Foreign Policy Free Fall

by G. Murphy Donovan (April 2024)

Allies Day, May 1917 —by Childe Hassam, 1917


Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us. –JFK


Fiasco as policy

Most Americans don’t give a damn about foreign policy, especially in an election year. Foreign policy ennui became an institution in America with the end of the military draft. The burdens of national security, and foreign wars, are now carried by the new and the few, a novel demographic of “professional,” minority mercenaries. Albeit, the Pentagon brass constantly assures us that “pay to play” and patriotism are actually diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.

As a consequence, minorities are now over represented in the US Armed Forces, a dubious achievement if and when the next body bag count ensues. Then, the Armed forces will be seen as racist again. Racial ghettos in any institution are mixed blessings. No matter how well intentioned, the mix of melanin and sex identity politics in today’s Armed Forces now has all the earmarks of future fail.

Indeed, with the draft vacuum, the Pentagon is free to become just another woke federal social experiment. Few voters care about foreign policy follies as long their sons and daughters are not obligated or coerced to participate.

Voters worry most about issues that touch their immediate interests; their kids, their family, and their communities. PBS and the usual network suspects may bleat and whine nightly about international strum und drang, but for most folks, it’s just the background noise that precedes “Wheel of Fortune” or Stephan Colbert partisan kibble.

Not to abuse a cliché, but all politics, including foreign policy, are local. Ironically, you could also argue that most American voters are personal, if not, political nationalists. We care most about things in our orbit; not Russian antics in Ukraine, not Chinese designs on Taiwan, not street mayhem in Haiti, not Islamic rot in Gaza, nor terrorism at large, and surely not child abuse or female rights in the Muslim World.

People vote for bread and butter at home, not virtue semaphores abroad. Voter oblivion is backstopped by powerful memes in Washington and Brussels; tenure, inertia, and apathy. Alas, our brief attention spans are expensive. When voter interest strays, globalist (nee Utopian) nitwits come out to play.

American indifference to global pathology is the very reason that foreign policy boondoggles like Vietnam, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan are possible. So let’s review the foreign policy landscape after four years to see what the J. R. Biden stewardship has wrought so far.

We should first say that the knee jerk response to any Biden fails is sure to be laid at Donald Trump’s feet. But for the sake of argument here, let’s leave D.J. Trump to the wisdom of crowds.

The Biden/Blinken foreign policy record can be assessed on three fronts; Europe, the Mid-East, and Asia. Not that these are the only significant venues, but you can’t say much about anything if you try to assess all things.


Ukraine and Europe

The proxy war in Ukraine is just another extension of a cold, now hot, war that has characterized American and West European foreign policy since the Germans were defeated in 1945. Chechnya, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and most recently, Afghanistan were all proxy fights to destabilize the Soviet Union, now the Russian Federation.

The Bolsheviks pretty much gave up the ghost just before the turn of the 21st Century by dismantling the Warsaw Pact and dissolving the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, Brussels and Washington couldn’t take yes for an answer. All the overtures of the new Russian Federation, under Vladimir Putin, now a Christian and capitalist, were rebuffed. Russia could not be allowed to join the EU or NATO. Brussels and Washington underlined their hostility by expanding the now superfluous NATO military alliance right up to the Russian frontier.

Russia drew a line in the European sand when US State Department’s Victoria Nuland, backed by CIA, sponsored the Maidan coup in Kiev in 2014. Moscow has demographic, cultural, economic, and emotional ties to Ukraine that go back centuries. At a time when wise allied counsel could have mattered Nuland said: “Fuck the EU.”

Understandably, many Russians see Ukraine as a civil war sponsored by the EU and NATO. Depredations against Russian and Christian minorities by neo-Nazi Azov thugs and an absolutist regime in Kiev do nothing to dispel the belief that Zelensky is just another of history’s useful American proxy idiots.

Kiev is fighting a war it can’t win and Russian can’t afford to lose.

