Joe Biden Has to Clean Up His Own Messes in Europe—Not Just Donald Trump’s
Joe Biden met allies along the west coast when they were England, June, he spent time assuring the world that Donald Trump’s impulsive diplomacy He was done with the pattern of insults, discord, and he is gone.
Biden must now repair his damaged car before he departs on the second trip abroad as President.
Allies are rattled by Biden’s chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal His ham-fisted handlingReport on a Decision to snub France and share submarine technology to Australia, and world leaders gathering for a crucial climate change summit in Glasgow are still waiting to see if Biden can close a deal in Congress for massive spending to slash the U.S.’s carbon emissions.
Biden understands the importance of his domestic agenda to global stakeholders. Delivering the trillions of dollars in investments he’s proposed in bridges, roads, broadband access, low-carbon energy technologies, education, health care and childcare assistance is “about leading the world or letting the world pass us by,” Biden said Thursday.
But he wasn’t able to leave the country with a deal secured. He offered to compromise his investment in infrastructure, climate jobs and social programs. Democrats Before departing for Rome, the crowd gathered at the U.S. Capitol Building on Thursday. The framework of his social spending plan was released by him and he also included a speech from the White House on his agenda. But it wasn’t enough. Biden failed to get a strong agreement when Air Force One flew.Progressives needed more details on the social spending bill, as well as reliable assurances that the Senators remained neutral. Joe Manchin from West Virginia, and Kyrsten Sinema in ArizonaIf the progressives were to agree to support this bipartisan infrastructure bill, then he or she would vote it through.
Biden’s own uncertainty showed through as he started speaking from a lectern in the White House East Room and caught himself mid sentence. “After months of tough and thoughtful negotiations I think we have—I know we have—a historic economic framework,” Biden said.
Biden was trying to present a huge breakthrough in negotiations right as he flew for Europe. This highlights the extent to which the President hoped that the agreement would be used to prove to the rest of the world how a democracy such as the U.S. could still make big and transformative changes. Instead, Biden’s time overseas will be marred by political squabbling within his own party, sagging job approval ratings, and his Administration’s struggles to get grips on supply chain problems and a lengthening pandemic. The White House has confirmed that Biden will continue to be involved in phone negotiations between his meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican and attending the G20 Summit. U.N.’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow(.)
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Leaders of allies supporting the previous Afghan government, including U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, were furious at Biden’s decision to precipitously withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan at the end of August, given how much the allied forces and aid projects relied on the U.S. military’s presence in the country. Johnson argued for the U.S. presence to continue longer in Afghanistan, predicting that the lack of air cover would sap the Afghan military’s ability to confidently defend itself and cause Afghan forces to cave to the Taliban advances.
The Biden Administration’s hesitancy to lift COVID-19 travel restrictions on European travelers coming to the U.S. before November has also frustrated allies, even as vaccination rates in Europe have proven better than those in the U.S. in recent months.
One of Biden’s first meetings on Friday in Rome is with French President Emmanuel Macron. There was “shell shock” in Paris, says Benjamin Haddad, senior director of the Europe Center at the Atlantic Council, after the U.S. announced in mid-September that it would be sharing nuclear-powered submarine technology with Australia, rendering obsolete a $90 billion French submarine contract with Canberra. In the 250-year old relationship between France, America and France, the French ambassador was immediately recalled. The decision, and what French officials saw as insufficient consultation, created a “breach of trust,” says Haddad, that Biden needs to repair.
Macron, who is facing an upcoming election in April, has been under political pressure to take a tougher stance with the U.S. Biden and Macron are expected to talk about Macron’s desire to get the U.S. to embrace a more autonomous European defense alongside the North American Treaty Organization (NATO), a move Macron will likely push forward when France holds the rotating European Union presidency in early 2022.
Trump escalated tensions with Europe over four years when he demanded better trade terms and harassed his allies to stop donating more national funding to NATO. However, there have been structural changes in the U.S. approach to Europe that go beyond Trump, says Haddad, including the U.S.’s effort to shift its long term foreign policy focus toward countering the rise of China’s influence and authoritarianism in Asia. “I think there was probably too high an expectation that we could just turn the page over the last four years,” says Haddad.
The White House insists that Biden will try. “The entire trip is a reaffirmation of our commitment to our allies,” says a senior White House official.