Biden vs. Xi on the World Stage

December 1, 2022

RFI Executive Vice President Eric Patterson wrote a piece published in WORLD Magazine this week in which he discusses the Biden administration’s lack of strategic focus, especially in contrast to China. Patterson argues that the administration has no real strategy, but instead is ready with a radical social and climate agenda, making their approach to international security look particularly undisciplined. He writes:

Earlier this month, President Biden and China’s leader, Xi Jinping, met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Indonesia. These summits typically include a bit of political theater and lots of back-slapping among the leaders of the world’s 20 most influential countries. However, in many ways, the priorities and statements of the Biden and Xi administrations demonstrated two very different approaches to international security. President Biden’s incomprehension of China’s global power play at the Summit and at parallel meetings, as well as Biden’s obsession with climate change politics, left the United States in a weaker position than China. A look at Biden’s approach to security and his pledges in Indonesia highlights the difference. 

Few Americans realize that the Biden Administration finally published its congressionally mandated National Security Strategy (NSS) last month. The strategy was a long time in coming. By law, a new U.S. administration is supposed to deliver a National Security Strategy to Congress and the American people within six months of taking office. Administrations often take a bit longer, but the lack of a NSS far beyond the six-month point shows the Biden Administration’s lack of focus on international strategy.

Indeed, it is instructive to note that within just a few weeks of taking office in 2021, Biden signed National Security Memorandum #4, which directed agency heads, such as the secretaries of State and Defense, to advance “the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex persons around the world” as a national security emphasis of the United States. The Biden team was eager to deal with sexuality and gender, but not with international strategy.

With the Biden Administration attempting to promote a social agenda under the guise of U.S. national security, we should not be surprised that it took 18 months to publish a more sophisticated NSS document. This is particularly problematic because the Pentagon, intelligence agencies, and State Department all take their cues from the NSS.

With no strategy, but ready with a radical social and climate agenda, the Biden Administration’s approach to international security looked particularly undisciplined, from Ukraine to Afghanistan to China.

Read the full article: “Biden vs. Xi on the World Stage.”