The President and His Dangerous Foreign Policy

November 22, 2022

RFI Executive Vice President Eric Patterson authored an article published yesterday in WORLD Magazine discussing President Biden’s short-sighted foreign policy towards China. In the article, Patterson argues that Biden fails to acknowledge China’s goal of global domination and instead appears to be preoccupied with his own electoral interests. He writes:

President Biden met last week with China’s President Xi Jinping. In a stunning statement demonstrating the vacuity of his strategy with regard to China, Biden described the purpose of the meeting: “We’ve just got to figure out where the red lines [i.e. non-negotiables] are and what are the most important things to each of us, going into the next two years.”

This statement is stunning for any number of reasons, but three are worth our reflection here. First, Biden seems not concerned with the long-term U.S. national interest. His horizon is just the last two years of his presidential administration. Second, despite what Biden says, the United States does not need to re-evaluate its priorities to appease China. Third, we don’t need a picnic with Xi to learn what is important to China: Xi’s statements and actions, such as recently setting up a war cabinet, his crackdown on Hong Kong, and his statements on Taiwan tell us all we need to know.

Great presidents concern themselves with the long arc of purposeful American power. Ronald Reagan wanted to win the Cold War and did everything in his power to do so. Harry S. Truman made tough, unpopular decisions that resulted in long-term policies that advanced international security. Washington, Adams, Lincoln, and others did the same.

Not so Joe Biden. Former U.S. Secretary of Defense and CIA chief Robert Gates observed, “Biden has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” Maybe the reason that Biden has been wrong so often is because his horizon has been limited to surviving the next U.S. electoral cycle. The core of his thinking is simply, “How do I get what I need to win the next election?

A purposeful U.S. president would call upon the national security establishment to counter the growing threat of China’s malevolent influence on world affairs, from the bullying of our allies in the Far East, to China’s horrific human rights violations against Christians, Muslims, and ethnic minorities, to its subtle cyber-war on American institutions.

Read the full article: “The President and His Dangerous Foreign Policy.”