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How much does Trump love Putin?

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Does USA love Russia or Russia love USA? Can an American President love a Russian counterpart any time in future? USA and Russia are strongest foes with largest terror arsenals and their missiles target each other. The only plus point for them is that both are UN veto members, strategically controlling the world.

American media is filled with unbelievable stories about US presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s reverence for Russian president Vladimir Putin – former KGB intelligence officer who later in his career worked for KGB in Germany before he was handpicked by the new and first post-Soviet Russian president Boris Yelstsin to succeed him. Russia, Americans say, is frequently at odds with American interests on the world stage.

Is Trump all that committed on his pronouncements on Russian policy? Is there any creditable evidence that he has received Russian money? Are Trump’s business interests in Russia really all that significant?

Basically, Trump is an American hawk while Putin is a Russian variety of this character. Trump may have business interests in Russia that Puitn may back. Apart from that, Trump may have liked the boldness, stubbornness and thoroughness of Russian president.

Recently Republican Donald Trump said he is not sure what kind of relationship he would have with Russian President Putin if he is elected US president.

Democrats have consistently mocked Trump’s past remarks in praise of the Russian strongman, the latest instance coming from vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine.

Donald Trump pushed back on Hillary Clinton’s accusation that he’s cozying up to Putin after the charge put Trump’s running mate on the defensive during the vice presidential debate. The billionaire Trump sought to take away an argument that Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, have ramped up in the final weeks of the campaign as they work to portray Trump as dangerous for American interests overseas. While US-Russia relations nosedive over failed diplomacy in Syria, Trump has complimented Putin, calling him a strong leader and even encouraging him to track down Clinton’s missing emails, though Trump later said he was being sarcastic.

The celebrity businessman said his relationship with Russia’s leader would be determined by how Moscow responds to strong US leadership under a Trump administration. “They say Donald Trump loves Putin. I don’t love, I don’t hate. We’ll see how it works,” Trump told a rally outside Las Vegas. Speaking before an estimated crowd of 7,000 in Henderson, Nev., a Las Vegas suburb, Trump said he could not predict the type of relationship he would have with Putin.

Trump was on the campaign trail, making several stops across Nevada. Taking the stage in Henderson, Nev., Trump took his own victory lap for Pence’s performance, which he called “phenomenal.”

Clinton shrugged that off, saying Trump has weird fascination with dictators. “My opponent seems not to know the difference between an ally and adversary,” Clinton said at an evening fundraiser in Washington. “You guys love Russia,” Democratic VP candidate Kaine said in Tuesday’s debate. In a forceful rebuke, Pence described Putin as a “small and bullying leader” but blamed Clinton and President Barack Obama for a “weak and feckless” foreign policy that had awakened Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine and meddling in the Middle East. Pence’s cool demeanor contrasted with Trump’s bluster during his own, top-of-the-ticket showdown against Clinton. However strong Pence’s performance, Trump made clear he considers it a reflection of himself.

During the debate, Trump’s running mate Gov. Mike Pence, who has defended Trump’s praise of Putin, backed away from Trump’s previous praise for Putin, calling the Russian president a “small and bullying” leader.

Trump and Russia

Russia, by whatever yardstick is in vogue, prefers Trump if for no other reason than it hates Hillary Clinton because of her alleged foreign policy interventionist views. But Russian officials are also worried by the disruptive potential of a Trump presidency, specifically about his fulfillment of even some of his chaotic promises.

Vladimir Putin clearly is pleased with Trump’s praise of him, such as saying that Putin has been a better leader than Barack Obama. And the Kremlin is thrilled by Trump’s statements deriding NATO, applauding the British decision to leave the European Union and suggesting that America might not defend allies threatened by Russia.

Stylistically Trump is Putin’s type. Trump seems to Moscow at this point unlikely to put politically correct talk of “Western values” ahead of “our mutual and shared interests.” That he may well harm the Western alliance in the process is a most welcome bonus. Trump will smash America as the Russians currently perceive it. There is little doubt (at least as expressed on Radio Moscow) that Trump’s use of advisers who are sympathetic to Moscow is welcome.

