Opinion | White House

Joe Biden's dangerous, top secret 'foreign policy'

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

Joe Biden has a foreign policy plan that is so secret no one knows what it is, not even Joe. 

The Biden/Harris public statement speaks, predictably, with election language, about rebuilding the world's "trust" in and "respect" for America (read: not-Trump), a "middle class" foreign policy, and, of course, environmentalism. 

It envisions replacing President Trump's successful sanctions on Iran with a return to the Obama/Kerry nuclear treaty, through which the U.S. provided billions in cash to Iran to support widespread terrorism, with little inspected and confirmed nuclear restraint by Iran in return.  

Biden envisions a global "Summit for Democracy," i.e., the type of clubby event of smiling Europeans patting him on the back that traditionally leads to greater U.S. financial commitments to protect our democratic allies and to spread democracy, while many of those same allies refrain from meeting their financial and strategic commitments. 

It envisions a return to global environmental treaties that immediately cripple American business through a Green New Deal, while committing the American taxpayer to pay China, India and most of the Third World to pollute less ... sometime, maybe, in the future. 

It uses the term "hard-nosed" regularly, obviously to compensate for weakness and to drown out the hysterical laughing from our enemies and allies alike, as they congratulate Biden for his fresh "leadership." They're fully relieved that Trump is gone, along with his bull-in-a-china-shop  approach - which secured strong and balanced trade deals for America along with record jobs, compelled our allies to meet commitments to their own defense, crippled Iran's capacity for terrorism and led to expanded progress for real stability through solid Middle East peace agreements, restrained North Korea from nuclear tests or provocative missile tests, and kept our most serious rivals, China and Russia, in check through careful but firm projection of power combined with strong diplomacy. 

But the most problematic issue for a Biden foreign policy is its overall context of governance. Biden's campaign is based upon a national paroxysm among a significant part of the electorate, erupting after Trump's 2016 election. The result is that the Biden candidacy draws support from a wide group of competing (and often antagonistic) factions, united solely under the banner of defeating Trump. Perhaps more than any election in American history, a Biden presidency would resemble a weak and unstable "parliamentary" balance, with ferocious politics and horse-trading over cabinet positions and policy. 

Even if the Democrats were to take the House and Senate, the level of growing factionalism, caused by the ascendency of the radical, progressive left, would create an unprecedented degree of political struggle and unpredictability. The reason Biden is so vague about his plans is that he really has no way of predicting, and certainly not leading, his own administration. 

While this would create a political and economic mess in domestic policy, it would create a disaster in foreign policy. 

China is a prominent example. Regardless of the truth behind the New York Post stories about possible dishonesty in the Biden family with regard to dealings in China and the Ukraine, there is clear evidence of Joe Biden's close relations with the Chinese regime. He brags about it. He is certainly more friendly/sympathetic with the Chinese leadership than Trump. 

Historically, each new American administration is tested early and firmly by our adversaries. Russia may put new pressure on its bordering states or incursions on European Union airspace; China may up the pressure in the South China Sea or the straits of Taiwan; North Korea may test a nuclear weapon; Iran, through proxies, may light new fires in the Middle East targeting Israel or the Saudis. Trump would respond firmly. Biden has signaled that he'd respond through "reimagined" diplomacy. That kind of a response, fully supported by the strong progressive faction entering Biden's administration, would represent the exact type of slow, weak and uncertain non-response that traditionally has emboldened our enemies to push harder, leading to much more dangerous and unpredictable standoffs. 

Russia is preparing for territorial expansion, China is determined to settle the Taiwan question, North Korea is determined to have a nuclear ballistic missile arsenal, Iran seeks dominance in the Middle East. Trump has managed to hold the line on all of that. It is not clear at all that Biden, trying to control what may be a very unstable, factional coalition government, is prepared to deal with any of that. His running mate, the completely inexperienced Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), could be even worse. 

And, of course, it will be worse. The final deadly flaw in Biden foreign policy is economic. The progressive Biden domestic economic plans are very expensive - running into the trillions of dollars. His promised increase taxes for business and "the rich" will have the same effect as President Obama's tax policies - reduced investment, capital flight, little or no increases in federal revenue, and economic decline. So, where will the money come from for the Biden domestic programs? Obviously, the defense budget

The result, combining a weakened American defense and a factional American government with emboldened and ascendant enemies, raises the most important "existential" questions that Biden cannot answer over the next week. In that light, this election represents one of the biggest American gambles in history. Unfortunately, most American voters have not had the opportunity to think about any of this. 

Grady Means is a writer (GradyMeans.com) and former corporate strategy consultant. He served in the White House as a policy assistant to Vice President Nelson Rockefeller. Follow him on Twitter @gradymeans1.

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