It’s often said that new U.S. presidents plan domestically but are greeted with unexpected foreign policy challenges in their first year. Adversaries often want to test the mettle of an incoming president.
Given the concerns about Joe Biden’s cognitive health, let alone his history of bad foreign policy choices, he would be the weakest president ever elected, which would be dangerous for the country and the world.
Unexpected foreign policy challenges greet our new presidents. President John Adams, just two months after his inauguration, had to ask Congress for increased defense spending in case the United States went to war with France. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy faced repeated first-year challenges from the Soviet Union; the tension rose so high that Kennedy believed there was a 1 in 5 chance of a nuclear war.
In 1989, his first year, George H.W. Bush faced the collapse of the Soviet Union. Four years later, in his first year, Bush’s successor, Bill Clinton, faced the Battle of Mogadishu that resulted in the deaths of 19 American soldiers and 73 others wounded. Of course, in 2001, and his first year, 9/11 changed George W. Bush’s presidency dramatically.
President Barack Obama chose to escalate the U.S. war in Afghanistan just a month into his presidency. As for President Donald Trump, in April 2017 (his first year), he was confronted by Syria’s use of chemical weapons on its own citizens.
As you can see, first-year foreign policy challenges for presidents have occurred since the beginning of our country and, now, have become the norm.
In the nuclear/terror age, by definition, the risks are far higher than for most of our history.
Iran, perhaps more than any nation in history, has signaled that it wants war with a U.S. ally, Israel, and makes no bones about its desire to acquire a nuclear weapon. Iran plainly wants to dominate the Middle East, if not beyond, and is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.
Biden has already said he wants to revive the Obama deal that led to a more provocative Iran, because the money it received fueled its conventional war forays in the Middle East.
Whereas Trump defunded Iran (and Russia) with America’s energy boom—lowering prices and taking customers from them—Biden wants to end the surge in U.S. energy power around the world, doing so by prosecuting a war on U.S. fossil fuel production. Combined with Biden lifting sanctions on Iran, Iran would become flush with cash again, more provocative than ever, and closer than ever to a nuclear bomb.
In other words, a weak Biden would be the cause for the resurgence of Iran and would be forced to deal with the danger that he had allowed to arise.
That would cause an immediate crisis with our allies in the region, including the UAE, whose deal with Israel is a repudiation of the Obama-Biden weakness toward Iran and undermining of Israel.
China has point-blank said it wants to be the world’s foremost superpower. China wants nothing to do with Trump’s reckoning of China’s abuses around the globe.
Can you imagine Biden standing up to China?
China has done “business” with the Biden family, including funding Biden’s son’s company. China is counting on more of the same; that’s no place for the United States to be.
Russia would also benefit from Biden’s war on U.S. energy. Rising energy prices would mean more hard currency for Russia, and customers of U.S. energy would find a willing seller in Russia. Obviously, a Russia flush with cash presents a greater danger than a Russia defunded by American energy.
So how would Biden respond to Iranian provocations? A move by China in the South China sea against our allies? Or Russian incursions in the Middle East or Eastern Europe?
Perhaps his selection of Kamala Harris provides us a clue, in addition to the fact that Obama and Biden sat by amid the rise of the ISIS terrorist group in 32 countries, along with the Iran deal and Russia’s incursion into Crimea.
Harris more than anyone else confronted Biden during the primary debates. What did he do in response? Did he demand an apology? The answer is no. He made her his vice presidential nominee.
The truth is America has returned to peace through strength under Trump. The Middle East took a giant step toward peace because of Trump’s unequivocal support of Israel and his weakening of Iran.
A weakened Biden would reverse all of that—and that’s a danger the world cannot afford.
Thomas Del Beccaro is an acclaimed author, speaker, Fox News, Fox Business, and Epoch Times opinion writer, and the former chairman of the California Republican Party. He’s the author of the historical perspectives “The Divided Era” and “The New Conservative Paradigm.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.