Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

U.S. in Desperate Need of a Foreign Policy Renewal

The US doesn’t need a “foreign policy” at all. The US is a nation of unprecedented wealth and technological advantage, with a continent-wide regime, weak nations to the north and south, huge oceans to the east and west, no other strong powers in the entire hemisphere, and a massive nuclear deterrent. What else is needed? The only serious defensive interests the US faces are deterring long-range missile attacks (which we do deter) and preventing domestic terrorism sponsored by foreign entities (which US foreign policy makes much more likely). And there are only about five countries that are of genuine value to the US when it comes to trade (Canada, Mexico, England, Japan, and South Korea). Most of the rest are a net liability.

By Russell Berman, TELOS Press

The Biden administration promised to return American foreign policy to reliability and international leadership after the disruptions of the Trump years. Yet its egregious mismanagement of the exit from Afghanistan has damaged America’s global standing and undercut the credibility of three of the administration’s foreign policy planks.

President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken were supposed to repair transatlantic relations by reassuring our European allies, give priority to human rights in all decisions, and counter Chinese ambitions. The deeply flawed execution of the Afghanistan withdrawal undermines all those aspirations and leaves the Biden foreign policy vision in shambles. The diplomatic team that was supposed to bring professionalism has left America rudderless.

The Trump administration stood accused of straining the Atlantic alliance. European allies feared that it would prioritize unilateral decisions over multilateral consultation. Yet nothing during the Trump years compares with the unilateral high-handedness with which Washington pulled the plug on the NATO operation in Afghanistan. Alliance partners who rallied to the side of the U.S. after 9/11 have been left out in the cold.

As the chaos of the past weeks unfolded, Biden hid in Camp David and spoke with no European leader, until public criticism shamed him into a call to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This diplomatic indolence has had repercussions across the continent, where allies are squarely facing American unilateralism, but now from a Democratic administration.


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