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Biden’s First Year Foreign Policy Record May Be Worse than Trump’s 

In many ways, Biden has actually been worse than Trump, for example, in his expansion of Special Forces operations in Africa, his aggressive stance on war in Ukraine, and in his use of human rights as a weapon to try to rally public opinion against China and Russia.

Biden has also been more dishonest—as in Syria, for example, where Trump admitted that the U.S. military was there to control the oil, while Biden deceptively claimed they were there to help the Syrian people.

The next three years could be very dangerous if tensions between the U.S., Russia and China continue to escalate. Deteriorating domestic conditions—evident in skyrocketing inflation and a rising cost of living—may also lead to greater domestic unrest, which the Biden administration could try to circumvent by trying to mobilize people against a foreign enemy.

Biden’s First Year Foreign Policy Record May Be Worse than Trump’s  Covert Action By Jeremy Kuzmarov – December 31, 2021  His administration has escalated dangerous conflicts with Russia and China while increasing the military budget, expanding deadly sanctions and sustaining forever wars.

AM endorsed Biden for president as a lesser evil to the neofascism of Donald J. Trump and the modern-day GOP. At the same time, we warned readers about Biden’s past and long record as a Cold Warrior and hawk.

Biden’s first year in office has shown that the past was indeed a prologue to the future.

While significantly scaling back on the U.S. drone war, Biden a) signed a defense bill that increased military spending by 5% over Trump’s already bloated military budget; b) sustained massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia, c) ratcheted up the new Cold War with China and Russia; d) carried out murderous drone strikes in Afghanistan as the final salvo of a failed 20-year war, e) continued bombing Syria under false pretexts, f) extended the U.S. war in Somalia while deploying more troops to the Horn region and Eastern Africa; g) refused to enforce a ban on killer robots; and h) continued Obama and Trump’s war on whistleblowers and pushed for the extradition of Julian Assange to face conspiracy charges.

Key Appointments Set Tone

Biden set the tone for his first year through some of his major appointments. As Secretary of Defense, he selected Lloyd Austin III, a Raytheon Board member who awarded more than $10 billion in contracts to Raytheon in the first seven months of his tenure.

From 2013 to 2018, Austin served as commander of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for all military operations in the Middle East. His appointment breached the tradition of a civilian leading the Defense Department, which was enshrined in the 1947 National Security Act creating the Defense Department.

As Secretary of State, Biden selected Antony Blinken, Deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017 whose support for America’s “forever wars” dated back to his advocacy for the 2003 invasion of Iraq as the Democratic staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—which Biden chaired at the time.

In the Obama years, Blinken was a key architect of Obama’s disastrous surge policy in Afghanistan and Syria policy.

Blinken also helped then Vice President Biden coordinate the provision of key military aid to Israel during its infamous 2014 assault on Gaza, and to formulate U.S. policy toward Ukraine, which resulted in the escalation of a dirty war that left over 14,000 people dead.

In addition, Blinken supported the disastrous U.S.-NATO war in Libya, and the Saudi war on Yemen, which has provoked the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Other notable appointments by Biden………………

Ukraine—Reigniting a Dirty War

AS CAM previously detailed, Vice President Biden was a major backer of the 2014 Maidan coup and hawk within the Obama administration on Ukraine, calling for the provision of Javelin anti-tank missiles at an early stage of the war.

Biden blackmailed the Ukrainian government and involved his son in an apparent CIA covert scheme to arm right-wing paramilitary groups who fought as auxiliaries to the Ukrainian Army in Eastern Ukraine.

Not skipping a beat, President Biden has provided $275 million in military aid to the Ukrainian government under Volodymyr Zelensky whom Biden met with in the White House, and more than $400 million in security assistance.[1]

The latest aid package included radar communication and electronic warfare equipment for the Ukrainian Air Force, and deployment of U.S. training personnel to Ukrainian air bases along with cyber-security experts.

In October, Biden dispatched CIA Director William F. Burns to Moscow to warn the Kremlin about its troop buildup on the Ukraine border and to try to force it to back off. Russia though had not sent a single soldier outside its country, while Ukraine had unlawfully amassed 125,000 troops within the deconfliction zone established by the Minsk agreements and carried out over 200 unprovoked attacks, according to former Virginia State Senator and Pentagon official Richard H. Black.[2]

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu accused the Biden administration of deploying more than 120 mercenaries closely linked to the CIA in Avdeevka and Priazovskoe settlements in the Donetsk region.[3] The Biden administration appears intent on reigniting the war in Eastern Ukraine as part of a plan to strike a blow at the Russians. The Ukrainian regime was friendly to U.S. investors and supported membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—whose expansion Biden has championed since the 1990s.