Trump’s views on America’s role in the world completely align with the very fervent hopes Russia has. If reports on Radio Moscow are any guide, there is some understanding of Trump’s unpredictability — that is, just about everything is unknown. While Hillary Clinton is viewed as fiercely anti-Russian, she is nonetheless a familiar figure, and there is some grudging respect. She if elected would just pursue the Bush-Obama imperialist policies abroad.

Donald Trump shows himself to inhabit a fantastical realm where Barack Obama’s birth certificate was faked, the president founded ISIS, the Clintons are killers and the father of a former rival was with Lee Harvey Oswald before he assassinated John F. Kennedy in Dallas.

Americans feel depressed that their president Obama does not enjoy the benefits of hard power like Turkish or Russian presidents do. The deeper worry, therefore, is for Russia and Turkey, where “autocrats” use the techniques of post-truth to silence opposing opinions deemed unacceptable by some. In USA, the Congress itself is a hoax, behaves like a collective autocrat.

The USA and Russia back opposing sides in Syria’s civil war but both are fighting the Islamic State group there. The USA cut off talks with Russia about Syria this week after the latest cease-fire collapsed, blaming Russia for failing to fulfill its commitments under the deal. “I can say this: If we get along and Russia went out with us and knocked the hell out of ISIS, that’s OK with me folks,” Trump said, using an acronym for the extremist group.

Democrat Kaine acknowledged that even his wife gave him a hard time for his constant interruptions during the debate. But Kaine said he was effectively able to block Republican VP candidate Pence from attacking Clinton. “I’ve never played hockey but I think I’d be a good goalie, based on last night,” he said.

Vice-presidential debates don’t typically change the course of an election, but this one could be different if Trump heeds its lessons in his next debate. The Republican has slid in the polls since the first debate by getting lost in dead-end issues and self-indulgent Twitter bursts. Pence are a former radio talk show host, and it showed with his cool, articulate delivery. His earnest, low-key demeanor was a notable contrast to Tim Kaine, whose strategy seemed to be to interrupt Pence at every opportunity.

Foreign policy

Foreign policy remains the key area of US interests but it is strange foreign policy maters have not yet entered the debates of the presidential hopefuls. Only Trumps love for Russia has been debated in a vague manner without any perspectives.

Hillary and Trump have not discussed the rationale for the permanent war agenda of USA and NATO. Nor do they say anything in detail about the US aid to third world underdeveloped nations. Disarmament or denuclearization issues have not come up in debates and speeches even by mistake.

The most notable substantive exchanges occurred on foreign policy, with Republican VP candidate Pence offering a ¬detailed critique of Barack Obama’s record and growing global disorder. Democrat VP mate Kaine kept saying Clinton was part of the team that killed Osama bin Laden, but that is old anti-terror news. Pence replied that the main terror threat now was Islamic State, which he said grew out of “the vacuum” left when Obama withdrew all US troops from Iraq.

Notable was the debate on Russia, with Kaine claiming that Trump has business ties with “oligarchs” that cause him to apologize for Vladimir Putin. Trump’s admiration for Putin is mysterious and worrisome. But Pence pointed out Clinton’s hawkishness-come-lately on Russia follows years of weak ¬policy that invited Putin’s aggression. Pence reminded the audience what a classic Republican security policy sounds like — if only Trump would adopt it.

For the most part Pence dodged this trap, going back on offence against the Clinton-Obama record rather than ¬defend every Trump statement, many of which are indefensible. This is a useful lesson for Trump to take into the next debate, a town hall in which audience members will ask the questions. People want to like their presidents.

At least henceforth the presidential candidates must discuss the future war plans of USA and when they should end terror wars for fun and resources, declare a credible plan to withdraw all its terror troops from foreign soils.

