President Joe Biden has finished his first year in office with a number of foreign policy tests he has had to confront. The Afghanistan pullout, the situation in Ukraine, and our growing rivalry with China all represent tests the president has had to face. They are tests that Vandenberg Coalition Executive Director Carrie Filipetti and Senior Policy Director Amanda Rothschild say he’s failed.

“You just go around the world in every region: We’re worse off today than we were a year ago,” says Rothschild. “Whether it’s North Korea, Afghanistan, China, Ukraine, it’s worse than we were a year ago, and that’s a result of his policies.”

Filipetti adds, “Our word mattered in the past because it was backed by our power, and we no longer have the power backing our word.”

Filipetti and Rothschild, both of whom served in the Trump administration, join “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss a year of foreign policy events, and how the president has failed America on the world stage.

We also cover these stories:

  • Republican lawmakers accuse the Biden administration of targeting federal employees seeking religious exemptions from its COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
  • Fearing a Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration begins planning sanctions and export controls on the Russian economy, in addition to mitigation procedures if Russia withholds energy supplies in retaliation. 
  • Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announces a tip line for parents to report the teaching of anything that could be considered divisive in the classroom.

Listen to the podcast below:

Douglas Blair: Our guests today are Carrie Filipetti and Amanda Rothschild. Carrie serves as executive director of The Vandenberg Coalition, while Amanda serves as senior policy director at The Vandenberg Coalition. Both are former Trump officials. Ladies, welcome to the show.

Carrie Filipetti: Thank you so much. Great to be here.

Amanda Rothschild: Yeah, great to be here. Thanks.

Blair: Excited to have you on. Let’s talk about the president and foreign policy. [President Joe] Biden has been in office for a little over a year now and has had a number of foreign policy situations, such as Afghanistan and Ukraine, that he’s had to deal with. How would you grade his performance on the foreign affairs front after this first year? Let’s start with Carrie.

Filipetti: Unfortunately, I think I’d have to give him, like the Republican Study Committee did, an F in foreign policy.

I think Biden has really forgotten that the goal of an election is to govern, not to just win, and he’s been very focused on his messaging and not enough on actually accomplishing tasks. You see that with China, Afghanistan, you see that on the border, you see that with the response to COVID-19, you see it, really, across the spectrum, and Ukraine and Russia is a perfect example of that.

Blair: Amanda, would you agree with that?

Rothschild: Yeah, I would say also a failing grade. You just go around the world in every region, we’re worse off today than we were a year ago. Whether it’s North Korea, Afghanistan, China, Ukraine, it’s worse than we were a year ago, and that’s a result of his policies.

Blair: What has been the most egregious example of Biden’s foreign policy so far?

Filipetti: I mean, I’m going with Afghanistan. But I don’t know, Amanda, if you have a different answer.

Again, I think Amanda’s framing is right. Are we safer today than we were a year ago? The answer, because of Afghanistan, is definitively not. We’re now speaking about al-Qaeda being six months away, potentially, now less since that was announced a few months ago, from a terrorist attack on the United States.

You see Biden’s approval ratings had dropped precipitously, literally as we were withdrawing from Afghanistan. So the American people are very aware of how foreign policy matters, how American leadership matters, and I think Afghanistan is just a perfect example of us abandoning our allies.

We had not actually told our allies that we were leaving Afghanistan until we started to actually bring troops out. That is ridiculous for people who had been involved in a 2-decadelong war alongside us, so I think Afghanistan is the most egregious example of many potential examples.

Rothschild: Yeah, and it’s the same problem in Eastern Europe today. The last administration was very strong on supporting our allies on the Eastern flank, as opposed to just Berlin and Brussels, the Western European allies. And today, we’re back to just trying to make nice with Germany, who hasn’t been very cooperative in a number of areas, in order to further certain aims.

But it all comes down to American weakness. I think you see that across the board, whether it’s Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iran, it’s all about American weakness instead of American strength.

Blair: Given that we’ve had these foreign policy blunders like Afghanistan, we’re currently looking at the situation in Ukraine that one might argue is a result of President Biden’s weakness on this front, do we see it improving at all? Is he concerned with making this better?

Filipetti: I don’t see any example of him caring. I mean, just look at his press conference a few days ago where he specifically said that he didn’t overpromise, that he’s “outperformed” what the expectations were. If that’s the case, I’m curious how low his expectations were for his own presidency because he has absolutely underperformed on every possible metric.

