President Biden has assembled the weakest foreign policy team in modern American history. And stubborn as he is, we are appalled that he, as a former Chair of Senate Intelligence, does not recognize his team's failures and refuses to act.
Lloyd Austen, Antony Blinken, Jake Sullivan, Janet Yellen, and Victoria Nuland would have been fired for lack of performance in any other corporate position. We add Janet Yellen to the list because of the Treasury's sanctions regime, which has caused misery to millions while not denting Russia much. A year's penalties against Russia have not yet brought down the Rouble, which is slightly stronger against the dollar from before the invasion.
America spends over $920 billion annually on Defense and State Department budgets and maintains a comprehensive presence worldwide. It runs 750 military bases abroad in 80 foreign countries and colonies (territories). The U.S. has embassies in 166 countries it recognizes, second only in number to China. For being the world's policeman, the Biden administration has presided over the most violent world since Presidents Roosevelt and Truman during World War II.
Everywhere one looks, there is war and strife, and the cost to life, limb, and treasure has been extraordinary.
Nearly 13 months into the Ukraine war, Forbes reported that the Ukrainians have "lost approximately 13,440 soldiers while the Russians have lost 45,170 soldiers." The humanitarian crisis has never been this acute since 1945. The United Nations High Commission on Refugees has reported grave numbers: More than 8 million refugees from Ukraine across Europe (as of February 2023), 17.6 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance inside Ukraine, and more than 5 million people estimated to be displaced inside Ukraine.
Estimates are that it will take $1 trillion to rebuild Ukraine, about five times Ukraine's pre-war GDP. The war cost the global economy "well over $1.6 trillion" last year alone, according to a German Institute of Economics study.
We disapprove of Putin's barbaric invasion of Ukraine, which has no place in the 21st Century. For over 12 months, we have insisted that America, as the leading Superpower, should do all it takes to end this atrocity. Instead, the American national security team is digging in for more.
Under the principle of protecting Ukraine's sovereignty and the liberal international order, the Pentagon has been deeply involved in every aspect of war planning, confirming President Putin's allegations that his war is truly against the West. America has committed over $115 billion in weapons to Ukraine, not including NATO donations. Recent Pentagon documents leaked on social media show that contrary to traditional White House statements that America is just sending weapons to Ukraine, the CIA is actively spying on traditional allies - a charge that was first embarrassingly revealed during the Wikileaks dump, courtesy of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.
Meanwhile, the Middle East is becoming violent again. The Palestinian terrorist organization, Hamas, is at its usual tricks, launching rockets into Israel, this time from Lebanon, where it has a history going back to the days of Yasser Arafat. Israel returned fire, destroying Hamas rockets using its advanced weapons systems. The exchange followed a dangerous gambit when Israel fired missiles to kill Iranian members of its feared Revolutionary Guard in Syria. According to Western intelligence, an ever-assertive Iran, emboldened by arms deliveries to Russia, is now planning to attack Israeli merchant vessels in retaliation. The United States Navy responded by sending a guided missile submarine, with 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles in its belly, to patrol commercial shipping lanes.
Even more severe are events in the Taiwan Strait. We warned Speaker Kevin McCarthy not to meet the Taiwanese leader at the Ronald Reagan Library last week. As we expected, China has reacted furiously. AFP reported that nine Chinese warships and 58 aircraft were detected around the island, including a mix of fighter jets and bombers, as China stages war exercises for a second day. This extraordinary escalation places an entire region at risk - all for a photo opportunity.
We will not discuss North Korea here, assuming that that isolated country is no more than a nuisance. But with its advanced missile launching capability, the crazy leader could be compelled to act to gain attention after having cried wolf scores of times. With Russia declaring that it will no longer participate in the New Start treaty and moving nuclear weapons to Belarus, the world is closer now than ever to nuclear war.
It is astonishing that all the developments we list above have happened under President Biden's watch. He must immediately help lower global tension by taking all means necessary. That is what Americans expect of their president.
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