Observation

The big moment for their running mates behind them, both Democratic Hillary and Republican Trump are shifting focus back to each other — and to Sunday’s debate, the second of three showdowns between the nominees. The debate is very critical for Trump. Since last week’s debate, Trump has faced a barrage of questions over a leaked tax return showing he lost more than $900 million in 1995. In turn, he’s sought to reframe his life story as a comeback tale he hopes to recreate on behalf of a faltering nation. “America needs a turnaround. American needs a comeback. America needs a change. And that’s why I’m running,” Trump said.

If Republican Trump could make the case for Donald Trump half as well as his ally Mike Pence makes the case for Donald Trump, the New Yorker would be well on his way to the White House.

Also, a latest opinion poll suggests that Republican Trump is ahead of Hillary by 2. 5 points and this trend is likely to go up as poll date approaches. These days, possibly in order to help shoot up the rating of Obama and Clinton Hillary, many TV channels relays Hollywood movies where Black Americans play lead hero role or positive rules to help the White American heroes, among others and naturally the rating of Obama is sound.

Russia gives every appearance of hoping that the presidential run by Republican Donald Trump will prove successful and there is every indication that the Kremlin wants to give him a boost. Russia has made a lukewarm confession of hacking the emails from the Democratic National Committee that appeared on WikiLeaks. Surely this must be a covert Russian operation designed specifically to sow distrust in our elections. Put another way, Trump may well have become an agent of the Russian Federation.

Being cast adrift in ever expanding ocean of American lies spread and “democratize” in order to invade Muslim nations, the American people may well end up with nothing to cling to. This in itself may well end up in old-fashioned oppression in USA. Ukraine’s ex-president Vicktor Yanukovych, a Kremlin ally, recently made a speech in which he denounced America’s hypocritical focus on democratization in all its forms.

The point Democrats are busy driving to the public is to remind Americans that Trump can be crude, nasty and untutored. This fits the Clinton strategy to delegitimize Trump personally as a ¬potential president. His affirmative case for Clinton and her agenda were ¬almost afterthoughts.

Regardless of who takes the White House come November, Russia’s very presence at the center of American electoral politics is celebrated in Moscow. here is wholesale denying of meddling in Moscow; the accusations nonetheless reinforce the sense of Putin’s power. The focus in Russia on the presidential campaign in America is construed to be a true and lasting acknowledgement that Russia has returned to the international arena. That surely must be what Putin really craves.

All said and done, if Trump is elected US president the limping US-Russian relations would develop smoothly. Putin and Trump could find a common language.

Americas

Was Trump better for the world than Biden, after all?

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Joe Biden
Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

Joe Biden and the State Department just approved a major deal with the Saudis for 500mln in choppers maintanance. Effectively, the US sold its soul to the Saudis again after the US intelligence services confirmed months ago that the Saudi Prince is responsible for the brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Biden administration is already much more inhumane and much worse than Trump. Biden doesn’t care about the thousands of American citizens that he left behind at the mercy of the Taliban, the Biden administration kills innocent civilians in drone strikes, they are in bed with the worst of the worsts human right violators calling them friendly nations. 

Biden dropped and humiliated France managing to do what no US President has ever accomplished —  make France pull out its Ambassador to the US, and all this only to go bother China actively seeking the next big war. Trump’s blunders were never this big. And this is just the beginning. There is nothing good in store for America and the world with Biden. All the hope is quickly evaporating, as the world sees the actions behind the fake smile and what’s behind the seemingly right and restrained rhetoric on the surface. It’s the actions that matter. Trump talked tough talk for which he got a lot of criticism and rarely resorted to military action. Biden is the opposite: he says all the right things but the actions behind are inhumane and destructive. It makes you wonder if Trump wasn’t actually better for the world.

