On Saturday, writing for The Washington Post, conservative columnist George Will argued that if Joe Biden wins the presidency, then in order to restore the United States post-Trump, the first order of business should be fixing America's foreign policy.
"Russia is ramshackle and declining: In a 2019 survey, 53 percent of Russians ages 18 to 24 said they wanted to emigrate. Nevertheless, Russia is revising the map of Europe by dismembering its geographically largest nation, Ukraine," wrote Will. "Chinese President Xi Jinping, convinced that the United States is much diminished, seems impatient not merely to 'Finlandize' Taiwan — to make it compliant, as the Soviet Union attempted to make Finland — but to subject the 'renegade province' to Beijing’s intensifying totalitarianism."
Meanwhile, Will noted, polls show increasing numbers of Germans and Italians are seeing China as a more important trade partner than the U.S. — a trend that tacks with other surveys showing waning confidence in U.S. leadership.
"Retired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who for 13 months was Trump’s national security adviser, worries that 'the overoptimism that animated U.S. foreign policy in the 1990s' produced disappointment that has become a 'retrenchment syndrome' and recapitulates the 'come home, America' impulse during the nation’s Vietnam agony," wrote Will. "He recalls historian C. Vann Woodward’s 1960 observation that then-new technologies — e.g., jet aircraft, and ballistic missiles, including those carried by nuclear submarines — ended the country’s 'era of free security.' Six decades on, with U.S. prestige and influence at its post-1945 nadir, security is neither free nor secure."
"Victoria Nuland, former assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, recalls George Kennan’s 1946 'Long Telegram,' in which he said that in opposing the then-emerging Soviet threat 'much depends on [the] health and vigor of our own society.' Nuland adds, 'The first order of business is to restore the unity and confidence of U.S. alliances in Europe and Asia,'" concluded Will. "Voters’ principal consideration this year should be which presidential candidate is most apt to accomplish Nuland’s recommendations. Although life is full of close calls, this is not one."
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