Biden puts his reelection before national security

President Joe Biden’s strategy toward Iran, Russia, Hamas, China, and North Korea now has one centering objective: ensuring those adversaries don’t complicate his reelection prospects.

Recognizing this political reality is important for two reasons. First, because Biden’s strategy is undermining American security and that of our allies and interests. Second, because it utterly guts Biden’s tedious claim that he always puts patriotic leadership before his own personal interests. Biden often uses that claim to contrast himself with his 2024 presidential election challenger, former President Donald Trump. But while it’s true that Trump is generally incapable of viewing the national interest and his own personal interests as distinct concerns, Biden now shows the same fallibility.

Indeed, Biden’s hypocrisy here is striking. In his inaugural address, the president pledged to “lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example. We will be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.”

Not so much.

Take Iran. Biden was happy to authorize a statement of sympathy following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi. He’s far less willing to confront Iran’s most significant and growing threat. As the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, the United States is opposing British and French moves to censure Iran at an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting. That censure would reflect Iran’s ever-increasing stockpile of near-weapons-grade-purity nuclear material. Considering that Iran isn’t exactly renowned for its medical research (which enriched nuclear material can support), this stockpile is patently designed to provide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with a means of rapidly breaking out toward a nuclear weapons capability. Some might describe this as problematic.

And regarding the IAEA censure proposition, we’re not talking about going to war. We’re talking about a mild diplomatic step that even the normally highly cautious Europeans now support. It says much that Biden pursues this appeasement track even as Iran continues to plot the assassination of various American officials and dissident journalists. Why such deliberate weakness?

One Biden official told the Wall Street Journal it was “totally false” that this reflects an attempt to avoid new tensions before the November elections. Only a fool would take that claim at face value. The truth is that Biden has decided that his short-term political interest in keeping Iran happy is more important than the long-term U.S. strategic interest of preventing an Iranian nuclear strike capability. The risk is that Biden’s overt weakness will only encourage Iranian escalation. Instead, Biden’s best hope that Iran will avoid creating new headaches before November is more simple — namely that Iran is likely desperate to avoid a second Trump presidency and return to the crippling “maximum pressure” sanctions strategy.

Next up, of course, is Biden’s approach toward the war in Gaza.

Biden won’t secure the U.S.-Mexico border against possibly rampant terrorist infiltration in fear of losing Democratic voters who favor open borders. In a similar fashion, Biden’s Gaza policy is now driven by his fear of losing Michigan voters who are concerned by Palestinian civilian casualties. In turn, Biden has embraced a ludicrous policy toward the Israel-Hamas war. Via Biden’s demands for an unconditional ceasefire, Hamas, utterly predictably, has only demanded ever more in the hostage negotiations. At the same time, Biden’s hairbrained Gaza pier is now quite literally falling apart. The hostages remain hostages, Hamas remains in power, and Palestinian civilians continue to suffer.

Even on Russia, where Biden proclaims himself the anti-Trump in terms of his willingness to resist President Vladimir Putin, the president is flailing.

Responding to Ukrainian battlefield setbacks and Russian intelligence-led sabotage across Europe, America’s closest European allies are taking commensurate action. Britain is allowing Ukraine to use British-provided weapons against military targets inside Russia. France, Poland, and the Baltics are warning that they will not tolerate a Russian breakthrough that threatens Kyiv. And facing Russian nuclear weapons exercises that are designed to divide and intimidate the West, France has responded with its own nuclear weapons exercise.

Biden? Even as Russia shreds NATO deterrence by its sabotage attacks and deliberately slams missiles into Ukrainian malls, Biden refuses to allow Ukraine to use U.S. weapons against Russian military targets. It’s a pathetic submission to Russian gamesmanship that would surely make John F. Kennedy turn over in his grave. Putin must be laughing. And to be clear, nuclear escalation concerns are not a credible cause for this caution. Putin will not use nuclear weapons in Ukraine because his generals might shoot him if he did issue such an order, because he would lose his Chinese economic and political lifeline, and because those weapons would not alter the balance of power in Russia’s favor. Oh, and because he also knows U.S. nuclear forces are manifestly superior to those of Russia.

Still more examples abound of Biden’s “don’t rock the boat even if enemies are trying to capsize your/your allies’ boats” strategy.


Biden is radio silent as North Korea continues to test nuclear weapons-related missile and satellite capabilities. As China dramatically escalates its military confrontations with Taiwan and against the Philippines’s exclusive economic zones, Biden relies upon the Navy’s littoral combat ships for occasional deployments. Biden does so because he knows that Chinese President Xi Jinping knows these ships would be worse than useless for the U.S. in any war with his People’s Liberation Army.

Top line: Biden’s strategy might make sense in terms of narrow and capricious political self-interest. But it constitutes the antithesis of the principled foreign policy leadership Biden promised to deliver. More importantly, it manifestly undermines U.S. security and that of our allies and partners.

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