“We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again,” President Joe Biden pledged in his Jan. 20 inaugural address. He announced on Feb. 4: “America is back. Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy.”
Despite such loud promises that he would make America’s alliances great again, Biden’s initially foolish, now fatal, Afghan catastrophe has atomized U.S. international ties as if with a MOAB (“mother of all bombs”), not least with America’s best friends abroad.
Biden has blitzed the United States’ “special relationship” with the United Kingdom. The U.S. and U.K. have been BFFs since soon after memories of the War of 1812 faded. America and Britain jointly defeated Kaiser Wilhelm II, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin’s heirs, and al-Qaeda & Co. Uncle Sam has stood shoulder to shoulder with John Bull overseas and proudly advanced common ideals, with Anglophone good cheer.
Biden also inherited the cordiality that President Donald Trump enjoyed with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This pair of husky, swaggering conservatives with dramatic blond hair shared an endearing older brother/younger brother vibe and an upbeat, productive rapport. Trump had a highly successful visit to the U.K. just before D-Day’s 75th anniversary. Queen Elizabeth II welcomed him warmly.
Biden cracked all of this over his wobbly knee.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan revealed this about Biden on Aug. 17, three days after Kabul imploded: “He has not yet spoken with any other world leaders.” Biden’s blackout included Johnson, who repeatedly rang Biden and neither was called back, nor patched through for a mind-blowing 36 hours. In fact, Biden took Johnson’s call about three hours after Sullivan’s embarrassing admission.
Biden’s failure to communicate with the U.K. trickled down to the U.S. military. As Steve Swinford reported in London’s The Times newspaper, “Senior [British] military commanders have also not been party to key discussions between the U.S. and the Taliban, so were left in the dark about when they could be forced to pull out.”
The bipartisan rage from across the waves aches the ears of Americans who love Great Britain as much as it must pain the mouths of Britons who love America.
“The abandonment of Afghanistan and its people is tragic, dangerous, unnecessary, not in their interests and not in ours,” former British Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote on Aug. 21. Biden’s calamitous mission “seems almost designed to parade our humiliation,” Blair added.
He observed that Biden retreated “in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars’ … . We did it with every jihadist group around the world cheering.”
One British Cabinet minister anonymously told The Times, “The U.S. remains by far and away our most important ally, but we are not the U.S.’ most important ally by some stretch.”
Another minister said: “The U.S. had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the First World War. They turned up late for the Second World War, and now they are cutting and running in Afghanistan.”
This rare, Biden-fueled Anglo-American tension even has infected U.S. and U.K. ground forces in Afghanistan.
“Allies were not told in advance of the accelerated pullout and were blindsided when the Americans snuck out of Bagram air base under cover of darkness,” British journalist Tim Marshall of Reaction reported Sunday.
Later, according to Marshall, “a blazing row” erupted between a senior officer with the U.K.’s 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment and a top commander with the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division.
“Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue from the 82nd Airborne ordered the British officer to cease operations outside of the airport perimeter fence because it was embarrassing the American military and angering the Taliban,” Marshall reported. “The conversation allegedly ended when the major general was called a ‘bastard’ by a British major, and the senior British officer told the American to ‘f— off!’”
Biden ruined America’s best friendship in record time.
Seven months down, 41 months to go.
Michael Malarkey of Bucknell University contributed research to this opinion piece.
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