Joe Biden’s loose lips could sink ships

Is Joe Biden as crazy as a fox or is he crazy?

That is the question being asked around the world after the president said last week that the United States would do it respond militarily If China invades Taiwan.

The shocking remarks in Tokyo came just two months after Biden, while visiting Poland, insisted on Vladimir Putin. ‘Can’t stay in power’ Because of the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Both bombers sent the White House to DEFCON damage control as assistants urgent “clarifications” To insist that there is no change in long-term policies. They said the US was still only committed to selling military equipment to Taiwan to defend itself and claimed that Biden was definitely not talking about “regime change” in Russia.

Either way, their attempts amounted to the president’s denial of what he had so clearly said. This triggered a round of accusations that unelected staff were upending the commander in chief and added new momentum to questions about whether Biden was really running the White House.

Given many lanes, Clean-ups and clarifications During Biden’s brief tenure, these two incidents will be fairly routine — and almost comical — except for serious topics and additional statements by the president.

For example, Tokyo’s remarks were the third time since taking office that Biden had said the same about military defense of Taiwan. Either he meant it, or he lost it.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a video speech at the opening session of the BRICS foreign ministers' meeting.
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a video speech at the opening session of the BRICS foreign ministers meeting on May 19, 2022.
Li Xueren / Xinhua / Sipa USA

Regarding Russia, Biden later insisted that he meant what he said about Putin, with this caveat: “I will not back down from anything…I want to make it clear, that I wasn’t then, nor am I, announcing a change in policy. I was. I express the moral outrage I feel — and I don’t apologize for my personal feelings.”

More than just a feeling

Chiefs are certainly entitled to feel their feelings, but one might assume that they would reverse official policies, not conflict with them, as is the case here.

Unfortunately, our main opponents seem to have personal feelings as well, and Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have expressed their feelings in a powerful way. that they Conducted a joint military exercise Nuclear-capable bombers flew over the Sea of ​​Japan while Biden was in Tokyo to meet the leaders of Australia, India and Japan. Their theme: Confronting China’s aggressive expansion.

Military personnel prepare equipment for a joint military exercise between the Chinese and Russian armies.
Military personnel prepare equipment for a joint military exercise between the Chinese and Russian armies on August 5, 2021.
China Novell / Ciba / Shutterstock

in his book “Author Christopher Clark aptly describes The Sleepwalkers How World War I began despite no European leader’s desire for war or belief in war. As the title suggests, they each subsided in a false sense of security that produced one of history’s greatest misfortunes.

Are we about to enter World War III while we sleep? Nobody claims to want it, but a global conflict between the great powers feels closer than it has been at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962.

Hawkish language and threats are routine, and countries from Japan to Europe are rapidly raising their military spending.

Just thinking about the possibility is sad, especially around the Memorial Day holiday, but there is no escape from worrying now that the idea of ​​nuclear war is a fairly common topic in the media and international organizations. Putin has repeatedly raised his nuclear weapons, including putting his forces on high alert, as the West scrambled to help Ukraine. There is widespread speculation that he would not hesitate to use one if he felt trapped.

New Axis of Evil

Likewise, China is rapidly expanding its nuclear stockpile and has warned that the United States will pay an “unbearable price” if it helps Taiwan militarily. Last summer, a Chinese Communist Party video was even more explicit, warning Japan of “total war” involving nuclear weapons if Japan interfered with China’s takeover of Taiwan.

Russia and China are clearly a new axis of evil, but Biden’s role is surprisingly provocative. While it breaks the habit of new Democratic presidents to present a weak face to the world, there is a difference between securing peace through force and random error in a major struggle with loose rhetoric.

Nuclear-capable ICBMs from China are seen during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 2019.
Nuclear-capable ICBMs from China are seen during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 2019.
Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Some defenders of Biden argue that he is deliberately creating “strategic ambiguity” about his intentions to keep China and Russia guesswork, but that there is at least an equal chance that he has deviated from the text so far as evidence of the mental deterioration we see elsewhere in his behavior.

Still others insist the ambiguity is valuable even if Biden didn’t mean what he said about Putin and Taiwan. This is nonsense because Biden’s hostile words could lead to an accidental Armageddon if Russia and China assume America is preparing for war when it isn’t.

Biden’s recent aggressiveness also contrasts with the positions he has held recently. Although months Russian reinforcement on the Ukrainian borderHe did nothing but talk until the actual invasion in February. Even then, he was content with imposing penalties on a slap in the wrist, openly fearing to provoke Putin.

After European leaders, shamed by the European public, began sending military and humanitarian aid, Biden vetoed a plan to send MiG fighters to Ukraine, saying it would be “escalatory.”

hard turn

Recently, he turned his head around and went all out, sending an endless stream of billions of dollars and high-quality military equipment. And although he promised that there would never be American boots on Earth, there was now talk that he would send special forces to guard The embassy in Kyiv reopened, Duty usually assigned to Marines.

If those forces come under fire, U.S. forces could quickly battle Russian forces — the same situation that Biden said should be avoided for months.

Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates the military, civilians and veterans of the Border Guard on Border Guard Day
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates the military, civilians and veterans of the border guard service on Border Guard Day on May 28.
MIKHAIL METZEL / Sputnik / AFP via Getty Images

The president is following a similarly hawkish development on China. During his 2019 campaign, he mocked Donald Trump’s tough stance, saying, “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man. I mean, you know, they’re not bad people.”

However, it seems that we are now ready to go to war on Taiwan. I say apparently because Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s keynote address on China last Thursday was more rough than muscular.

So maybe our policy toward China is to speak up and carry a small stick.

Growing global tensions and doubts about the president’s ability to manage it are reminiscent of Robert Gates’ infamous assertion that Biden “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

Gates made the scathing comment in his 2014 memoir, and last year cited the failed and chaotic Biden. Withdrawal from Afghanistan as current evidence.

This history, along with the rampant domestic disasters that define Biden’s tenure, means we see him later in his life at a bigger job making bigger and more serious mistakes.

Finally, it is only fair but not very comforting to remember Barack Obama’s warning from his former vice president: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to make things better.”

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