The Blundering Biden Team, by Patrick Lawrence

The nicest thing anybody can say about the Biden administration’s maladroit execution of foreign policy is that it’s an embarrassment. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:

What occurred between Washington and Moscow last week, and at a hotel in Anchorage, bears a significance that we must not miss.

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“Biden is a national embarrassment on foreign policy,” a colleague wrote in a note over the weekend. This is the very mildest assessment of the administration’s doings last week.  In a matter of three days, Joe Biden and those who actually run policy — primarily Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan — have plunged America into crisis with two of planet Earth’s most powerful nations, both nuclear armed, both essential to addressing global problems that cannot be solved without common efforts, both heretofore explicitly open to cooperative ties to the U.S. 

Let us brace for a tumultuous, probably dangerous four years. And let us look soberly to the cause of this tumult and danger.

Biden’s appearance on ABC News last Wednesday evening, while meticulously scripted by all appearances, was an unmitigated disaster. What is to be gained by calling Vladimir Putin “a killer” and then threatening to make him “pay” for meddling in last year’s elections even as there is no evidence to support such allegations (as there was none in 2016)?  One cannot think of a single advantage.

The same question and the same conclusion apply to Blinken’s two-day encounter with Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi, China’s senior foreign policy officials, in Anchorage last Thursday and Friday. The diplomatic representative of the world’s most aggressive, coercive, interventionist nation lecturing a nation with no corresponding record of aggression, coercion, or intervention about our fidelity to some chimeric “rules-based international order?” One must go as far back as… as far back as Mike Pompeo to find such tin-eared incompetence.

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