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Winning means getting Russia to withdraw from Syria, the Donbas and Crimea. A diplomatic victory is when China agrees to dismantle military bases on artificial islands in the South China Sea. Success involves getting Iran to stop arming and funding armed militias and terrorist groups in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Iraq.
Losing, on the other hand, is something the West has become quite good at. Losing is watching construction continue on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as Russia declares the country’s largest opposition party an illegal conspiracy. Losing is moaning about Chinese behavior in the South China Sea as the military balance tilts toward Beijing. Losing is crafting intricate webs of ineffectual sanctions as Russia’s reach and control inexorably expand. Losing is wringing one’s hands and issuing eloquent critiques as China intensifies its crackdowns in Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
–Walter Russell Mead
Mr. Mead was reflecting on the ineptness of the Biden administration and the President’s empty and meaningless remarks at the G7 summit. Nothing Biden said demonstrated any resolve or strategy to hold our enemies accountable. Everyone seemed to love what Biden had to say, but as usual, his remarks were all words and no substance.
As we look ahead in the Biden Presidency, is there any hope that he will take a strong position on anything? Does he genuinely believe that his words will have any impact, aside from receiving polite applause from the political Left and his partners at the summit? Will people figure out that he only offers meaningless rhetoric?
Just like Obama, he will draw red lines, make threats and use an ominous tone in his criticisms of our enemies.
And no one will take him seriously.Published in