Nevertheless, NATO has declared it will fight the Russian menace right down to the last Ukrainian. “As long as it takes” says team Blinkin/Biden.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the reckless expansion of NATO is a historic fail, an opportunity missed. Instead of welcoming a former ally into the European Christian democratic fold, Moscow has been driven to a marriage of convenience with totalitarian Communist China. Call it political recidivism. Of course, the Ukraine dumpster fire unfolded over several administrations now, but Biden has doubled down.

Ironically, Biden enabled a catastrophic fail in Afghanistan, by a premature withdrawl from one “forever war” only to endorse another forever war on Russia’s western front. In short, team Biden gave Islamism, religious fascism really, a big win in Asia only to replace it with an alliance with neo-Nazis in Kiev.

Ukraine is still election-free under Zelensky.


War in the Levant, Again

It’s probably safe to assume that Islamists of all stripes were emboldened by the Taliban victory in Afghanistan. Indeed most prominent international terror franchises are represented in South Asia. Clearly, both Persian and Arab Islamists saw the American defeat in Kabul as an opportunity to press the test with a bold attack on 7 October, 2023 against Israel. If “big Satan” could be beaten, why not take another shot at little Satan—and the Jews?

Indeed, as we now see the Gaza war playing out, the calculus in the Shite/Sunni worlds seems to have been correct. Whilst team Biden/Blinkin initially feigned outrage at the Hamas 7 October barbarity, the worm of indignation has now turned. The Hamas pigsty is now portrayed as a humanitarian crisis, a wasteland of Palestinian victims.

Israel, a democratic nation of less than 10 million, is surrounded by 50 million hostile Arab autocrats and two billion hostile Muslims, mostly religious fascists. These totalitarian Islamic regimes have, collectively, through proxies like Palestine and global terrorists, tried to wipe Israel off the map since 1948.

Who is a strategic threat to whom? Mecca can afford to lose a hundred small wars, Israel can only lose one.

All the while, Israel and the West have been playing “whack-a-mole” with various Islamic terror proxies around the world. Are we now to believe that Mecca’s useful idiots in Palestine are victims of Israeli aggression?

You can’t make this stuff up.

Alas, the Gaza war is just a symptom of a more toxic global conundrum, the larger problem of Islamic terror, imperialism, and colonization. Call it a “Clash of Civilizations,” to borrow a metaphor. Terrorist depredations like the 7 October massacre in Israel and the most recent Islamist atrocity in Russia will continue until America and its allies confront the real problem of Arab, Persian and Ummah sponsorship.

Islam is not a religion by any conventional measure. Global Islamism is just totalitarian political fascism wearing the hijab of religion.


The East is Still Red

So now we turn to China where the Biden era foreign policy is characterized by the same appeasement and flaccid strategy that fails on the Muslim front.

Picture this if you will.

An administration that took a humiliating loss in Afghanistan and was indifferent to the loss of Hong Kong, now claims it will defend Taiwan in the midst of feckless campaigns in Ukraine – and continuing fails with global Islamic terror factions. Indeed, team Biden, claims the now woke, multi-pronoun, all-volunteer Pentagon is able to fight on, not two, but three fronts globally? Indeed, recall that this is the same arrogant brass that hasn’t had a big win since Zhukov and Ike were allies.

The truth about American China policy is the same as it is about Israel and Ukraine, we posture against fake enemies and cower when faced by real threats. Beijing and Mecca are clear and present dangers whilst a capitalist Russia, as a European power, would make a better ally than enemy. NATO would do well to remember also that the margin of victory in the last great battle with fascism was Russia, not America.

Culturally, socially, and economically, America has more in common with Russia than it will ever have in common with religious or Communist totalitarians.

Any change in American foreign policy might require a common sense renaissance—or maybe just an honest democratic election.


Table of Contents


G. Murphy Donovan writes about the politics of national security and Intelligence.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


19 Responses

  1. “…the same arrogant brass that hasn’t had a big win since Zhukov and Ike were allies.” Well, er, ah, uh….. WHAT ABOUT GRANADA? YEAH, WHAT ABOUT GRANADA?

