Sure, it appears the Commission on Presidential Debates deliberately backtracked on its promised foreign policy focus for the final debate to spare the former veep the disaster of having to address damning evidence of his family’s corrupt business dealings with foreign adversaries—including its alleged arrangements to kickback ill-gotten riches to Biden himself gained by trading on his office.
But the truth is that President Trump dominated candidate Biden in the realm of foreign policy long before critical questions swirled about whether the cellar-dwelling career politician was compromised by our worst enemies.
The Trump administration has executed an agenda of peace through overwhelming strength, prudently used, based on a vision of the world as it is.
Conversely, the Obama-Biden administration—whose policies Biden would reprise under the Obama-Biden team personnel he would rehire—executed an agenda of false peace through appeasement and submission, imprudently used, based on a vision of the world as it wished it to be.
Biden’s record predating the Obama years, spanning decades in the Senate, including his tenure as Foreign Relations Committee chair, was one of distinguished failure. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, his Obama administration colleague, put it , Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
The contrast between the Trump administration and the Obama-Biden administration that would be reconstituted under a President Biden is stark.
The Trump administration has rebuilt the military and used massive force on select occasions—for example, dropping a MOAB in Afghanistan , striking Syrian strategic targets with missiles and leading assaults on top jihadists like Islamic State caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp Major General Qassem Soleimani —to deter bad actors and avoid the need for bigger military engagements. The Obama-Biden administration gutted the military and refused to decisively punish our enemies, removing any such deterrents to said actors. It left American troops embroiled in more dangerous conflicts, particularly in the Arab world.
As a consequence of the military build-up and the resolve shown in the limited circumstances in which the Trump administration has applied military force, President Trump kept American forces out of aimless wars unmoored from the national interest, and fought vigorously against a largely intransigent national security and foreign policy apparatus in order to bring our troops home. The Obama-Biden administration guaranteed war, terror and chaos through its efforts to make Iran the Middle East’s hegemon, support the toppling of Sunni authoritarian strongmen who suppressed Islamists—like Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi—and, relatedly, promote the Muslim Brotherhood and arm other Sunni Islamist forces.
The Trump administration enacted a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran by among other things: (i) terminating the nuclear deal that rewarded its terrorism with more than $150 billion, protected its nuclear program and legitimized its regime; (ii) sanctioning its financial institutions, business entities and leaders to cripple their funding sources; and (iii) “snapping back” the sanctions primed to sunset under the nuclear deal in order to further starve the regime of money and weapons. The Obama-Biden administration made the U.S. the world’s leading state sponsor of the world’s leading state sponsor of jihad via the Iran nuclear deal—the centerpiece of the plan to make it the Middle East’s hegemon—thus undermining the American national interest, posing an existential threat to our closest regional ally in Israel and threatening our other allies and partners in the Levant and beyond.
Relatedly, the Trump administration helped foster unprecedented peace agreements between Israel and Sunni Arab regimes as a bulwark against Iranian terror, and to reduce America’s obligations in the Middle East. The Obama-Biden administration put the screws to Israel to an unprecedented degree, and threatened the Sunni Arab regimes by seeking to empower Iran.
The Trump administration crushed the aforementioned Islamic State that arose during his predecessor’s tenure. The Obama-Biden administration dismissed it as the “JV team” and, when said “JV team” metastasized, failed to defeat it.
Turning to Asia, the Trump administration has effectuated an under-appreciated revolution in boldly transforming U.S.-China policy by confronting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for the first time since President Nixon opened the relationship. It has led a whole-of-government effort to counter the CCP’s grand strategy for global hegemony—an effort that flowed from a national security strategy that rejected the premise governing U.S.-China policy for decades that economic liberalization would lead to political and social liberalization in Beijing. The Obama-Biden administration put up no resistance to communist China’s malign march toward hegemonic status, continuing to embrace the pre-Trump status quo of integration and appeasement rooted in the fatally flawed underlying premise of the fruits of liberalization.
More broadly, former Vice President Biden has spent nearly 50 years in Washington as an outspoken defender of China’s rise —at America’s expense. We know that his family enriched itself from dealings with those linked to the CCP while former Vice President Biden was in office, and we know that Biden himself may have stood to benefit from some of those dealings. There are dozens of troubling questions about Biden and the CCP that the American people may well be robbed of if the final debate proceeds as planned.
With respect to Russia, contrary to the media’s fabricated Russian collusion narrative , the Trump administration has directly challenged Moscow by first and foremost unleashing American energy , providing alternatives to users who might otherwise rely on Russia for its energy and opposing Russia’s efforts to create new energy customers over which it could gain leverage. Additionally, the Trump administration has: Armed the Ukrainians; dramatically increased military sales to Europe, including that of the Patriot missile defense shield to Poland; developed weapons pursuant to the new nuclear posture review to counter those developed by Russia in contravention of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty—a treaty the Trump administration ultimately pulled the U.S. out of; crafted a missile defense strategy specifically oriented toward Russia; and crushed Russian mercenary forces in Syria.
By contrast, Russia acted with total impunity under the appeasement of the Obama-Biden administration, which apparently then sought to weaponize Russian disinformation to take down President Trump. The cost, incidentally, to the Obama-Biden administration-led effort to create the Russian collusion narrative is that Russia and China grew ever closer . The Russiagate issue drew attention and energy away from the far more powerful China, and created a cloud over the Trump presidency that almost certainly undermined its ability to further execute on its various agenda items.
The Trump administration also sought to put America First in our multilateral agreements. It removed the U.S. from the self-defeating Paris Climate Accord that would have stymied the American economy, benefiting our greatest competitor and lead polluter, communist China. It renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). As in the Middle East, with respect to Russia and other threats, the Trump administration pushed our allies and partners to shoulder the burden—for example, in coaxing NATO members into significantly increasing their contributions. By contrast, the Obama-Biden administration was an ardent supporter of the Paris Climate Accord and the TPP, and never sufficiently pressured NATO allies into paying their fair share.
The hostility of the political establishment, particularly in the realm of foreign policy, to President Trump is proportional to the challenge he poses to its power, privilege and agenda. Former Vice President Joe Biden is clearly seen as a vessel for the establishment’s hopes and dreams of returning to a status quo the American people have largely rejected—particularly on the Middle East and China.
Our nation is infinitely stronger than it was four years ago, our foes sleep less soundly at night and that globalist allies and partners may not be so thrilled that America is now acting in its best interest is a measure of the fact the president has kept his word to serve the forgotten man—and not Davos Man.
Joe Biden cannot compete with Donald Trump on foreign policy.
This is why the media is so keen to protect Biden from a brutal loss on the matter in the final presidential debate in the waning days of the 2020 election.
The biggest losers are the American people, who deserve to see this choice laid out clearly.
Ben Weingarten is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, fellow at the Claremont Institute and senior contributor to The Federalist . He is the author of American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party (Bombardier, 2020). Ben is the founder and CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and production company. Subscribe to his newsletter at bit.ly/bhwnews , and follow him on Twitter @bhweingarten .
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.
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