Two years of Biden’s Foreign Policy: In review
By Nigel C Chapman, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University
Biden inherited an America that was on the brink of the edge of the side of the corner of the Abyss. Dark waters swirled around the bow of USS U.S.A. With Donald John Trump at the helm, the winds of populism had blown the great sails of liberty on to a collision course with the treacherous reefs of catastrophe.
What was once the shining beacon of Democracy, that citadel of civilisation, America herself, and unto herself alone, the very spirit of the Republic had lost…it’s way. America the Brave had become America the unreliable. What was once the strongest pillar in NATO had started to sag, threatening to pull the entire Western Alliance down under the weight of it’s own…contradictions. America First? Aleppo. Putin?
Biden came as a negotiator. A Scranton boy done good. Irish. A blue-dog Democrat who wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. With a glint in his eye and a tongue in his cheek. We thought, we thought, we thought this is exactly what the country needs. A guy. A unifier. A bringer together. After four years of division.
Biden had failed. Completely failed. Instead of revoking a treaty his predecessor had signed with the Taliban with bipartisan/UN support and launching a second intervention he allowed America to be humiliated on the World Stage, shredding almost twenty years of thoughtful, effective nation building. That dream of the flower of Democracy taking root in the sands beneath the Hindu Kush. That, that, that, that, that Graveyard of Empires. We were so close!
The world had…changed. America was no longer in charge. Suddenly I began to read and write about the multipolarity. America would find it’s feet, not at the front, but as a ‘great power’, competing alongside…China. China was dangerous, dark, dangerous, and a bit sexy. What were the Chinese up to? Did they have a plan for Afghanistan? Would this be the Han-African century?
I had been warning about the Rise of China for decades. And here it finally was. That existential threat that would unite the West. The Five Eyes. Japan? AUKAUSASKAUK.
At first it seemed as if the prophecy had come true. We really had entered this new, this new, this new multipolarity world. The Great Game was back on. A land war in…Europe. And thought it, though it, though it pains me to give any credit to Donald John Trump; he had a point about Germany not paying it’s way. Things would have to Change.
The West rallied. It came together. The Multi-polarity world that I had begun to believe in a year before had already begun to crumble in front of my very eyes. Putin got a nose so bloody he’d need a pack of tissues to clean it up. He was shocked. He thought the West that stood together had died with Brexit and Donald John Trump. Well…he was…wrong.
And so was I. Because as it turns out, China is no longer a problem at all. The Belt and Road…to nowhere. The authoritarian technocratic masterminds of the CCP were apparently unaware of the ‘Population Pyramid’ of their own country, a concept which is taught in most year 9 classrooms. For all of their undoubted dominance of the international PISA tables; Chinese…Statecraft had never stumbled upon the solution of unrestrained mass immigration from Mexico.
They may be technologically capable of building hypersonic missiles, and morally vacant enough to harvest the organs of religious minorities, but they will certainly never conceive of a radical solution to their medium-term demographic woes, a la the one child policy but targeting the elderly. I am sure that my prognostications about the near-future of China, of rapid economic decline and eventual irrelevance, will prove just as accurate as my cast-iron predictions in the mid 1990s; of a China which, on account of it’s newfound wealth on entry to the WTO, would become a peaceful, liberal Democracy defined politically by it’s ‘Rising Middle Classes’. From Pitt to Den Xiaoping.
To conclude. I am giving Scranton’ Joe a 10/10 for his foreign policy so far. We in the West have not enjoyed such a crude expression of our technological and military superiority over other, less fortunate countries since the Gulf War. Witnessing American intelligence services effortlessly co-ordinate the annihilation of Putin’s crumbling, corrupted war machine has given Biden’s America a shine so bright it dazzles the eyes, even if the rest of U.S.S USA is starting to…rust.
And looking to the future? It’s easy to forget now, in the heat of the action, that History doesn’t share our preoccupations. Yes, Putin matters. NATO matters. But Biden’s legacy will always be judged on his response to one man, and one man alone.
Donald John Trump.
If Biden can keep this fascist maniac away from the levers of power in 2024. Away from…Washington. America…and the World….will thank him for…eternity.