Mr Biden is moving at record speed to undo anything Trump did. So fast as to be dangerous possibly increasing the danger of war, as will be seen.
Before erasing it Mr Biden should ask whether the Trump policy addressed an actual problem or issue. Most did. If so, Biden must be certain that his policy will, in actual practice, prove better.
To dismiss policies simply because Trump made them and you imagine that ipso facto they cannot possibly have any merit, is most unwise.
It reminds me of the ignorant overweening arrogance of the Kennedy administration as it ignored Eisenhower, a gifted and wise man, whom they considered not remotely their peer, either intellectually or socially.
This huge error turned what could have been success in Vietnam into the bloodiest failure in our foreign policy history. (Of course Kissinger/China was far and away the greatest conceptual failure in our foreign policy history).
Kissinger an ignoramus reminds me of “sic transit gloria” McGeorge Bundy. A small difference is that Kissinger lacks Bundy’s absurd social arrogance, though not his gross intellectual over confidence.
Fortunately China is not yet needlessly sanguinary. Vietnam was a full blood bath. When contemplating Mr Biden and his associates remember the grim world of the brothers wonderful [the Kennedys].
Economics is perhaps most obvious. If the economy and jobs turn bad, that will be impossible to conceal. Such a development seems possible, even likely. If that occurs, Biden’s precarious congressional majority will disappear.
My highest priority however is avoiding war. Trump sent no troops to fight abroad. He built up robust deterrence. Mr Pompeo, whom I rate as second only to John Quincy Adams among US Secretaries of State put in place a sound and rational foreign policy that was conceptually sound and understandable. It was not impetuously interventionist. It strengthened alliances and began to end free rides. The Middle East was transformed. China was peacefully stymied. The Swedes a threshold nuclear power, wisely increased their military budget by 40%, making Europe incomparably safer.
Can Biden do as well? Frankly I doubt it. Kennedy casually dismissed Eisenhower, who had ended a war and prevented others. Then Kennedy’s policies crashed and burned costing millions of lives. Why? au fond because of the immense hubris of his administration. Biden and his followers are comparably hubristic They are also gripped by a deep and irrational loathing of Trump.
The new administration is thoroughly divided. Only shared hatred of Trump unites them. Not shared vision or values.
So I fear muddled security policy. We will abandon clarity and undermine deterrence by toying with a sound structure for which we have no coherent or articulated alternative.
The situation will resemble the 1920’s and 1930’s, when Washington stopped taking Asia seriously while taking Europe for granted.
If Biden dreams foreign policy as did FDR or JFK, and abandons realism and prudence, the outcome could be as disastrous today as then.
The dictatorships would be unshackled. Those against whom they have considered aggression would realize, as the Swedes have, that they must be able to take care of themselves.
The result will be a world more heavily armed than ever before with a number of new nuclear powers – but without unambiguous participation by a wise United States.
I fear Biden has brought aboard dilettantes of great self confidence. They recognize neither Obama’s abject failures nor Trump’s unwelcome successes. These are worrying omens.
I remember personally the last time this happened. I know Vietnam. My family paid in blood like many others, Germans, Russians, Chinese and Japanese, the time before.
All rational people fear a third time. The initial hubris of the Biden administration to which is added a narrow vindictiveness FDR and JFK lacked, is deeply worrying.
- Is China engaging in a predatory state capital conflict?
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