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Biden’s worrisome construct of security and self-defense in the first year of his term

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Official White House Photo by Carlos Fyfe

US President Joe Biden’s foreign policy is failing so far. He can’t get the Iran nuclear diplomacy on track. The Afghanistan withdrawal was a disaster seen by all, placing an unusually high number of weapons and armaments in the hands of the Taliban and leaving everyone behind, to the point that one wonders if it was intentional. The US military has been able to accomplish far more impressive and bigger logistics tasks in the past, so when they want to they can do it.

More worrisome, however – and because it is also oriented towards future impacts – is Biden’s construct of vital concepts such as security, international peace and self-defense which has already displayed a consistent pattern during the first year of his term. The signs are already there, so let me bring them out to the surface for you.

Treating a counter-attack in self-defense as an original, first-move strike

This is a pattern that can be noticed already in Biden’s reading of what constitutes defense. It first struck me in a place where you might not think of looking. It originated from the criticism of the previous Trump administration’s support for the destructive Saudi Arabia campaign on Yemen, leaving Yemen as the biggest famine and disaster on the planet. To avoid the same criticism, the Biden administration decided to do what it always does – play technocratic and legalistic, and hope that people won’t notice. On the face of it, it looked like Biden ended US participation by ending the “offensive” support for Saudi Arabia. Then in the months after the February decision, reports started surfacing that the US actually continues doing the same, and now most recently, some troops from Afghanistan were redirected towards Yemen. Biden didn’t end Yemen; he set up a task force to examine and limit US military action only to defensive capabilities, which sounds good to a general observer. It reminds me of that famous Einstein saying that all the big decisions were to be taken by him and all the small decisions were to be taken by his wife, but there hasn’t been one big decision so far. So see, it just turns out that everything falls under defense, ask the lawyers. Usually no one would object to the well-established right to defend yourself. The problem with that is that the US is actually in Yemen. Treating any counter-strike and any response to your presence as an original, first-move attack is not only problematic but it also simply doesn’t work in legal terms. It goes along the lines of “well, I am already here anyways, so your counter-response in self-defense is actually an attack and I get to defend myself”. If the issue was only with terrorist or rebel organizations (because let’s face it, who cares about the Houthies in Yemen?) I don’t think we would be discussing this. But as you guessed it, this approach can already be traced as a pattern in Biden’s thinking and the way he forges alliances, draws red lines and allows things to happen, and it stretches to areas that most people definitely care about such as a possible military conflict between the US and China.

Let’s take the newest development from today. The US just announced that it has entered into a trilateral partnership with the UK and Australia in the Indo-Pacific, which is encirclement of China par excellence. Where it gets interesting is that the trilateral partnership is purported to be only for “advanced defense capabilities”. The equivalent of this is someone from another city squatting at the door step in your apartment, inviting two others to join, and then when in the morning you push them and step on them to go to work, the squatters claiming that you attacked them and calling the police on you in your own apartment. This is Biden’s concept of self-defense: since I am already here in your space, you are attacking me.

The US is trying to start something with China but it doesn’t know how to, and China seems completely unconcerned with the US.  Chinese leader Jinping doesn’t even want to meet Biden, as became clear this week. China doesn’t care about the US and just wants to be left alone. They already said that in clear terms by reading it out loud to Wendy Sherman last month. Biden didn’t have to ask for a meeting in that phone call this week because he already knew the answer. Wendy Sherman got a clear signal on her China visit that the US president won’t be getting that coveted red carpet roll-out any time soon.

So the story says that the US is going all the way to the other side of the world and staging military presence there but only to defend itself. The US has no choice but to move in to defend all the US citizens at risk in the Indian Ocean — that’s the stand-up comedy line of the week. It is staging military presence right at China’s doorstep — if not in Chinese waters, and the idea is “yes, that’s your turf but now that I’m here, if you push me to leave, you are attacking me”. This is the strategy of narcissists and those that are looking to point the finger to their opponent when they just don’t have anything, so they stage something. China is in the long-term game, playing against itself. The US is that number 2 that’s trying to create provocation. In the Indo-Pacific, the US is biting more than it can chew. China is not a big mouth or one to throw around military threats. That’s the US style: “be very careful, we might bomb you if you don’t do what we say”. A dog that barks doesn’t bite. On the other hand, China is more like a Ferrari — it will go from 0 to 200 in seconds and then it will go back to its business. The US and Biden will be left whimpering but no one will jump to save the US from its own folly because self-defense in the US packaging is not even bought by the US government itself. Even they don’t buy their own packaging. So why should anyone else?

