In the Face of Global Problems, Biden Does Everything Except Make a Right Decision

Joe Biden has used a variety of labels and themes to communicate his foreign policy vision to the American people.

Throughout the country and beyond, his administration has made a commitment to “build back better.” Jake Sullivan, Trump’s national security advisor, regularly referred to a “foreign policy for the middle class” during his 2020 campaign.

Biden hosted a virtual “Summit of Democracies” last month, with the stated goal of reasserting American leadership among ideologically allied allies and partners, in terminology that harkens back to the Cold War.

These diverse tag lines and rubrics have a few commonalities in common. The greatest of these is China’s challenge. Regardless of the faults or misperceptions of the Obama years, Biden and his team claim to now be unwavering and clear-eyed in their approach to dealing with China.

Only China, according to the administration’s Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, is capable of “mounting a sustained challenge to a stable and open international system,” which was announced March 3.

As part of his rationale for pulling out of Afghanistan, Vice President Joe Biden said that China would prefer the United States not to be entangled in the country for another decade.

Although the Biden administration has been in office for nearly a year, its supposed laser focus on China has been largely absent in action.

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The president’s national security team has resisted making the hard decisions that a successful grand strategy requires in the face of a wide range of global obligations, constrained resources, and requests from foreign policy elites for American “leadership” on every global issue.

The Pentagon is at the forefront of the United States’ overly militarized foreign policy. The Pentagon issued its Global Posture Review on November 29 after nine months of study, a document that promised a comprehensive evaluation of all US sites and soldiers abroad.

The paper was kept secret, and the only way it was made public was through a one-page news release and a series of closely guarded briefings by Defense Department officials. However, the Pentagon has made it clear that it deserves an A in its own self-assessment.

A helicopter squadron for South Korea, a rescindment of Trump’s force cap for Germany, and improved infrastructure in Guam were among the modest changes revealed. How little was said or done in the Global Posture Review was shocking.

It is now widely accepted that the Middle East should get substantially less of America’s attention and resources in terms of national security. For example, it has reduced support for a disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen and withdrawn overburdened air defense battalions.

The United States’ role in the Middle East, however, does not appear to be under serious discussion. International Institute for Strategic Studies Manama Dialogue’s Brett McGurk stated unequivocally in November: The United States will not be leaving.

When it comes to the armed forces, the administration has shown the same apathy and indecision. The US Navy is in jeopardy after two decades of bipartisan neglect in the wake of the 9/11 wars.

The Navy has been left with $12 billion aircraft carriers, an abandoned stealth destroyer program, and littoral combat ships that are clearly unfit for war and are now being decommissioned as a result of failed transformative acquisition projects.

Since the late 1980s, the number of US ships has steadily decreased, from almost 600 to fewer than 300 now. Due to what former Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work recently described as a fanatical attachment to forward presence, that halved fleet has been deployed twice as often.

As a result of overworking the Navy’s dwindling fleet in these constant presence missions, 17 sailors were killed in two high-profile crashes in 2017. According to a long-serving naval analyst, the Navy is currently on the verge of a material death spiral.

As a result, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has achieved tremendous progress since the turn of the century. After acquiring over 100 surface vessels in the last decade, China currently has the world’s most powerful navy.

Although China’s navy is still far behind the US in terms of technological prowess and operational expertise, progress is being made.

The end of the worldwide war on terror may or may not entail an overall peace dividend for the United States. After two decades of conflict in the Greater Middle East, the United States is long overdue to re-prioritize its navy at the expense of other military forces.

This century’s most vital military tool is the American Navy, which has the world’s most expansive waterways between it and any big danger.

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According to a senior defense source who asked to remain unnamed, the Biden administration is unlikely to make significant strategy shifts during its first year in office.

However, in light of the growing number of issues at home and abroad, as well as the impending, potentially nasty, midterm election, the time has come to make tough decisions and set priorities.

When you decide to prioritize everything, you’re actually prioritizing nothing, and the alternative is making no decision at all. Foreign policy hesitation and inertia may haunt the Biden administration in the future.

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