As President John Kennedy said, whereas "domestic policy can defeat us; foreign policy can kill us."
Never has that wisdom been more true or tested, as China becomes economically more powerful and militarily aggressive, Iran has progressed to near weapons-grade nuclear capability, cyber warfare hackers threaten national energy grids and global banking systems, and the COVID-19 pandemic reveals realities and horrors of biological warfare vulnerability.
President Trump’s policies accomplished remarkable achievements regarding these dangers on many fronts, starting with strength and charity on the home front.
Thomas Jefferson recognized the importance of this when he observed that "weakness provokes insult and injury, while a condition to punish it often prevents it."
Or as Ronald Reagan summed this up very succinctly; "peace through strength."
President Biden has made it clear that his administration is hell-bent upon nullifying and reversing a great many of the former Trump administration’s America First policies and actions through America Last priorities.
Beginning with his very first days in the Oval Office, major Trump domestic and international gains were already being undone.
Exercising Strength Through Energy Independence:
Trump wisely disengaged from the Potemkin Paris Climate Accord, unleashed industry production, created tens of thousands of jobs, and made the U.S.. less dependent on foreign oil. This, in turn, makes America far less vulnerable to price and supply intimidation by economic and military adversaries.
Biden is rejoining the Paris Climate Accord.
Fracking and other advanced drilling technologies have opened vast expanses of domestic oil and natural gas. And as domestic production skyrocketed, imports have been steadily dropping. Meanwhile, the U.S.. has become the world's largest crude oil producer, and one of the largest global exporters.
Those Trump pro-U.S. energy development policies defunded Russia and Iran, including by taking international energy customers away which reduced the amount of money those nations made on oil through lower energy prices.
The first day in office, President Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline along with many thousands of good paying jobs, and he has banned new drilling permits on federal land and waters that will terminate many more.
Biden will clearly emphasize reestablishment of conciliatory relations with Beijing, including support for his administration’s climate change priorities and green energy initiatives. This plan will trade American energy independence for an enormously dangerous dependence on China which controls 80% of the rare earth materials such as lithium that goes into batteries.
Confronting China, America’s Top Security Threat:
Donald Trump has stood strong against China’s acts of global and U.S. tyranny.
His administration greatly intensified America’s pushback against China’s expansionism in the South China Sea, discarding the impotent Obama-Biden approach of limiting transits to "innocent passage" which implicitly conceded Beijing’s territorial claims. Trump’s maritime leadership has strengthened the resolve of America’s allies – the United Kingdom, France and Australia – to undertake their own Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) South China Sea efforts.
Trump ended Hong Kong’s U.S. special legal status following Beijing’s crackdown on democratic protests, announced a $1.8 billion arms sale to Taiwan, and imposed sanctions on officials and firms supporting oppression of Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang province.
President Trump has imposed substantial fair-trade tariffs, cracked down on technology theft, and clamped national security restrictions on sales of U.S. software chips or technology to Chinese telecom giant Huawei, and has pushed other countries to ban it from their 5G networks.
Biden family business ties with companies tied to the Chinese Communist Party and state officials can compromise his China leverage.
He may rescind Trump’s ban on China’s involvement in the U.S. power grid technology.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, Biden’s nominee to be Department of Commerce secretary, has refused to commit to keeping Huawei Technologies on the agency’s Entity List which would prevent it from acquiring American technologies.
Remarkable Middle East Peace Achievements:
Trump who campaigned against "endless wars" began withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, he also restored military strength that had become depleted under the Obama-Biden administration and rapidly defeated ISIS.
The Trump administration placed tough oil export sanctions on Iran for fomenting Middle East proxy terrorism and retaliated to Tehran military attacks against U.S. forces and facilities, including a strike that killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani.
President Trump walked away from the fiasco of a nuclear deal that has allowed Iran to stockpile high near-weapons-grade uranium while also providing no restrictions on ballistic missile development and testing. Iran has responded by resuming uranium enrichment on a large scale.
Reversal of the Iran Nuclear Deal by Trump further isolated and defunded the Ayatollah regime…reduced Iran’s ability to conduct warfare in the Middle East and led to unprecedented peace deals between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan.
Donald Trump also moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Joe Biden’s Israel policy, while offering military support, will likely pivot to favoring Palestine under strong pressure in the Democratic Party’s left flank.
Biden has vocally defended the Iran Deal, and has installed its feckless negotiator John Kerry as a member of his administration’s inner circle.
The 2015 Iran deal pays Iran billions to hold off on building a nuke for a few years while ignoring Iran’s regional imperialism and its ballistic missile delivery program.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has vowed that the U.S. would "hold accountable those responsible" for a February rocket attack on a U.S. base in Iraq that killed a coalition contractor and wounded nine others including an American service member. An Iran-backed Shiite militia group Awliya Al Dam, or "Guardians of Blood," claimed responsibility.
Meanwhile, the acting U.S. ambassador to the United Nations has said that the U.S. will rescind Trump’s claim that U.N. sanctions – including an arms embargo on Iran – which had been restored on Iran through a "snap-back" mechanism. This amounts to an official acknowledgement that Tehran now has the right to purchase advanced weapons…a strange way to "hold accountable" people trying to kill Americans.
After Iran also recently threatened to drastically limit International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring of its nuclear facilities, Secretary Blinken along with European allies warned Tehran "to consider the consequences of such grave action."
We can bet that Russia and China are watching closely the seriousness of those "consequences."
Practicing Tough Love with NATO and Asia Allies:
Trump has taken a hard line with NATO members to spend more to boost their defense spending in common support against a Russian threat and to encourage allies like South Korea and Japan to pay more for hosting U.S. troops.
The president also has opposed member policies that strengthen Russia, including Germany’s support for Russia’s undersea gas pipeline that Chancellor Angela Merkel has been considering.
President Trump’s leadership by strength and example has laid the groundwork for a multi-regional, even global, coalition of like-minded nations to oppose exploitive behaviors by powerful common adversaries that has made both America and the world safer.
Biden, who has argued against Trump’s "bullying" of other countries, will predictably increase U.S. NATO diplomatic corps, and "reset" military defense priorities to fighting climate change.
In short, Joe Biden’s priorities and policies will weaken America at home and embolden our enemies abroad.
This, my friends, will promulgate an unacceptable America Last future.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 10 books, "What Makes Humans Truly Exceptional," (2021) is available on Amazon along with all others. Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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