Treating embarrassing discoveries and things that don’t go my way as a threat to international peace

This one is a big one. With this one, Biden is playing with the queen, namely action under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter in the name of international peace and security. A threat to international peace and security is grounds for action under Chapter 7 which includes military action, and it’s never to be spoken lightly. Words have consequences. The UN Security Council rarely specifies grounds for action under chapter 7 for threats to international peace and security but it’s enough to take a look at the practice: resolutions were passed when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, in response to 9/11, against Kaddafi who was marching toward Benghazi to wipe out the people in 2011, in relation to genocide, etc. Grounds for a threat to international peace can’t be “because I don’t like the way things are turning out for me”.

Peace and security are not like beauty – in the eye of the beholder. There has to be an actual or imminent attack and actual military action or violence. Loose interpretations of threats to peace and security are a sign of weak leadership.

Leaders who construct dissent and criticism as terrorism in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement, as I have argued about the FBI previously in the left media, are weak leaders. In smearing Martin Luther King, the FBI argued national security. As director Oliver Stone said in Cannes this summer, when he was investigating the JFK assassination, every time he was getting close, he heard “national security”. 

You can see a lot about the character of a nation by the way it constructs security, and notice traits such as narcissism, weakness, cheating. The Biden Administration has to know that a threat to international peace and security can’t be “things that make my government look bad”. In 2001, the world followed the US in Afghanistan because there was an actual military attack. The world won’t follow the Biden administration on a bogus threat to international peace that can best be summed up as a major embarrassment for the US government. Suggesting a link is a threat to the fabric of international society. Not only is it a sign of national narcissism but also a sign of arbitrariness and authoritarianism. Treating criticism and the exposure of US government crimes as if it were a military attack is what horror movies are made of. What’s next? Droning journalists?

Treating issues which are a subject to treaties, rules and negotiations as a threat to international peace  

The Biden security construct stretches to various regions, including my own. This first struck me with Biden’s executive order regarding the Western Balkans when he tied blocking these countries from EU accession to a threat to international peace, which carries significant consequences. If a country, let’s say Bulgaria, is exercising its lawful right to veto EU processes, hypothetically, based on Biden’s understanding, the US could table a resolution for Chapter 7 action to punish an EU member-state for blocking the accession of an EU candidate because that’s a threat to international peace. That could hypothetically lead to military action against an EU country making use of its veto. Biden doesn’t have a veto in the EU. Do you know who does? Bulgaria. So until Biden becomes an EU country he doesn’t have a say.

Biden was visibly irritated that the process of EU accession has been stalling for quite some time, especially with N. Macedonia and Albania at the EU’s doorstep, so he decided to give it a go. Let’s not forget that the Balkans are a favorite Biden region and this goes back to the 1990s. I have written about it before: Biden is stuck in the 2000s when if you mentioned the Western Balkans the words international peace were a guaranteed association. Not anymore. Negotiations, rules and voting are the peaceful and reasonable way to resolve issues, agree or even not agree in some situations, and are the opposite of war and aggression. Treating these ways as a threat to peace is just the rhetoric of those who can’t get their way. But it’s also indicative of a worrisome trend with Biden that anything that the US government doesn’t like can be dressed as a threat to international peace, which carries the most significant of all consequences in the international arena.

