On Tuesday September 21, Joe Biden will address the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for the first time as president. Given his longtime strong support for the UN, and the contempt UN delegates had for President Donald Trump (which was mutual), Biden no doubt expects a very warm reception and a productive week of meetings with foreign leaders.
However, based on the extreme foreign policy incompetence that Biden has demonstrated over just eight months in office, his UN appearance probably will evoke more mockery of his leadership that will further undermine U.S. national security.
President Trump had little use for the UN and considered it an elitist foreign policy talk shop. He infuriated UN delegates and officials when he threatened in his first speech to the world body in 2017 to "totally destroy" North Korea and mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by calling him "Rocket Man."
UN observers strongly condemned Trump for his bellicose performance and violation of UN etiquette by threatening to attack another UN member from the podium of the General Assembly Hall.
However, this speech played a crucial role in lowering U.S.-North Korea tensions and convening the historic 2018 Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore. The reason was that President Trump knew North Korean leaders respected strength and he used his UN speech to express his strength and resolve.
By contrast, Joe Biden will be seen at the UNGA as one of the weakest U.S. presidents in history and a man not mentally capable of being our Commander in Chief.
America’s friends and enemies have watched months of botched Biden diplomacy, from his top national security advisers being publicly chewed out by their Chinese counterparts at a meeting in Alaska in March; the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last month; and the poor handling of a recent nuclear submarine sale to Australia which deeply insulted the French.
Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt recently said Biden "has undercut his central campaign theme of competence" and called his handling of the submarine sale to Australia "stunningly inept." UN Secretary General António Guterres recently told CNN that "the efforts of [Biden Climate Czar] John Kerry have largely failed because the Chinese have said at the moment, well, we cannot have the cooperation on climate or on anything else."
So, when Biden gives his milquetoast UN speech focusing on climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, human rights, and a “competition” between democracies and autocratic states at the UN session, expect the world to ignore him.
But even worse, many officials have decided not to attend this year’s UNGA because they do not want to waste their time meeting with a U.S. president for whom they have no respect on the margins of the UN session. Chinese President Xi and Russian President Putin will not be there and are sending pre-recorded speeches. French President Macron refuses to attend or participate virtually.
In a way, the cold shoulder UN delegates are likely to give Biden is a good thing since it will interfere with the Biden administration’s plans to surrender U.S. sovereignty to the UN and Europe.
Although UN and European officials are eager to reverse Trump’s unilateral foreign policy, promote the Paris Climate Accord, and control U.S. foreign policy under Biden, their frustration with the Biden administration’s profound national security incompetence may discourage them from working with and trusting Biden officials.
More worrisome is how American national security will be further undermined by Biden’s likely feeble UN appearance. We know from history that weak American presidents embolden our enemies and destabilize global security.
Russia, China, Iran and North Korea all appear to have written off Biden as a serious leader and likely are planning ways to exploit his weakness and incompetence. The same is true for radical Islamist terrorist groups, many of whom will benefit from the $85 billion in arms that Biden left behind in Afghanistan.
An embarrassing performance by Biden at the UN will exacerbate these threats.
Let’s pray that that Biden shows more discipline and common sense at the UNGA than we have seen so far to counter the growing perception of American weakness under his leadership and that Biden is not capable of leading our nation.
Fred Fleitz is President of the Center for Security Policy. He previously served as National Security Council Chief of staff, CIA analyst and as a member of the House Intelligence Committee staff. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz — Click Here Now.
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