Another foreign policy fiasco: Biden manages to trash America's ties with...France
Being "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades" is leading America to some very bizarre, uncharted waters.
That's what Joe Biden has wrought, living up to Bob Gates's memorable summary of his record.
This brings us to Biden's latest fiasco: his unprecedented rupture in U.S. relations with France.
So much for "diplomacy is back," the campaign slogan he ran for office on and has repeated a lot since.
Based on this latest example of "diplomacy," Biden's a diplomatic wrecking ball.
According to France24:
France on Friday recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia in a ferocious row over the scrapping of a submarine contract, an unprecedented step that revealed the extent of French anger against its allies.
President Emmanuel Macron made the exceptional decision due to the "gravity of the announcements on September 15 by Australia and the United States", said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in a statement.
The rare diplomatic backlash against France's allies came two days after Australia announced the scrapping of a major purchase of French conventional submarines in favour of US nuclear-powered submarines.
The announcement represented "unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners", said the statement.
Wow. That's some diplomacy, Joe. And it's coming from France, a nation that has been very well disposed to Biden. Biden's secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken, actually grew up in France and is a fluent French speaker. It takes some doing to wreck things with France from that base, but somehow Joe's managed to do it.
The problem that triggered the rare, unprecedented envoy recall for the first time in the bilateral relationship (normally the sort of thing that goes on with Venezuela) was Biden's management of the relationship.
At issue was the new U.K.-U.S.-Australia alliance to check China in the Pacific, which included a plan to give Australia U.S. nuclear technology for its submarines. That meant that Australia's earlier contract with France for diesel-powered submarines had to go.
Now, it's quite possible that with China rampant and showing all signs of moving to take over the South China Sea, it's a good idea to get Australia onto the nuclear-powered submarine program. Britain and Australia are particularly compatible and tight allies with the U.S., all part of the intelligence-sharing agreement known as "five eyes," and certainly all in it together through most of the 20th and 21st centuries' conflicts.
But France is also an ally and not an unimportant one. France is a big power in its own right and has an actual permanent presence in the Indian and Pacific oceans close enough to the South China Sea action — New Caledonia, et al. Why they couldn't be in on this, too? That they weren't doesn't make much sense.
The mismanagement comes because Biden apparently sprang this on them unawares, with Australia suddenly shifting from its diesel-powered French submarine contracts to an American contract for nuclear-powered submarines, scrapping France's $50 billion to $90 billion in expected contractual revenue. That had to have involved a lot of planning and projecting, based on the stability of the contract and relationship. With Joe Biden, all bets were off, and the U.S. now is as unstable, and France was dumped by the wayside. Why wouldn't they be angry?
It was typical Biden mismanagement, his tendency to make flip decisions (after consulting Jill?) and change course midstream for any crazy reason. If Biden wanted this thing to go off without a hitch, he should have been planning to get France on board one way or another, perhaps by a way to make up for the lost contract revenue to France through some other means or to have France do parts of the project that don't involve nuclear technology, repurposing its contract without making France lose its hard-won contract or projected revenue. At a minimum, France should have been communicated with and reassured. That's called diplomacy.
Biden did none of that any more than he let America's top allies, such as Britain and France (again!) know that he was planning to yank the plug on Afghanistan and skedaddle the U.S. out of there without letting the allies know. Biden refused to take phone calls from Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson for more than 24 hours after the pullout fiasco commenced, effectively telling Britain it didn't matter. France was a similar victim of Biden's on-the-fly, zero-plan decision-making in Afghanistan, which must have made the submarine scrapping the last straw.
This is not how diplomacy is done; this is how crazy dictators like Hugo Chávez and Moammar Gaddafi used to operate.
France is our oldest ally, the ally whose critical contributions were indispensable to our winning the Revolutionary War by 1783 — expensive help, which came at a lethal cost to France's own monarchy a decade later. France is the one who sold us the vast territory of Louisiana in 1803, setting the stage for America's continental expansion into a great power. No France, no Manifest Destiny, and definitely no additional territorial acquisitions. France was our ally in two world wars and to this day treats our U.S. servicemen's graves in Normandy with utmost reverence and respect. France supported us in our recent Iraq and Afghanistan excursions, grumbling at times but, unlike a lot of them, walking the walk. More important, France has been our invaluable ally in the global war on terror. Just the other day, France turned the big ISIS terrorist who in 2017 murdered four U.S. servicemen in Niger into a grease spot on the Sahara desert floor. Allies with that kind of commitment and longstanding friendship do not come along easily.
So what does Joe Biden do with that kind of alliance? He turns it into that thing President Trump said "woke" turns everything into.
He yanks their submarine contract and offers them zero communication, and they are now signaling they have had about all they can take. This kind of reaction never happened during the Bush years, when some pinned France for being cowardly on terrorism, and it never happened during the Trump years, when relations were supposedly at their nadir.
But somehow Joe Biden managed it.
This is the nadir for U.S.-France relations, and you can bet China is watching with a concealed smile. Once again, Joe Biden is behind it, same as he botched Afghanistan. Mr. "America's Back" clearly meant that America is on its back. How much more is he going to wreck after this?
Image: Twitter screen shot.
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