WashPost Opinion’s Henry Olsen: Now’s the moment for Biden to pivot his foreign policy and stand up to adversaries

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Washington Post Opinion Columnist Henry Olsen writes: As helicopters frantically evacuate Americans from the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan — an ominous echo from the fall of Saigon — the world is asking is what comes next for U.S. foreign policy. The loss in Vietnam was followed by years of U.S. retreats and defeats, culminating in the Iran hostage crisis. President Biden and Democrats in Congress must not allow that to happen again.

[…]Global leaders may now wonder whether the United States’ ignominious defeat in Afghanistan foretells another period of impotence. But the post-Vietnam period was not preordained by Saigon’s fall. It was a choice that President Jimmy Carter and Democrats in Congress made under the belief that the United States’ “inordinate fear of communism” was a cause of global strife.

President Biden must not make the same choice. He should show our adversaries and our allies that he intends to maintain and restore U.S. global leadership with deeds as well as words. That could involve a series of concrete steps that may be controversial.

Excerpts:

 China is our most dangerous global foe, and combating its pernicious rise must be Biden’s primary global task. Following the weekend’s catastrophe, Biden should make clear that the United States considers Taiwan’s autonomy from China to be of the utmost importance. That statement should be followed by selling advanced weaponry to the Taipei government and by negotiating troop deployments in neighboring countries that are closer to Taiwan than our bases in Japan, which are more than a thousand miles away. He must also maintain U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods and push harder to decouple the United States’ economy from its dangerous dependence on business controlled by the Communist Party.

  • The ascension of a hard-liner to Iran’s presidency makes clear that clerics in Tehran intend to use negotiations over a renewed nuclear deal the same way that the Taliban played U.S. negotiators. Biden would reassure our allies by pulling out of these negotiations, citing what all parties know to be Iranian intransigence over its nuclear program. This unexpected move would show our allies that the United States will not again be deceived.
  • Biden should also more forcefully oppose Russia’s malign machinations. He should increase aid to Ukraine and work to thoroughly isolate Belarus, Russia’s despotic ally. And he should consider stationing U.S. troops in Poland, a move long sought by that nation, without removing troops from German bases. Together, these moves would show Europe that the United States isn’t going anywhere.
  • Finally, Biden will need to increase defense spending. The U.S. military is huge, but it is too small to meet its global commitments. Military leaders say they need increases of between 3 and 5 percent a year for the next few years to begin to rebuild the force structure we need. Biden should give them what they need.

Read more: https://wapo.st/2W2G8Tq.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. This vein of thinking about thermonuclear states making absurd hegemonic demands needs to go on history’s
    Scrapheap if the history of life as we know it is to continue in these thermonuclear times What if England had demanded that the American Confederacy should be an independent State after the civil war, and be off limits to the victors of the North? Do I even need to ask?

  2. Yeah to all the comments below…. It appears to not find anyone here that thinks “It’s Time to Get Tough….and or more confrontational. The “American hypersonic missile” just in the last month or so had its second test flight (if one could call it flight) In its first ‘test flight’ the crew were unable to get it to detach from the B52. In this recent second attempted test flight, the missile detached successfully, but unfornately they were unable to start it’s engine, so it glided down and crashed into the ground. And as a further reminder of our military intelligen e, of lack thereof. And then there is the decisive non-interdiction of the the Pentagon bound plane that the trillion dollar NORAD defense agency was unable to intercept within a 45 minute timeframe. What more does anyone paying attention need to know as the Afghan debacle screams, ” “Fools, Incompetants, Madmen in Charge.

    This article is a sad reminder of just how deluded & oblivious our defense & intelligence agencies has become as if on a Kool aid IV drip. No, a nation can’t bluff its way through bad decisions and brain dead priorities which have devistated our policy and hegemonic projections. The NATO gnomes are not really an ace in the hole in any serious (nuclear)

    • confrontation with China AND Russia. Our Russophobic & Sinophobic demonization & constant hectoring assures they will not let themselves be divided as long as our behavior continues to use every lever of coercion and intimidation to cow them to genuflect to the dictates of the U.S. NATO Gnome’s program hegemonic dominance in every sphere of national endeavor.

  3. Maybe Biden has been clued into fact the Israelis and Saudis plus some USmilitary traitors engineered 911…it’s not hard to prove!
    Also maybe he has been clued into fact that was an Israeli nuke in Beirut not fertilizer and fireworks…again not hard to prove!
    And maybe he has been clued into fact the USA attacked China, then Iran with biological warfare.
    He must know there are 46 (?) “biological laboratories” surrounding Russia’s borders…what do you think they think if that?

  4. China is our most dangerous global foe, and combating its pernicious rise must be Biden’s primary global task… And how did China accumulate the wealth to finance its pernicious rise? Why American capitalists transferred the majority of US manufacturing to China making China a very wealthy manufacturing superpower. Now we are supposed to confront this wealthy manufacturing superpower with the hollowed out American economy? What planet did Mr. Olsen arrive from? We don’t have the smarts to fight a sustained low level conflict as demonstrated by Vietnam and now Afghanistan. We don’t have the manufacturing capability to sustain large scale conventional combat. The only thing we can match other powers with is nuclear weapons but use of these weapons would result in mutual destruction and possibly the end of civilization. It is time to face reality: American capitalism through its greed has destroyed the US as a superpower. Give up these pipe dreams of American hegemony and gracefully accept this enforced lesser role in world affairs.

    • This outcome in Afghanistan could be seen from the very beginning, and I’m sure it was by some; probably even the ones who planned it.
      Biden should place American interests first. And continuing to be the world’s war-bull in a China shop is not the way to represent America’s best interests. But as all of U.S. foreign policy has been detrimental to U.S. welfare ever since, oh about 108 years ago or longer, the prospect of it reversing course on a dime looks pretty slim.

    • Right on, Elaine. When Nixon and Kissinger opened China as the new US sweatshop, they sealed our fate. Trump knew China was “the man” but tried to perpetuate the dilusion that we could overtake their economy by blackmail and threats. His method worked with dumb American bankers but the Chinese just laughed at his tariff nonsense. The best path forward may be to reconfigure our economy as #2 or wherever we really stand. Of course, that can’t get you elected with Americans who are mostly MAGA at heart. Like Trump, Bullshit Biden rambles about bringing jobs back.

    • Two facts that MAGA idiots can’t process. China has a population of 1.5 billion and the US has 330 million. Almost all durable consumer products purchased by Americans are made in China. Duh. So what’s that Trump foreign trade strategy again? Of course, the Dems have little to offer except printing more fake money and selling treasury notes to China. Accept the fact that we can no longer be #1. But it’s not the end of the world. Just ask the Brits.

    • The same President Biden who used to brag about writing part of the Omnibus Crime Bill 1995 which became the Patriot act after 9/11?