Along with fiscal sanity, my top issue of concern is security — foreign and domestic. So it was irksome when President Joe Biden, who once chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, only obliquely mentioned those twin crises last week during 65 minutes of remarks to Congress.
On immigration, those who know best called the speech “an insult for everyone wearing a badge.” Biden seems to take after his old boss’ obstinacy on the matter. Consider John Boehner’s new memoir, where the former speaker says of then-President Barack Obama:
“I don’t believe he was really interested in a solution. He kept poisoning the well with things he knew we would never agree to. Maybe he thought it was more politically advantageous to leave immigration unsolved, so Democrats could continue campaigning on it as a wedge issue.”
The current administration appears confused — and the vice president remains a blithering moron — which is troubling, when decisions truly have deadly consequences. Voters of all stripes see this, and give the president low grades on the immigration issue.
On international security, Biden also embodies Obama’s failures and is repeating his mistakes.
The irresponsible and perilous Afghanistan withdrawal has global consequences and could cost more blood and treasure than staying. Unfortunately Biden, with his terrible foreign policy track record going back nearly 50 years — from the Cold War and Gulf War to the Global War on Terror and being the only top advisor to oppose taking out Osama bin Laden — is calling the shots.
Did Biden forget he oversaw the disastrous withdrawal of all American forces from Iraq a decade ago? As folks like me predicted, that proved to be a failure, since it allowed the Islamic State to build a caliphate the size of Great Britain.
In 2019, Biden castigated President Donald Trump for “leaving a vacuum” in the Middle East. He also admitted the decision to withdraw all troops from Iraq was an error, even though he thanked Obama “for giving me the chance to end this goddamn war.”
Iraq and Afghanistan are the major fronts of our long fight against Islamofascism that Republicans wholeheartedly supported from 2002-2015. Biden admits abandoning Iraq was a mistake, yet now he’s abandoning a nominal residual force in Afghanistan? Last year marked the lowest number of combat deaths since the 2001 invasion.
As I wrote last month, our forces are not “nation-building” or fighting a war in Afghanistan; they’re training local forces, collecting intelligence and striking terrorist targets. Our small contingent prevents the Taliban from overthrowing the pro-American government and turning Afghanistan back into a terrorist sanctuary.
Biden instead is increasing our presence in Germany — where troops have safely been stationed since 1945 — while removing all military from a country with an active terrorist threat. It’s bizarre, and no wonder voters aren’t confident in his approach to terrorism.
We don’t have time or space to address China’s dangerous ambitions, North Korea’s recent warnings, imperialist Russia, or the incipient appeasement in Venezuela.
Biden, whose handlers don’t even want him answering reporters’ questions, should continue the successful pressure campaign of recent years. The Iranian economy is in free fall, and their rogue leaders are desperate. We need not capitulate to a theocratic country now housing Al Qaeda’s terror operations.