Was Joe Biden’s utter foul-up of the Afghanistan withdrawal an anomaly, or part of a life-long pattern?
Few people have had the opportunity that Biden has had to influence and direct U.S. foreign policy. Yet, Biden has a distinct incapability to make effective foreign policy decisions. As has been documented over the last 46 years, Biden gets it wrong on everything, all the time.
Joe Biden opposed offering aid to the South Vietnamese in 1975 when they were at the height of their war against the North Vietnamese. This helped the North to prevail and install its brutal regime, resulting in the mass exodus of South Vietnamese refugees. The fall of Saigon is stamped into the memories of those who witnessed or have seen footage or photos of the event.
Biden was against the Gulf War in 1991. Yet, many historians suggest it was among the most fruitful of U.S. military campaigns. Then he did a 180-degree turn. In 1998, he lambasted George H.W. Bush for not taking out Saddam Hussein. He also said that he regretted his congressional vote of seven years earlier.
In 2003, Biden supported the Iraq War and then later said he regretted his actions. In 2007, he concluded that George W. Bush's counterinsurgency strategy and surge in troop numbers in Iraq was a “tragic mistake.” A broad swath of historians and political pundits say that the surge lead to observable progress, and that the surge was an important factor in reducing sectarian violence as well as civilian deaths.
The Rise of ISIS
In 2011, Vice President Biden, in concurrence with President Obama, favored decreasing the already scaled-down U.S. troop presence in Iraq. Obama had declared that Iraq was, “sovereign, stable, and self-reliant.” Biden predicted that Iraq “could be one of the great achievements of this Administration.”
The Administration's decision sent Iraq into a downward spiral of sectarian violence, civil war, and social disorder. As such, Iran broadened its influence in the region and eventually opened the doors for the rise of ISIS.
ISIS plagued the region, as well as the western world for years until President Trump stepped in and stomped on them. Biden was also against hunting Osama Bin Laden and suggested that Obama be more cautious before initiating the raid that finally put an end to the maniacal leader.
“The Taliban Are Not Our Enemy”
In 2011, incredulously, Biden remarked during an interview that, "We are in a position where if Afghanistan ceased and desisted from being a haven for people who do damage and have as a target the United States of America and their allies, that's good enough. That's good enough. We're not there yet. Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That's critical.”
“There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us.”
In 2019, Biden said, “Donald Trump’s erratic policies and failure to uphold basic democratic principles have surrendered our position in the world, undermined our democratic alliances, weakened our ability to mobilize others to meet these challenges, and threatened our security and our future.” Hmmm... Didn’t Biden just do that?
This year, Biden has uncorked some doozies: “America is back, diplomacy is back,” he said at the State Department, adding that his administration would work toward “reclaiming our credibility and moral authority.”
He also said “We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again, not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s.” And “In a democracy, force should never seek to overrule the will of the people or attempt to erase the outcome of a credible election.” Was his election credible?
A Fitting Summary
Perhaps former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, who served in the George W. Bush Administration and in the Barack Obama Administration summed up Biden's foreign policy record as well as anybody. In his book, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, Gates said that Joe Biden, “Has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
Don’t we know it.