Foreign policy today

I have never agreed with any United States President one hundred percent of the time, and I have never disagreed with any United States President one hundred percent of the time. Although President Biden represents some ideas and policies with which I strongly disagree, I also believe that responsible citizenship includes support in the areas where President Biden is doing the right thing.

I am glad that the Biden administration is taking a firm position regarding Russia and China. Those two nations and the United States are the three most powerful countries in the world. A balance of power based on mutual respect is needed among these countries. Russia and China are both essentially dictatorships; neither has the checks and balances of a true democracy. Moreover, both countries are historically led by small centers of power. Neither has a history of government that is of the people, for the people, and by the people. As a result, their foreign policies must be shaped by pressure from outside their borders. The United States must be ready to protect and defend its friends. Our government must work with friendly governments in other parts of the world, showing a united front against Russian and Chinese aggression. At the same time, the United States and its friends must continue to speak openly about human rights around the world, including human rights in Russia and in China. We cannot meddle directly in the internal affairs of either country. We can, however, remind those governments and the rest of the world that human rights are important. We can also use economic agreements and negotiations to support policies in Russia and in China that recognize human rights and to punish actions that work against human rights in those places. President Biden and his administration have made commendable first steps in these areas, and we can hope that the course continues to be followed.

Working with people of west Asia and north Africa, the United States must continue to oppose terrorist organizations and rogue governments that threaten peace and security and that would deny human rights wherever they seize power. President Biden passed an early test of his determination to stand by American principles last month when he ordered air strikes against militias in Syria that receive support from Iran. President Obama was unable to end American military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, and President Biden should not make the mistake of promising to withdraw all American troops from those countries. (After all, the United States still has military bases in Germany and Japan.) A reduced American presence in those places is not necessarily a problem. But we do not want to appear to be abandoning our friends or to be leaving that part of the world in the hands of determined enemies to our core values of democracy, freedom, and human rights. These values are not opposed to Islam; we should never be seen as fighting against an entire religion, but we should also not surrender the battlefield to religious extremists who seek power and control at the expense of freedom and human rights.

The Biden administration has already learned that it cannot hold to the illusion of an open border with Mexico. We need (as we have always needed) control over immigration to embrace incoming people who agree with American values and will support and benefit our country while barring the entrance of criminals and others who would undermine the American way of life. Efforts to elicit the cooperation of the governments of Mexico and of Central American countries to control migration into the United States are a good step and should continue to be pursued. At the same time, the United States must continue to have border security while dealing with would-be immigrants in a way that is both just and compassionate.

A joke during the eight years that President Obama was in the White House claimed that Obama’s solution to the immigration crisis was to change the United States so it became a less desirable place to live. Some of President Biden’s policies threaten to follow the same path. As he said during the campaign last year, though, Biden’s policies are not as extreme as many of those suggested by his opponents for the Democratic nomination in 2020. Evidence shows that President Biden will have to negotiate with Republicans in Congress to achieve any of his goals. The American system of checks and balances is working and will continue to work. We should continue to pray for all our elected leaders, and we should be prepared to support the best candidates for Congress in 2022. Meanwhile, the presidency of President Biden is not, thus far, the unmitigated disaster that some Trump supporters predicted. J.

10 thoughts on “Foreign policy today

  1. I don’t agree that Biden has a strong position against China. He just imposed sanctions against Russia, but we will see how that all plays out. I am disgusted with the way that he is determined to change the whole foundation of America in order to appease the progressive left. I’m not really sure who is pulling the strings, but he appears to be a weaker President than Obama, a President who did all he could to take away American’s strength and power. I will pray for Biden, but I do not like his plan to pack the court, his giving away money to his cronies and supporters and his general lack of respect for the Americans who did not vote for him. He is not at all bi-partisan, regardless of what he says. The border crisis is the worst that I can remember and Kamala Harris, whom he appointed to handle it, basically told him she wasn’t doing that job. His weakness is evident in that even his VP won’t do as he asks.

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    • I’m remembering some of the firm statements made by Biden’s representatives at a meeting in Anchorage, Alaska, last month. Even the Chinese representatives noticed that the American government was critical of things being done by the Chinese government. Actions, of course, speak louder than words, but I hope that the concerns expressed at that meeting will continue to receive attention–in talks between the two governments, and in decisions made about our relations with China. I agree with you about the concerns you express in your comment. I am sorry that he seems to be backing down already while dealing with the immigration problem. But every elected official will be a mixed package, and part of citizenship is looking for good and encouraging it whenever we can find it. J.

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  2. I guess I don’t know if I agree with every president too with FP; and maybe with others too! I think Biden unncessarily demonize Russia that then end up allying with China. This doesn’t seem to me a good strategy for balance of power.

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    • The balance of world powers is always tricky. After Napoleon, European powers maintained a balance that held, with some exceptions, for about a century until it crashed and created a World War. President Nixon’s “triangulation” with the Soviet Union and the Peoples’ Republic of China was very successful, prompting agreements with both governments that might not have happened if they hadn’t each feared the other (and if we hadn’t been communicating with both). J.

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      • The Nixon-Kissinger team did some great things. Nixon deserves the greater credit, though–as President, he selected Kissinger, and he called all the shots. J.

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  3. So after having read I am more tolerate with Biden’s sanctions on Russia, although I was okay with that. I just didn’t know how much Russia would recognize that as strength. I’m unaware of what Pres. Biden is doing to hold China in at all. On the home front, I see nothing to be optimistic about. Keep me informed. We have similar values. I respect your opinion. Two and Three Trillion dollar bills with nine or ten percent going to the stated need is a disaster in my opinion. Not sanctioning schools to open is highly questionable when you compare “non-open” states with “open” states. Ignoring rioters under the name of peaceful protests is not my cuppa. Nothing positive regarding the border. Stopping P. Trumps agreements with other countries, then trying to re-negotiate leaves me with just the opinion that he should have checked on the deals P Trump did and use better judgement than to cancel everything Trumpish. As of now I am interested to know how long it will take Putin to thumb his nose and our President. And how long before Iran decides to interfere. Well, keep me informed.

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    • I share all of your concerns; in fact, I was working hard to find good things I could say about President Biden’s work so far. That approach, I hope, is better than demonizing the man and his administration as so many liberals did with President Trump. We shall see what happens next inside our country and in our foreign relations. J.

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      • Well, yesterday he admitted to a crisis at the border, but said they could not do two things at once! What?!! So it seems his solution was to raise the number – number of what? I don’t know. Maybe the number of border crossers acceptable to him? Also Putin thumbed his nose. You are setting out on a formidable challenge to find the good. 😀

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      • Trust me to keep at it (trying to find the good)–and then, when I criticize, my objections will have more weight than a reflexive attitude that claims that whatever Biden does is bad. J.

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