Treating lawful counter-measures as a threat to national security

Perhaps the best and most fascinating example of lawful counter-measures I ever heard was brought by Andrew Clapham at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. Here is the story. The UK issued unlawful sanctions on a country. In response, lawful counter-measures by that country targeted jam exports because a jam factory in Scotland was the key to turning the elections. The targeted counter-measures worked, hit jam exports, discontent people in the region voted the other way and the government that put in place the sanctions to begin with was ousted. This was a brilliant example that you hit where it hurts and you do it lawfully. Counter-measures don’t have to be identical. The US likes to put tariffs on Louis Vuitton bags in retaliation when it deals with France, for example. In the Trump trade wars, Europe would hit bourbon and jeans exports as a counter-measure. You hit their signature product. Not all counter-measures are illegal and count as an attack. International law is full of examples.

Similarly, lawsuits against a government are a lawful counter-measure. This area reveals another part of Biden’s worrisome construct of national security. A threat to sue the US government cannot in and of itself be a threat to national security. Tortured reading of what is national security is a sign of weak leaders, narcissists, those on the losing end, or straight up losers – or all of the above. 

Treating lawful counter-measures as a cause for self-defense is not only a sign of a wrong understanding of self-defense, but is the ultimate sign of narcissism. Usually those who attack know better and brace for impact in anticipation of the counter-measures. Narcissists, on the other hand, cry that they are being attacked when they receive a counter-strike in response. Strategists know better.

Mistreatment of whistleblowers, critics and opponents as spies and as a threat to national security

This one is an easy one. Only losers treat whistleblowers and critics as spies and as an automatic threat to national security. Take the treatment that Gary Stahl has received at the hands of the Biden Administration and the FBI, for example. Again, the US government doesn’t get to construe a huge embarrassment (in what will soon be revealed to shows the true criminal nature of the US government) as a threat to international peace. This is a problem for America. Not only doesn’t China plan to attack militarily the US any time soon over what’s to come, but China is largely unconcerned with the US and would like to be left alone. Any talk about a risk of military conflict could only mean that it is the US that plans to attack because they are embarrassed they got caught red-handed and the world will see the US government’s true nature. Talk of threat to international peace has a very high threshold. No one cares about how America would feel – that’s your problem, not an issue of international peace. 

The Biden concept of security is that of an ugly, pretentious, old woman who is told she can’t enter because her ticket is not valid. She then throws a feat screaming she was attacked, beaten and insulted, expecting everyone to be on her side. But the world simply doesn’t care about the problems of this pain-in-the-ass anymore. The US government will have to try much harder if they want to present the issue as anything close to security and self-defense, let alone a threat to international peace. That tune is old and there are no buyers. 

The US surely thinks very highly of itself if they think that a scandal like that is worthy of a military conflict but literally no one else sees the US as this important anymore. This scandal will matter only to America in what it reveals about all the layers of the US government across rank, institutions and administrations. That’s it. It ends there. Any talk of Chapter 7 threshold is war mongering and no one will care. 

People talk about the Biden doctrine on Afghanistan but the Biden doctrine that will be sealed in history will be something along the lines of “Anytime I get caught, it’s a threat to international peace and security.” This is how Biden will be remembered in history: for creative writing endeavors in the security field and no substantial foreign policy achievements. 

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Biden’s credibility restoration plan

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Joe Biden
Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

Although damages of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan cannot be easily undone, by taking a series of wise steps, Biden can send a strong signal that America is coming back.

Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan has shattered his reputation as a safe haven for allies. This is while, he pledged to restore U.S. leadership after Trump by confronting China’s and Russia’s growing totalitarian ambitions, restoring historic alliances with European allies, and ending the never-ending conflicts in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

But he is not the only President whose decision has eventually damaged the United States’ global reputation. Donald Trump’s capitulation deal with the Taliban, Barack Obama’s indolence in Syria, and George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq have all tarnished the United States’ credibility around the world. The question now; however, is no longer whether Biden and his predecessors should have acted differently. It’s how the United States can minimize the damage.

Biden should begin by speaking the truth. So far, the President has failed to admit the failure of his withdrawal plan. Biden ought to be straightforward with himself, the American people, and the whole world.