On Afghanistan, what we described as the single worst policy failure to date in which the American people seem to agree with based on the polling, he said, “I make no apologies for what I did.” I personally would apologize if my decisions were responsible for the deaths of 13 American service members. I personally would feel responsible and apologize if I left behind hundreds of American citizens and then claimed that it was their own fault. So I don’t think he’s setting a great example of leadership.

Rothschild: Yeah, and he seemed so disconnected even back when the Afghanistan crisis was unfolding in that interview with George Stephanopoulos, where he seemed to sort of brush off these Afghan civilians falling to their deaths from airplanes.

He’s so disconnected from the reality of the situation, and also, his administration has concretely been lobbying on the Hill against things that would make the situation better, like sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline or trying to prevent the United States from getting materials that are made in forced labor camps in Xinjiang. So he’s making things worse, not better, through his actions.

Blair: You both were, as we mentioned at the top, former Trump officials, and quite senior at that. The biggest difference between the Biden administration’s foreign policy and the previous administration’s, where would you say that the biggest differences are?

Filipetti: That is a great question. I think the biggest, well, one, we were achieving things in the Trump administration.

When you look at comparing the Trump administration State of the Union speech in 2018 with what we are kind of anticipating will be said this year, you have the Trump administration having pledged to work stronger with allies and really removing almost 100% of the territory—I think it was 95% of the territory—that ISIS had defeated, had captured.

[Then-President Donald] Trump spoke specifically about no longer undermining our military by artificial timelines, which, of course, we’ve seen done by the Biden administration.

I think, actually, a great example is when it comes to [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea]. The Trump administration implemented the largest multilateral sanctions on the DPRK of anybody in history. And again, that’s multilateral. That was not just the United States. That was passed at the United Nations. Now, we’re seeing an administration that is allowing the North Koreans to test hypersonic missiles with impunity.

So even in that one case, you can see the difference between the two, and I think it goes, really, across the board when it comes to the differences between Trump’s first year and the Biden administration’s first year.

Rothschild: Yeah. It’s all about American leadership. I was saying to Carrie the other day, “When I was serving as a president’s foreign policy speechwriter, I never had to write a crisis speech. Now, we’ve got crises all over the world.” And it comes down to, I think, American leadership.

Under President Trump, we were enforcing red lines on chemical weapons on Syria, maximum pressure on North Korea, prior to negotiations, maximum pressure on Iran. The Biden team has said, “America is back,” but it seems like they’re leading from behind.

Filipetti: It makes me think, actually, of a [former President Ronald] Reagan quote that was kind of seconded by the Trump administration as well.

Reagan had said, “We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong, but when they are weak. It is then that tyrants are tempted.” And I think Donald Trump reembodied that by saying, “The best way to keep America safe is to keep America strong.” And that’s where we’re seeing as a strategy the Biden administration going awry.

Blair: Right. Now, one of the things that strikes me about that is this discussion of America as perceived as strong. Do our allies perceive us as weak?

Filipetti: I think they must. I perceive us as weak.

We’re not able to secure our own borders, which is kind of the No. 1 responsibility of a government. And as a result of that, not only are we having an influx of illegal migrants, but I care deeply about the drug crisis in this country, and we saw over 100,000 Americans that were dead from overdoses that were caused primarily from the open borders because that is how fentanyl from China and Mexico gets into the country.

We’re seeing with Ukraine, the Biden administration basically giving a green light to Russia. In the press conference that we referenced earlier, he said, “My guess is he’ll move in. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has to do something.” Well, doesn’t the United States have to do something? I mean, we were strong and powerful because we were a reliable ally and that is no longer the case.

Rothschild: Yeah, we saw quite a bit of outrage, obviously, with Afghanistan, but we’re seeing it again in Ukraine. I mean, now the United Kingdom is having to step up, filling a leadership void that we’ve created. Allies are not able to depend on the United States. It’s a dangerous world when adversaries don’t fear us and our allies can’t depend on us.

Blair: Some of those consequences of a weak leader on the world stage—obviously, the United States has served since post-World War II as the central access behind which a lot of the Western forces have kind of coalesced. What does it look like when that starts to collapse, when the United States is perceived as weak or is perceived as unable to fulfill its international obligations?