China—Playing with Fire

The Biden administration has doubled down on the Trump administration’s bellicose policy toward China, labeling China as “the key threat guiding U.S. defense spending priorities,” as Lloyd Austin put it. This “threat” was not based on any military provocations, but rather the fact that China had pursued an independent policy and was coming to supersede the U.S. economically.

Sanctioning over $7 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative, a military buildup targeting China,[4] the Biden administration has kept pace with the Trump administration in the number of warships that the U.S. has sent to the South China Sea, initiating 31 incidents with Chinese vessels through November. It has also threatened military action in support of the Philippines in their territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.

In July, the Biden administration restored a visiting forces agreement with Filipino leader Rodrigo Duterte making it easier for U.S. forces and ships to operate in the Philippines, including conducting large combat exercises there, and approved the sale of $2.5 billion worth of weaponry to the Philippines, including F-16 fighter jets and missiles, despite Duterte’s abhorrent human rights record.

The Biden administration antagonized the Chinese further by ramping up sanctions and export controls over China’s human rights abuses toward the Uighur population in Xinjiang.

While constantly condemning China for its treatment of the Uighurs, Biden and his staff were silent about Duterte and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s growing authoritarian practices and incitement of violence against India’s Muslims, including in occupied Kashmir, where thousands had been placed in preventive detention.

India was a key part of the “quad” (U.S., India, Australia, Japan) which the U.S. has brought together as part of its anti-China policy. In early September, Biden angered the French by signing a pact to provide Australia with nuclear submarine technology (France previously supplied it with diesel submarines) so that it could better stand up to China.

Biden has also sanctioned the building up of U.S. military bases in Guam—which locals liken to colonization.

The Biden administration set the tone for a strong U.S.-Taiwan partnership by inviting Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the U.S. to the presidential inauguration—the first time a Taiwanese envoy had been invited since Washington switched diplomatic recognition away from Taiwan (Republic of China) to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1979.

In early August, the Biden administration approved a $750 million arms sale to Taiwan that included 40 new self-propelled howitzers made by BAE Systems—a company that provided $364,000 to Democratic Party candidates in the 2020 election cycle—and 1,700 kits to convert projectiles into more precise GPS-guided munitions………..

Saudi Arabia/Yemen—Business As Usual

In early November, Biden’s Pentagon inked a $650 million sale of air-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia, which a Pentagon spokesman said would “improve the security of a friendly country for political and economic progress.”

The Pentagon reported that Austin’s old company Raytheon would be the “principal contractor” for the sale, which followed a $500 million helicopter maintenance deal for the kingdom in September.[5]   

     ………………………..

Biden’s continued fealty to Saudi Arabia was evident in his welcoming, Khalid bin Salman, Prince Salman’s brother and a key player in the Jamal Khashoggi assassination, to Washington for a high-profile visit.

Arming Trump’s Favorite Dictator

Saudi Arabia was not the only Middle-Eastern despotism supported by the U.S. Biden’s Pentagon proposed selling $500 million worth of armed drones to the Qatari regime, a headquarter for Al-Qaeda led by the absolute monarch Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Biden further approved more than $1 billion in assistance—including $170 million in military aid—to Egypt, which is ruled by Fatah al-Sisi, a man Donald Trump lovingly referred to as his “favorite dictator.”…………………..

South America—A Sleeper Monroe Doctrine

According to historian Greg Grandin, the Biden administration is pursuing “something like a sleeper Monroe Doctrine in Latin America, carrying forward many of Trump’s worst policies.”………………………………….

Biden was the first Democratic Party candidate to recognize right-wing imposter Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s leader over socialist Nicolás Maduro, who legitimately won the 2018 election. Guaidó was invited as a Venezuelan delegate to Biden’s “Democracy Summit” in December even though he had not stood for elections in six years and was involved in numerous coup attempts.[8]

Syria—Staying for the Oil

In October 2019 in a speech in Iowa, Biden referred to President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria as “erratic” and “impulsive” which will “endanger our troops.” 

Once elected, Biden followed up by maintaining a force of 900 U.S. troops backed by an unknown number of contractors, whose official mandate was to help Washington’s local counterterrorism partner, the Kurdish YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), ensure the enduring defeat of the armed group, ISIL (ISIS)………..

Donald Trump stated in October and November 2019 that U.S. forces were in northeast Syria “only for the oil” and that they may “have to fight for the oil”—though Biden administration officials less honestly claimed they were there “for the people” and “not for the oil.”

In late February and June, the Biden administration—illegally and without congressional authorization—bombed targets in Syria near the Iraqi border allegedly targeting pro-Iranian militias. Syria’s Foreign Ministry told the official Sana news agency that the air raids—which killed a child on the Iraqi side of the border—demonstrated “the recklessness of U.S. policies and the need for Washington to withdraw its aggressor forces” from the region……………………

Afghanistan—Leaving a Bloody Trail………

Africa—Neocolonial Status Quo………….in some ways, Biden has been more hawkish than Trump as Africa has evolved into a key battleground in the “great power competition” between the U.S. and China.

