Thursday, March 4, 2021

Biden vs Trump On National Security: Here’s The New Administration’s First Month Report Card

On a number of national security issues, the Biden administration is showing troubling signs of a backslide with regard to the historic progress Trump made.
Whatever your views of Donald Trump’s presidency, it is hard to dispute that he produced a stronger record of achievement across the board when it comes to protecting the American people from a range of foreign threats than any other president in at least a generation. His national security accomplishments in four short years included taking on China, forging the historic Abraham Accords in the Middle East, defeating the ISIS caliphate, countering Iran, and standing up the Space Force. So now, one month into his tenure, how is President Joe Biden doing in preserving and building on Trump’s remarkable record?
One month ago, all presidential appointees in the White House wrote standard, end-of-office resignation letters to Trump. In my letter departing as deputy assistant to the president and spokesman for the National Security Council, I singled out 10 key accomplishments he achieved for the American people (most of which were accomplished in the last 18 months of his term, with new NSC leaders Robert O’Brien and Matt Pottinger executing efficiently on his priorities across the government). The 10 accomplishments offer a good framework for scoring President Biden’s effect on our national security in his first 30 days in office.
The bottom line: The jury is still out on where the Biden administration stands on most of these issues so early into the administration, but on a number of the items, there are worrying signs of a backslide on the historic progress Trump made. Following are each of Trump’s key accomplishments and a couple of points from Biden’s initial actions on each of them:
1. Building a new international consensus on China by standing up to its aggression in all its forms:
After Trump pulled the United States from the World Health Organization last year over the body’s working with China to cover up the virus, Biden rejoined the WHO on his first day in office, resuming full U.S. funding, and failed to demand specific reforms including the replacement of the disastrous leadership team headed by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Further, Biden held a two-hour call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Feb. 10, and while he echoed Trump’s priorities on maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific and pressing Xi on Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Uighur human rights, at a CNN town hall he later appeared to excuse the treatment of the Uighurs, saying, “Culturally, there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”
Biden also failed to confront Xi for his party’s unleashing the China virus on the rest of the world and for continuing to cover it up.
2. Strengthening critical partnerships with allies such as India, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Philippines, and Thailand on issues from counterterrorism to maritime security: --->
Read the rest of the report card HERE.

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