Filipetti: I think it looks like Ukraine right now. I think it looks like authorizing Nord Stream 2 as a pipeline so that the Europeans are no longer incentivized to work against Russia and to deter them themselves. I think it looks like us approving the New START Treaty, even though it blocks 92% of America’s nuclear arsenal and only 45% of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

And as a result, nobody is actually holding Putin accountable. This is why he has troops amassed at the border. He would not have done that if he knew that there was going to be an actual consequence.

The point of our diplomacy, the point of our financial sanctions is deterrence. So we aren’t utilizing those effectively, and as a result, tyrants are really running rampant.

Rothschild: Yeah, it’s a dangerous world when our adversaries are emboldened. We are seeing that all around the world, whether it’s Ukraine; I think we may see that with China increasingly; Iran is probably going to get, I hope … this is not the case, but they are probably going to get a deal soon because the Biden team needs a win. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened. Again, that’s a result of the United States not having increased leverage over the regime.

Blair: Do we see a realignment occurring with maybe our European allies or our allies in Asia as they feel the U.S. can’t be trusted as a partner? Do we see them realigning in other structures?

Rothschild: Well, we certainly could see allies trying to take matters into their own hands.

Over the past few years, that’s been a little bit of a problem for the United States with France maybe trying to take more of a leadership role than we’d like. But more concerningly, allies may not want to depend on the United States’ nuclear deterrent, as one example. They may feel like they have to pursue their own nuclear weapons because we’re not a reliable ally and that will create a more unstable world as well.

Blair: That does bring me to an interesting topic about Ukraine. Obviously, the big foreign policy discussion right now is Russia is amassing troops at the Ukrainian border. As of this interview, they have not invaded yet, but there are signs that an invasion might be imminent.

One of the reasons why Ukraine is defenseless is, in the post-Soviet era, they had nuclear weapons, they were asked by the United States to give up those nuclear weapons in exchange for some form of defense from the United States. How does this make us look if we were promising this defense to the Ukrainians and here we are?

Rothschild: Not good. Again, we want people to be able to depend on the United States and know that our word is good, just like in any other situation. And again, it has ramifications, not just for allies, as we’re seeing with Ukraine and many other Baltic nations and Eastern European states like Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, who are feeling abandoned right now. If our word isn’t good, it matters for the people like Putin and our adversaries, and it matters for our friends.

Filipetti: Yeah, our word mattered in the past because it was backed by our power, and we no longer have the power backing our word.

Blair: One of the things about this that is fascinating as well is this is all about NATO. NATO is really at the heart of this conflict here, where Russia does not want Ukraine to join NATO. There are advances from the West to have Ukraine join NATO. Where does NATO fit into this in the long term? What are we thinking about Ukraine and its relationship to NATO?

Filipetti: I definitely think that NATO does have significant responsibilities here. Even if they don’t want Ukraine to join, or some allies have concerns about Ukraine joining NATO as an organization, the fact is part of why NATO was formed was in order to preserve democracies against incursions from authoritarian tyrants. That’s exactly what we’re seeing with the Russian threat, and so I definitely agree that we need Western Europe in particular to be doing more.

This is why in particular the approval of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline by the Biden administration is so deeply problematic, because we undermined our own interests in support of German interests. That is something that the president of the United States should never do.

So it is incumbent on us to defend Ukraine. I think it’s incumbent on us to stand by our allies, but it is also incumbent upon NATO to do so as well, and unfortunately, we have completely disincentivized them.

Rothschild: Yeah, and I think it’s a misconception that President Trump didn’t support NATO, because if you favor a strong NATO, a powerful NATO, a NATO with significant military readiness and defense capabilities, then you’re in favor of a strong NATO, and wanting Western European allies to be strong and do more doesn’t necessarily undermine the alliance.

We need our NATO allies to balance against Russian power. It’s not in our interest to have a great power, whether that’s Russia or China, dominate Eurasia. That’s not in the United States’ interest. So having a strong NATO that can prevent that is certainly good for the United States.

Blair: Now, we’ve mentioned Nord Stream 2 a couple of times. It is a natural gas pipeline, but for our listeners who maybe aren’t as aware of what this is, what is this and why is it relevant to us?

Rothschild: Well, as we’re discussing Ukraine, one of the important issues with the pipeline is that it bypasses Ukraine and makes, essentially, Germany dependent on Russia for its energy needs.

The last administration, we were very concerned about the United States and our allies and partners being energy-independent because it means you’re less subject to coercion from an adversary. That’s the crux of the issue. President Trump had approved sanctions on the pipeline. Those were waived by the Biden administration in May of last year.

