Accuracy in Media

Without actually enunciating what it is, CNN last week celebrated a series of “momentous” foreign policy decisions that it quickly dubbed the “Biden Doctrine.” 

“Biden puts his stamp on foreign policy with series of momentous decisions,” CNN wrote. 

The trouble, however, is that most of the decisions made under the “Biden Doctrine” that CNN cited were just continuations of Trump foreign policy that had already been made, decisions that Democrats often decried as the worst foreign policy ever.    

The decisions, highlighted as “momentous” by CNN, included sanctions on Russia (which were also imposed by Trump), a pivot to an anti-Chinese alliance in the Pacific (which was already instituted by Trump under the Quad Alliance), and the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan (which, under Biden, has been delayed from May 1 — as negotiated by Trump — and moved to September 11, 2021.)   

CNN was quick to tout Biden’s decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021 as the official end of America’s longest war, as if it was uniquely a Biden administration idea.  

Yet, the Biden decision violates an agreement that the Trump administration already made with Afghanistan to withdraw troops by May 1. 

CNN was quick to credit Biden with the end of the war, merely noting that “President Donald Trump was also considering a withdrawal,” even though the agreement with the Taliban had already been reached under Trump.  

The Associated Press published an article headlined: Biden to pull U.S. troops from Afghanistan, end ‘forever war’. 

Similarly, CNN cited an unofficial Biden delegation meeting with Taiwan to offer support for the traditional target of the Chinese Communists, and meetings with Japan to “nudge” the country towards a more anti-China stance as a “momentous” U.S. foreign policy position.  

If anything, Biden is continuing the “momentous” decisions already made by Trump. 

In reality, no administration treated Taiwan more like a sovereign nation than Trump’s did. And Japan is a firm leader of the anti-China Quad Alliance of Japan, India, Australia and the United States, thanks in part, to the strong support of the Trump State Department to the alliance.   

If anything, the Japan and Taiwan meetings are meant to reassure allies that Biden is dedicated to the existing anti-China alliance meant to secure the Pacific Ocean.

In fact, many are surprised by Biden’s tough talk so far on China. 

“Alarmingly for Beijing, all signs thus far point to a Biden administration that plans to take an exceptionally hard line against China,” writes Nikkei Asia. 

The only thing momentous about Biden’s foreign policy so far is how much it’s major points dovetail well into Trump foreign policy decisions. 

Could we be looking at a new “bi-partisan” consensus on foreign policy? 

Well, that really would be truly momentous. 

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