s mantra of “peace through strength.” The simplicity of the approach and his actions from it enabled Trump to avoid the disastrous and dangerous foreign policy mistakes Biden is producing.
As Biden continues to flounder in geopolitical affairs it is clear that many of our global partners will navigate to capitalize on his mistakes. Biden’s first major appearance back on the world stage has drawn ridicule (and discreet laughs) from allies, brash threats from adversaries, and the media’s recurring and unavoidable coverage of his many embarrassing miscues.
The U.S. must not allow itself to be degraded by our friends or our foes. Global peace and stability depend on the strength and influence that America projects.
Rick Gates has worked on U.S. and international political campaigns over a span of 25 years. He is a frequent political commentator and opinion contributor. Rick is the author of "Wicked Game: An Insider's Story on How Trump Won, Mueller Failed and America Lost." Read Rick Gates' Reports — More Here
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