Blair: In terms of what we’re looking at on Ukraine, it seems like Russia might invade. If that is the case, what does America do?

Filipetti: That’s a great question. I think, ultimately, a lot of people are suggesting that the United States comes in militarily. I don’t think that’s what a lot of the conservatives in the United States are suggesting.

I think what we really need to do is think about these things strategically, working with our allies, which again, was something that the Trump administration really advocated for, using our alliances to serve our interests. So figuring out who can be an intermediary with the Russians, how we can deter any kinds of acts of aggression.

Before we get into what do we do with a response to Russia, I think we need to have a campaign of what we do in order to deter that response because that’s going to be the most successful strategy, is preventing it from happening in the first place, and that’s why we’ve already lost so much time.

Rothschild: Yeah, it’s a lot harder to compel someone to do something than to deter them, historically.

President Reagan, as one example, was a master at arming our friends to defend themselves, and that’s exactly what we should be doing in Ukraine. We should not have been blocking arms sales or aid to Ukraine from us or anyone else and we should make sure they have the tools and the capabilities they need to mount a strong defense if necessary. But hopefully, they won’t need to.

Blair: Moving from Ukraine to Afghanistan, we had this awful series of images that came out of the country—we were talking about this a little bit earlier—where Afghanis were falling from planes and there were photos of them passing children to United States troops to ensure that they wouldn’t be tortured or killed under the Taliban.

Biden explicitly promised that there wouldn’t be scenes like the American pullout from Saigon, which did not pan out. What did that botched pullout demonstrate about American leadership in the Middle East?

Filipetti: Well, it showed that while it’s true that there were a number of Americans who had grown tired of the war in Afghanistan, largely because there wasn’t any kind of messaging about what we were still doing there coming from the administration, the American people may not have wanted us to be in an “endless war,” but they don’t want us to lose anything, either. So I think what it really demonstrated is, No. 1, that America is not going to be faithful to its allies.

Again, not only did we abandon Afghanistan without telling our allies in advance, but I’ve had conversations with State Department officials who indicated to me that our allies had specifically asked for our support in their departure of embassy personnel and we turned them away. And this is in the midst of there being the ISIS-K attack in Afghanistan, so it’s not just about credibility, it’s about actually being there on the ground, defending our interests, defending our allies.

At the end of the day, what it showed to me about the Biden administration is they’re more interested in political messaging than on actually accomplishing a goal, because with a limited amount of American personnel in Afghanistan, we were able to deter a takeover like what we saw days after we left.

So, it showed that the Biden administration was much more focused on getting this policy when knowing the American people didn’t really support the war anymore, “Let’s just get out,” without actually thinking through the consequences.

That’s why we elect leaders, so they can think through the consequences, and make strong policy decisions that are in the best interests of the American people.

Rothschild: Yeah, I’d echo what Carrie said. Americans, whatever their policy views were on the war, do not like to be humiliated on the world stage.

I would also say that the Afghanistan evacuation showed either the gross incompetence of the Biden administration or their mal intent with lying about how many Americans were actually left behind. I mean, they repeated these figures, “100 to 200.” We know that wasn’t the case. So either they don’t know how many Americans are there, which is frightening, perhaps now in Ukraine, or they were deliberately misleading the American people.

Blair: That’s a secondary element of foreign policy that I don’t know if a lot of people think about, is protecting your own citizens while they are abroad.

Obviously, we saw that quite explicitly with Afghanistan, where there were numbers, not specific numbers, but numbers about how many Americans were still left in Afghanistan. To my knowledge, there are still Americans left in Afghanistan, I believe, at this point in time.

How does that affect our foreign policy if we can’t even keep our own citizens safe abroad?

Filipetti: Well, you raised a perfect issue, which is, there was also just a CIA report that came out speaking of keeping diplomats safe, about Havana syndrome. And the CIA, essentially, according to this report, argued that they couldn’t figure out who had caused this, or if anything had caused it. You’re talking about American diplomats across the world who are experiencing the same set of symptoms.

When I was in the Trump administration, I worked specifically on this issue, and I’ve spoken to a lot of State Department officials who are really concerned about it. They don’t believe that their government is going protect them if they go abroad. There’s no solution to this issue. The fact that that hasn’t been prioritized is an example that this administration is not really focusing on Americans abroad.

