By Christopher Harper
Joe Biden was wrong on “nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
That’s the appraisal of Robert Gates, the former defense secretary under Barack Obama. Gates made the assessment in a memoir and has confirmed his appraisal in later interviews.
“We disagreed significantly on Afghanistan and some other issues. I think that the vice president had some issues with the military,” Gates told CBS News in a 2019 interview.
So far as president, Biden’s policies have been almost startling wrongheaded.
For example, Biden has failed to contact Israeli officials since he assumed office, and his press secretary has sidestepped questions about whether the Jewish state was an important ally.
Sure, Israel can be challenging to deal with. But the country has been a solid counter to radical Islam and repressive regimes in the Middle East.
Moreover, Israel entered into various groundbreaking peace agreements under President Trump with a host of Arab nations.
But there’s more. Biden promised from the campaign trail to be hard on Saudi Arabia, particularly when it came to their involvement in Yemen’s six-year-long civil war.
“We were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are,” Biden said during a Democratic primary debate, adding that there is “very little social redeeming value in the present government in Saudi Arabia.”
Again, Saudi Arabia can be difficult. But the country remains a powerful force in the region, particularly in countering Iran’s negative influence.
In a neck-snapping reversal of policy, Biden has suddenly realized that China poses an economic and military threat to the United States.
During the campaign, Biden criticized Trump’s policies of higher tariffs and other tough stances against the Beijing government.
After a two-hour telephone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden made a 180-degree turn in his thinking.
“Last night, I was on the phone with for two straight hours with Xi Jinping,” Biden told reporters in the Oval Office. “It was a good conversation. I know him well. We spent a lot of time together over the years I was vice president. But if we don’t get moving, they’re going to eat our lunch.”
That’s precisely what Trump said for nearly his entire presidency—a position Biden scoff at.
Maybe Biden has gotten one foreign policy initiative right: Staying on course with Trump’s approach to China.