President Biden: Forty Years of Getting It Wrong

By 

Wesley Smith

|
March 8

5 min read

Public Policy

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It was former Defense Secretary Robert Gates who said of Joe Biden in his book Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War: “I think he’s been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the last four decades.”  During the last presidential campaign, Margaret Brennan of CBS’s Face the Nation pressed Gates on that statement.  She also asked, “Would he be an effective commander-in-chief?”  Gate’s answer: “I don’t know.  I don’t know. I—I think I stand by that statement.”  What a disconcerting assessment by a stalwart American leader who has such credibility when it comes to foreign policy.

In an article by Peter Wehner in The Atlantic, the writer catalogs the litany of mistaken stances and decisions by the man who is now our President.  It includes opposing aid to the South Vietnamese government in its 1975 fight against the North, his 1991 decision opposing the first Gulf War (one of the most successful military campaigns in U.S. history), supporting the invasion of Iraq in 2003 (and later regretting it), saying ten years ago that “the Taliban per se is not our enemy,” and, of course, the debacle that was our withdrawal from Afghanistan last year.  In his book A Promised Land, Barack Obama reveals that then-Vice President Biden was the only one in the Situation Room who was against the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The missteps continue.

  • When Donald Trump left office, he had prepared a shipment of lethal weapons to Ukraine so they could defend against Russia.  Upon inauguration, President Biden delayed the shipment.  It was finally approved and sent in August.
  • Remember, it was the Obama/Biden Administration that refused to send any weapons to Ukraine and, instead, sent things like blankets and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat).
  • Last November, the Biden Administration issued a statement officially recognizing Ukraine’s plans to eventually join NATO.  Why would our President publicly do this while knowing Ukraine was facing Russian troops on their border and an unstable Vladimir Putin who was contending that he might invade Ukraine because of their desire to join NATO?  Why not issue it later, after the crisis was resolved?  Why not sign it secretly?
  • Without an effective air force to attack Russian invaders, one of the next best defensive weapons to counter the Russian air strikes on Ukraine is the Stinger missile.  Ukraine finally received those anti-aircraft missiles—last week!  How long has Ukraine been begging for a way to defend themselves?  How long has the Biden Administration been warning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine?
  • The Russian Navy has scores of ships off the Ukrainian coast.  Russia is essentially blockading Ukraine and has amphibious assault ships loaded with Russian Marines ready to come ashore.  Ukraine has still not received anti-ship missiles from the United States.

This does not take into account the humanitarian, drug, and national security crisis on our southern border.  President Biden stopped the construction of a border wall and will not allow our border patrol to do what is their job:  Secure the border.  Thousands of undocumented immigrants are shipped all over the country with no way to account for them—with many of them having no way to support themselves.  Sex trafficking is at an all-time high thanks to the porous border.  The drug cartels are busier than ever, and over 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year—many of them related to fentanyl-laced drugs coming across the border.

President Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office and has placed heavy restrictions on virtually all energy production in the United States.  Yet we are still buying energy from Russia; none of the sanctions so far include Russian energy—which is the main source of their income.  Gasoline prices are the highest in over a decade.  Inflation is at a 40-year high.  The American people are struggling.

The Biden team insists that climate change is an existential threat.  Here is an existential threat:  buying energy from an aggressive Russia that threatens our allies in Europe.  A potential threat to our existence is preparing to lift sanctions on Iran and re-enter the flawed JCPOA—giving Iran billions in cash so they can continue their pursuit of a nuclear weapon.  Iran still exports terror, and the U.S. is not immune to Iranian threats. Our enemies—Russia, China, Iran, North Korea—are true existential threats.

President Biden could even temporarily reverse his anti-fossil fuel decrees.  This would renew the energy independence we had before he became President, put thousands of Americans back to work in high-paying energy sector jobs, and ultimately lower prices on gasoline and the fuel we use to heat our homes.  The U.S. could sell our liquified natural gas (LNG) to Europe—stopping their dependence on Russian fuel.

The mark of an effective leader is the ability to process new information, respond to unexpected crises, and make mid-course corrections on policy.  Unlike Bill Clinton in 1994, it seems Joe Biden is incapable of this kind of leadership.  That is a loss for all Americans.  When all is said and done, Joe Biden is still getting it wrong.  After all these years. That is regrettable.

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