To say nothing of the Americans who are stuck in Afghanistan, I’m certain, as Amanda said, that we will also see Americans stuck in Ukraine. And I’m curious if the Biden administration will use the same line of, “They wanted to stay there,” which I think we all knew any American who was in Afghanistan during the withdrawal, seeing how ISIS was retaking territory, did not want to be there. So, to put that burden on them, I think, was not only disingenuous, but I think it was really disgusting for American leadership to be doing.

Rothschild: Yeah, I also, frankly, worry quite a bit about hostage situations. It was a big priority in the last administration to return American citizens who were held abroad. We were, I think, successful in doing that in a number of cases. I was very worried with the Afghanistan crisis that we’d see that again.

If we cannot get our citizens out, it seems like we aren’t that committed to them. We have a number of citizens held all over the world and I’m worried about their prospects, given the lack of leadership.

Blair: Given this botched pullout by the Biden administration in the Middle East—I mean, one of our enemies in the region is Iran. Obviously, they were watching this very carefully to see how America handled removing their troops from this situation in the Middle East. Has this emboldened the Iranian regime to be more bold with their nuclear program, perhaps?

Filipetti: I think everything that we’ve been doing, unfortunately, has been emboldening, not only Iran, but other tyrants.

We spoke about DPRK, we’ve been speaking about Russia, and I think if you just look at the numbers on Iran, when the Trump administration ended, they had about $4 billion in reserve currency. Now, we’ve seen reports that that has increased by about 750%, their oil exports have increased by 123 million barrels.

So these are actual tangible numbers that are showing that these countries are emboldened specifically with respect to the nuclear program.

Rothschild: Yeah, and the problem with the original nuclear deal, [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], was that at a point of maximum leverage over the regime, we agreed to a deal that was quite weak.

I am concerned, as I mentioned earlier, that now that the Biden team is kind of in a desperate situation for a win after a year with a lot of foreign policy failures, that, once again, the leverage here will be going in the wrong direction and we’ll get a weak deal.

Blair: Would it be worse than the deal previously?

Rothschild: I think potentially, yeah, because they’re closer to a weapon now than they were previously. So, I mean, it’s hard to imagine in a way that it could be worse, but yeah, I am concerned about the way the stakes are now for the Biden team.

Blair: Finally, let’s move on to China. China has been making overtures that it might attempt to meddle with Taiwan. They’ve been sending aircrafts into Taiwanese airspace. There’s increasing pressure on Taiwan to recognize Chinese hegemony. How has the Biden administration signaled that they’re going to handle China’s attempts to meddle with Taiwan?

FIlipetti: Well, I think the messaging has been pretty strong. They’ve talked about the threat that China poses, but again, the issue isn’t that their messaging is off, the issue is that they’re not backing it with any kind of real action.

I mean, if you were to ask me, “Who within the Biden administration is ultimately making the decisions on China?”, I don’t know who that person is. I don’t know. Is that [national security adviser Jake] Sullivan? Is that his priority? Is that [Secretary of State Antony] Blinken? There’s nobody who’s manning the ship here.

As a result, I think the Chinese have been very much emboldened. I think they’ve been emboldened by our departure from Afghanistan as well, talking about the implications of that on our policies with respect to the Pacific. They’ve certainly made a lot more inroads into Latin America over the last year or so. Saudi Arabia and the [United Arab Emirates] developed new infrastructure deals with China over the last year.

And there’s been no designations under the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which has been around for, I think it’s now a year-and-a-half, so we’re not actually holding them accountable in any way.

The reason China matters is not exclusively because of Taiwan, it’s also because it really matters to the American worker. It matters because it helps determine the supply chain, which we saw with COVID. It matters because it helps determine our manufacturing capabilities and our trade policies.

So, China needs to be a priority. And the fact that we who are in foreign policy are not able to definitively say who the decision-maker is here is, I think, deeply problematic.

Rothschild: Yeah, and we know where John Kerry stands on the issue with his goals for climate and cooperation with China.

When President Biden went to address the United Nations, he didn’t mention China by name in his speech. I thought that was really a glaring thing in his commentary there.

We also know that during the summit of democracies, which included several participants that weren’t exactly freedom supporters, that they pulled the map down in order to capitulate to the [Chinese Communist Party]. And maybe it was a miscommunication, but it certainly, again, did not project strength and support for governments around the world who support our values.

