Those who were hoping for a more traditional foreign policy from a Joe Biden administration have been reminded that hope is not a strategy. Neoconservatives and “Never Trumpers” who supported him never imagined Biden would find a way to alienate and betray our allies from the start — or that he would manage to pull it off twice in a month.
First, he failed to consult our allies before the hasty retreat from Afghanistan. The deadly withdrawal was MAGA without the bluster. Alienating and angering our European allies France, Germany, and the UK, to name a few, was malfeasance. Not only were our citizens left behind enemy lines, those of our allies were as well.
If that wasn’t enough of a show, Biden went for an encore. He announced a military partnership with Australia and the UK — blindsiding France. It seems the French were expecting a deal with the Australians that would provide them billions of euros in defense assistance.
France is understandably irate. “This brutal, unilateral and unpredictable decision reminds me a lot of what Mr. Trump used to do,” Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Dria said according to Reuters. He’s right.
Were it not for the efforts of France, there most likely would not be a United States of America. While France was weighing their involvement in the revolution, Benjamin Franklin was dispatched to Paris as ambassador. Soon thereafter, French warships appeared on our shores and French military advisers played a pivotal role in the Continental Army.
After Biden’s much publicized “America’s back” tour of Europe, our allies are left pondering what has changed in America. As a French American, I take umbrage at Biden’s action.
Foreign policy was a central argument during Biden’s candidacy. So much so that Biden wrote this nugget in the March/April 2020 edition of Foreign Affairs — “President Donald Trump has belittled, undermined, and in some cases abandoned U.S. allies and partners.”
The president deftly used his relationship with former President Barack Obama and the stature of a United States Senator to win the Democrat primary. It represented a stark contrast to Trump, but it’s no surprise voters were scammed. Turns out he was an empty suit masquerading as the adult in the room.
While voters may not rank foreign policy acumen at the top of the list of their concerns, the ambient noise generated by these unforced errors could be destructive. Democrats running in the midterms would be well advised to stop averting their gaze and instead throw some cold water on the administration. Calling for the firing of both Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley would be a sufficient start.
Michael J. Hudome is a Republican media consultant whose clients have included John McCain for President, all four national committees and several current and former members of the House and Senate.