Biden’s ‘errors’ getting costly

Within a month, the Biden administration has managed to needlessly anger two of our closest allies, the United Kingdom and France.

To err indeed is human.  We have all long since forgiven Bill Buckner’s error in the sixth game of the 1986 World Series and are well on the way to remembering him as a perennial All Star who we were fortunate to have play for our local team.

To err deliberately is different. And less forgivable. Within a month, the Biden administration has managed to needlessly anger two of our closest allies, the United Kingdom and France. Usually that takes invading Poland, but this administration has done so by means of incompetence that goes far beyond simple ineptness.

The scale of the Afghanistan debacle is stunning.  The epic disaster that has resulted (and we are only at the beginning of the beginning of the catastrophe) was based on a profound misjudgment as to the strength of the institutions we had helped build. 

Those responsible should be held accountable – and certainly would be if the world were a bit more just. 

That misjudgment, however, was not deliberately made. In contrast, the fiasco with France was entirely calculated.

The Biden administration chose to hide from France the plan to undo their many-billion-dollar contract with Australia regarding the construction of submarines.  Evidently, the administration thought it was a good idea to not let France know of that sneaky plan until it was completed. 

The kindest way to describe that idea would be “shortsighted.” France would of course have eventually learned of the scheme and, predictably, would have been most unhappy. In fact, France did not enjoy the surprise and has shown its anger by recalling its ambassador to the US.

Beyond the loss of the contract, the French outrage is compounded by the Biden administration’s concealment of its plan. After all, France is our oldest ally, as you may recall. (If not, Google “Lafayette” for details.)

Sneakiness is not a virtue. Back-stabbing our ancient comrade in arms against King George III (and later the Kaiser, the Nazis and the Soviets) does not benefit our national interest.

There would have been nothing wrong with sitting down with France and Australia and working this through, the way adults do. Sure, there would have inevitably have been some compromises. But in this context, particularly, compromise need not be a four-letter word. Rather, that’s what you do with your friends when you need to resolve a disagreement. If, that is, you are functioning adults.

And that brings us to the obvious conclusion that many throughout the world will draw, if they hadn’t already done so: that the United States has become an unserious nation not run by grownups.

We are failing the free world, not leading it. And that is a terrible mistake that will have dire consequences.

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