Blair: We’ve discussed a little bit the differences between the former administration, the Trump administration, and the Biden administration in terms of foreign policy. As some people who were working in that administration, who was the top China person, and why does that matter that we knew who they were, as opposed to with Biden, where we don’t?

Rothschild: Yeah. Well, Carrie and I know him well. I mean, I would say, obviously, it was Matt Pottinger. He really deserves quite a lot of credit for turning the administration around in the United States, around right from the get-go, on China.

Before he was deputy national security adviser, he was the senior director for Asia on the National Security Council and had spent some time in China as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. [He] knows these issues very well and helped to ensure that the legacy of previous administrations that were more open to cooperation with China did not continue.

Blair: Do our Asian allies like Japan and Korea feel as if they need to now counter China on their own? I know we’ve discussed a little bit about Europe, we’ve discussed a little bit about the Middle East. As Japan and Korea are both relatively advanced economies, and the fact that they also are pretty used to China doing what China does, do they feel as if they now need to start shifting in the direction of, “All right, well, we can’t trust America anymore”?

FIlipetti: I think they certainly are feeling like the Americans are no longer providing the kind of support that they would need to see. I think they’re grateful that China continues to be at least verbalized as the No. 1 national security threat to the United States, but I think they recognize that there’s really nothing that backs that word.

So yes, I think they, like all of our other allies, are starting to reconsider if they can trust us, and not in a way that’s useful for us, right?

What I mean by that is I think it is useful for other countries to always be thinking about how they can defend their own interests rather than exclusively relying on the United States. That was a key element of the Trump administration’s policies. I firmly believe in that. I think Amanda does as well.

But we still need them to recognize that America has a deterrent capability, that having America on their side makes a big difference in the outcome of whatever we’re talking about, and that’s what we’re starting to lose.

Rothschild: Yeah, and the Biden administration has done some good things with keeping relationships up with the Quad, Australia and Japan and India.

It’s really vitally important that we continue to develop partnerships with India in countering China. In some ways, because of the change in policy in Afghanistan, we are freed up with our relationship with Pakistan, so that gives us more opportunity to develop closer ties with India, which started under the Trump administration.

Blair: We’ve discussed numerous examples of the Biden administration’s failures on a foreign policy level. Let’s say you guys are given the chance to right the ship. You obviously have worked very closely with the former administration on foreign policy. What does he need to be doing right now?

Rothschild: I think a good starting point is just matching words with action. This has come up a lot, making sure that you restore American credibility by having a strong military and being willing to enforce red lines and stand strong for America.

Even in the past few weeks, we’ve seen kind of a deterioration from the Afghanistan debacle with not really being strong on Ukraine in the press conference. So matching words with action, I would say, would be the first place I’d start.

Filipetti: Yeah, I would also just say reinstituting some measure of deterrence, some measure of consequence and accountability when actors do go awry, which we’re not seeing, as we’ve spoken about, with China, with Russia, with Iran, with the DPRK.

The way I see it is, in foreign policy, you’re always on a highway, and the end of that highway is a military option. We will always have that available to us. But what we want to do is use different diplomatic tools, different tools of deterrence, different economic sanctions in order to be an off-ramp from the end root of that highway.

Unfortunately, we’re not using it. So as much as the Biden administration says that it wants to avoid entanglements abroad, the truth is they’re getting us far more entangled by not utilizing the diplomatic and the financial tools of deterrence that we have at our disposal.

Rothschild: Yeah, and there’s a lot of work also to be done with our allies, as we’ve discussed. I mean, the Biden team, if we were able to right the ship, I think there’s a lot of discussion that needs to happen with our friends in Eastern Europe, the Baltic nations, and as well as several countries in the Indo-Pacific to try to assure them that they can depend on American leadership.

Blair: Well, as we wrap this interview up, I want to give you ladies the opportunity to plug your guys. Where can our listeners go to check out your work?

FIlipetti: Sure. You can to We are a 501(c)(3). We are focused on making foreign policy a central element of what the American people think about when they’re considering voting. We try to educate members of Congress and candidates for Congress on national security issues and how it relates back to the day-to-day lives of their constituents.

Blair: Excellent. That was Carrie Filipetti and Amanda Rothschild. Carrie serves as executive director of The Vandenberg Coalition, while Amanda serves as senior policy director at The Vandenberg Coalition. As well, both are former Trump officials. Ladies, thank you so much for your time.

Rothschild: Thank you.

FIlipetti: Thank you very much. Great to be here.

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