18 March 2021 — Moon of Alabama
The foreign policy of the current U.S. administration is exactly the same as the foreign policy of the previous one. In short: disasterous.
There are dozens of examples: The “maximum pressure’ campaign against Iran continues, the sanctions on Venezuela will be upheld or even strengthened, the bombing of Syria, no change on Yemen and so on.
The problem is that none of these ‘we are tough guys’ policies achieves any purpose.
From the outside world the behavior and tough talk of U.S. officials is seen a juvenile. It demonstrates a lack of knowledge, wisdom and strategy.
Consider these recent headlines about China:
- Blinken Rallies ‘Quad’ Democracies to Counter Assertive China – February 17, Bloomberg
- Blinken warns China against ‘coercion and aggression’ – March 16, Reuters
- Blinken denounces China’s ‘strings attached’ vaccine diplomacy – March 17, Nikkei
- U.S. sanctions 24 Hong Kong and Chinese officials ahead of Blinken’s key meeting – March 17, AP
- Bolstered by allies, Biden officials take blunt message to first China talks – March 17, AP
> The United States will take an uncompromising stance in talks with China on Thursday in Alaska, officials have said, in the first face-to-face meetings between senior officials from the two rivals since U.S. President Joe Biden took office.
Beijing has called for a reset to ties, now at their lowest in decades, but Washington has said the Alaska talks will be a one-off, and any future engagement depends on China improving its behavior. <
Then, after days of badmouthing China, it finally daunted to Blinken that he needs China’s help.
- Blinken urges China to convince North Korea to denuclearize – March 18, AP
- China must persuade North Korea to give up nuclear weapons, says Blinken – March 18, Guardian
Why, after so many bad words towards it, would China help the U.S. with solving the North Korea problem? It has zero incentive to do so.
The same aggressive behavior can be seen with regards to Russia. Baseless accusations of Russian election interferences are followed with more sanctions and threats topped off with Biden calling Russia’s President Putin a ‘killer’. As the Canadian Russia expert Paul Robinson writes:
As for Biden’s comments, well what can one say? Didn’t he just order the bombing of Syria. Doesn’t that make him a ‘killer’ too? Politicians should avoid this sort of language. I suspect, though, that what this and the intelligence report mentioned above indicate is that
, with its allegations of Trump-Putin collusion to undermine American democracy,
has done irreparable damage to US-Russia relations. One gets the impression that there is now a deep, deep hatred of Russia within the US government, a hatred that prevents any sane analysis of Russian intentions and actions, as well as of US national interests.
I fear that this will last for quite a long time.
Andrei Martyanov adds:
[The] degradation of the American political institutions, top-bottom, and its speed are mind-boggling. As for the class and culture–US political elite and US media machine don’t have any. Biden merely confirmed it today.
One Russian saying posits that one can still negotiate with scoundrels, one cannot negotiate with idiots. When the opposite side is both, boy, talk about the United States turning into the third world country.
The hostility the U.S., by its behavior and words, creates against itself is not restricted to Russia and China.
Last week the French “Armed Forces Joint Reflection Circle” CRI, an independent think tank of former generals and high officers of the French forces, issued an open letter to NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg in which it accused him of having acting solely in the interest of the U.S. during the development of his NATO 2030 plan.
The letter details how Stoltenberg, NATO and the U.S. have caused the bad relations with Russia. It says that the U.S. is trying use a fictional ‘Russian threat’ to pressure NATO countries into morphing into a global force, under U.S. command and independent of the United Nations, to then use it against China. This while the real threat to Europe is Islamic terrorism caused by the U.S. interferences in the Middle East and north Africa. The U.S. led NATO is thereby becoming a danger for Europe.
The accusations the French generals are launching against the U.S. go beyond anything one might hear from Moscow or Beijing.
The next ‘allied’ nation that will have sound reason to turn hostile towards the U.S. might well be Germany:
The Biden administration Thursday stepped up its rhetoric against a gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, calling on all those involved in the project to “immediately abandon” their work.
“The Department reiterates its warning that any entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline risks US sanctions and should immediately abandon work on the pipeline,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
Nord Stream 2 is of vital importance to Germany’s energy security. The German public was rather hostile to President Trump and Biden’s victory was seen with relief. But when it sees how Biden pursues the same policies, and with a similar tone, it will turn on him. A more general ‘anti-Americanism’ would then arise.
The uncompromising and ever aggressive behavior the U.S. shows towards competitors as well as friends will not lead to a stronger U.S. position in the world. People and nations will learn to work around it.
These rushed attempts to prevent the ending of its unipolar moment will only accelerate the move towards a new multilateral global system.