In oil-rich Somalia, for example, where air-strikes were continued, the Biden administration redeployed Special Forces troops that Trump had withdrawn and expanded U.S. assistance to Kenyan security forces who partook in the fight against the Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabab.

The Biden administration also sent Special Forces to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to further exploitation of the country’s mineral wealth, and to Mozambique alongside Portuguese and Rwandan soldiers and South African mercenaries to help the corrupt government quell a Muslim insurgency that threatened a $30 billion liquified natural gas project by Exxon-Mobil.

Security forces trained by the U.S. in all of the above countries were implicated in serious human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests, abductions, torture, blackmail, sexual assault and extrajudicial executions……………….

Israel—An Old Friend Delivers

As CAM has previously documented, Biden has been a staunch supporter of Israel during his long political career and even went further than Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister Menachem Begin during the 1982 Lebanon War in supporting the killing of women and children.

During the 2020 election, pro-Israel political action committees (PACs) provided Biden with $3,830,209. So far, they have seen a return on their money………………………….

In August, Biden committed to an “unshakable partnership” with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, head of a right-wing pro-settlement party (Yamina) who insists that there must never be a full-fledged Palestinian state and that Israel should annex much of the occupied West Bank.

Sustaining the Nuclear Arms Race

According to the Arms Control Association, Biden’s first budget request “continued every part of the unnecessary and unsustainable nuclear weapons spending plans it inherited from the Trump administration”—including the development of lower-yield nuclear weapons that gave the illusion of being less dangerous.

During the campaign, President Biden rightly said the United States “does not need new nuclear weapons” and that his “administration will work to maintain a strong, credible deterrent while reducing our reliance and excessive expenditure on nuclear weapons.”

However, the Biden administration requested a substantial $43.2 billion in fiscal year 2022 for the Defense and Energy Departments to sustain and modernize U.S. nuclear delivery systems and warheads and their supporting infrastructure.

Under the new budget, the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent, or GBSD, is to receive $2.6 billion, up 56% from the 2021 amount of $1.45 billion.

Elizabeth Eaves characterized the GBSD in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists as a “new weapon of mass destruction the length of a bowling lane, which will be able to travel some 6,000 miles, carrying a warhead more than 20 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.”

For all its firepower, the GBSD will not actually enhance U.S. national security as it is designed to be activated in the face of a Russian nuclear attack, and the computer systems that warn of such an attack are vulnerable to hacking and false alarms.

Provoking Russia

The expanded budget for nuclear weapons is in large part a consequence of deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russia which have embarked on a dangerous new arms race that could end in Armageddon.

While renewing the new START treaty with Russia regulating intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with nuclear warheads through 2026, the Biden administration has antagonized and provoked Russia by a) escalating military exercises and flights of nuclear-capable bombers near Russia’s border; b) expanding draconian sanctions under continued fraudulent pretexts; c) sending warships on provocative maneuvers in the Black Sea; and d) promoting NATO expansion in Georgia and Ukraine.[10]……………………………

Trump Redux—or Worse?

Biden’s support for an imperialistic foreign policy is unsurprising given his record over the previous half-century and the huge amounts of money his campaign took in from military industries.

Biden brought the U.S. back into the World Health Organization (WHO) and Paris climate agreement, has cut back drone strikes significantlyrestored funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and worked to restore frayed U.S. alliances in Western Europe.

However, as Richard Haass, head of the Council on Foreign Relations pointed out in an evaluation of Biden’s first 100 days, there was generally “more continuity between Biden and Trump than first meets the eye.”

This is apparent in Biden’s continued support for regime-change efforts directed against left-wing governments in Latin America, his expansion of the military budget, his sanctioning of major arms sales to Saudi Arabia, his fealty to Israel and his bombing of various Muslim countries.

In many ways, Biden has actually been worse than Trump, for example, in his expansion of Special Forces operations in Africa, his aggressive stance on war in Ukraine, and in his use of human rights as a weapon to try to rally public opinion against China and Russia.

Biden has also been more dishonest—as in Syria, for example, where Trump admitted that the U.S. military was there to control the oil, while Biden deceptively claimed they were there to help the Syrian people.

The next three years could be very dangerous if tensions between the U.S., Russia and China continue to escalate. Deteriorating domestic conditions—evident in skyrocketing inflation and a rising cost of living—may also lead to greater domestic unrest, which the Biden administration could try to circumvent by trying to mobilize people against a foreign enemy. https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/12/31/bidens-first-year-foreign-policy-record-may-be-worse-than-trumps/

January 3, 2022 - Posted by | politics international, USA

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