Biden’s policy should, of course, vary depending on the area and global conditions. To promote its interests in the Indo-Pacific area, the United States should station a few ambassadors, including a Navy or Coast Guard attaché, in the Pacific Island countries of Tonga, Tuvalu, and Kiribati. In addition, a considerable number of troops currently stationed in Afghanistan should be redeployed to the Pacific. Finally, Biden’s administration should engage with U.S. defense contractors to speed up the transfer of military equipment to Taiwan. Getting Taiwan its armaments swiftly would be a powerful show of support as a steadfast ally, as well as provide modern platforms to prevent a Chinese amphibious invasion.

The Biden administration should also do all in its power to rebuild relations with European partners. For the very first time, NATO invoked Article 5, which identifies an assault on one member as an assault on all. Since then, soldiers from a variety of countries have fought and died alongside US troops. Nonetheless, Biden decided to leave Afghanistan without consulting the governments of these countries, leaving them to plan emergency rescue efforts for their populations. Close allies of the United States are understandably enraged. America’s behavior is being chastised in Paris, Berlin, and the British House of Commons on both sides of the aisle.

Last month, at a meeting of regional leaders in Baghdad, Macron made it clear that, unlike the Americans, he was dedicated to remaining in the Middle East. “Whatever the American choice is,” he stated in public remarks in Baghdad, “we will maintain our presence in Iraq to fight terrorism as long as terrorist groups function and the Iraqi government requests our assistance.” It was a clear example of Macron’s idea of “strategic autonomy,” which implies European independence from U.S. security policy, and an attempt to use the United States’ humiliation to underline that Europe and Washington were not always on the same page. At an emergency G7 summit, Mr. Biden is said to have turned down allied requests to extend the August 31 deadline for exit.

The Biden administration’s recent decision not to penalize Nord Stream 2 pipeline participants has enraged Europeans as well. Poland and Ukraine underlined their worries in a joint statement about the ramifications of choices taken on the pipeline without the participation of nations directly impacted, claiming that Nord Stream 2 poses both geological and ecological risks to Europe.

As a result, whether it’s diplomatic recognition of the Taliban regime, humanitarian aid for the Afghan people, or any other major issue, the US should not take any more action without engaging partners. Mr. Biden should also dispatch senior members of his national security team to Europe and other regions of the world to reinforce America’s commitment to their security.

As to the Middle East, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, in a Foreign Affairs article described “America’s opportunity in the Middle East,” suggesting that diplomacy may work where previous military interventions have failed. The United States’ involvement in the area is frequently portrayed in military or counter-terrorism terms, and as a binary option between going all-in or going all-out. Instead, Sullivan advocated for a strategy that relied more on “aggressive diplomacy to generate more long-term benefits.”

Accordingly, the President and his team in Vienna should get the new Iranian administration back to the negotiating tables and rejoin the JCPOA and ease the tensions in the Middle East. Also, the United States should do all possible in Afghanistan to secure the safe transit of Afghans who qualify for U.S. visas to the Kabul airport – and to keep flights flying until they are able to leave. This should apply to both Afghans who dealt closely with the United States’ military, and to those who engage with U.S. media and humanitarian organizations and must get visas from a third country. In addition to ensuring that the United Nations and humanitarian groups have the resources they need, the United States should cooperate with its Security Council allies to guarantee that the Taliban does not hinder the free flow of help.

Moreover, to follow any influx of jihadists to Afghanistan, intelligence agencies will have to rededicate resources and increase surveillance. They must be pushed to coordinate their efforts on the Taliban in order to keep the most threatening groups under control. The United States could set an example by agreeing to accept a fair share of any displaced Afghans. Neighboring countries like Iran and Pakistan, which already have millions of Afghan refugees, are closing their borders.

Biden may not be able to prevent all of the disastrous repercussions of the Afghan catastrophe, but he must act now before the harm to U.S. interests and moral stature becomes irreversible. By taking these steps, he can send a strong statement to the world that he has learned his lessons and that America is coming back.

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