    1. You’re totally right, there was nothing at all successful about Panama, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Odyssey Dawn, Bin Laden’s capture, and dozens of smaller operations too numerous to list here.

      All bungled, spectacular failures and not successes. The only win the American military has had from the end of the Second World War till the present day has been the invasion of tiny Grenada (spelled with an “e”, by the way), hurr hurr hurr.


      1. Appreciate your concern, but your tactical episodes & operations are not strategic achievements. And as for Bosnia, the Yugoslav operation created two new Muslim majority states in the heart of Europe both of which are now safe havens for European Islamists. Good strategy, sir, is not serial “whack-a-mole,” it is the cumulative long term, successful, effect of sound tactics and “operations.”

        1. The full sentence you wrote says” “Indeed, recall that this is the same arrogant brass that hasn’t had a big win since Zhukov and Ike were allies.”

          You’re clearly talking about the military. Let me educate you a little on what the military does, since you’re clearly confused. The military’s job is to fight and win military campaigns on behalf of the rest of the government. The military has at best, a limited role in political decisions or policymaking, so even if what you’re saying about what the Balkans is true (it isn’t), that isn’t the military’s fault.

          Every single military campaign I listed above was by all accounts a smashing success. The Pentagon has had plenty of big wins “since Zhukov and Eisenhower were allies”, and you’re talking nonsense.

  2. This supposed military expert claims to care about Taiwan, but like the simplest of simpletons can’t comprehend the simple fact that acquiescing to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine only makes the United States appear weak to her enemies. It emboldens the Chinese to move against Taiwan, the thing he claims he doesn’t want to see.

    Like I said before, pointyheads who have no grasp on reality and are concerned only with grinding their ideological axes definitely don’t just exist in academia, they come out of the the military too.

    1. And by the bye, Bin Laden wasn’t captured, he was killed by American special forces. And just to be clear, personal attacks, name calling, and invective are not really arguments – not here or anywhere.

      1. Don’t be disingenuous, he was he was found alone and unarmed amongst women, and from a military point of view was definitely captured. Killing him was deliberate and definitely the smartest thing to do.

        Taking Bin Laden alive and subjecting him to a long, drawn-out trial would have accomplished two things, Mr. Big National Security Brain. One, it would have hand the Islamists you claim to care so much about the biggest cause celebre and recruiting aid they’ve ever had. Two, it would have caused endless dismay and demoralization to his victims and the Western public at large.

        Just look at Khalid Sheikh Muhammad’s trial. We’ve had him in custody for TWENTY YEARS, and his case still hasn’t even gone to trial. Yeah sure, we clearly should have captured Bin Laden alive.

        And how adorable, a follower of the Cult of the Uncivil claiming he despises incivility. You have no right to tell other people to be nice to you, hypocrite.

        1. If you had any courage or integrity, sir, you wouldn’t be writing under a pseudonym. So as a last word, let me suggest that you lose the juvenile invective – and just grow up.

          1. What are you talking about? This is my real name. You’re grasping at straws to avoid addressing the facts and deflect from your hypocrisy, sir.

    2. Russian aggression in Ukraine? You’re a clueless twerp who swallows Western media lies with your orange juice. The US started the ball rolling in 2014 thanks to Victoria Nuland, who coincidentally resigned 2 weeks before the Crocus massacre she planned.
      You seem to have a massive chip on your shoulder. You’re the one who has no grasp on reality, and I can understand why. Perhaps you should try writing something instead of taking passive aggressive potshots at those who have the courage and ability to put their opinions down for others to read.

      1. Good get, Paul. The toughest facts to digest, are the ones we don’t want to hear. Failure is a bitter pill. Cheers.

        1. Lol. I bet it’s a nice feeling when lunatic wingnuts coming to your defense.

          Victoria Nuland planned the Crocus massacre. That’s the most cuckoo thing I’ve read here in a while.

          1. “Lunatic wingnuts?” Pure passive aggressive troll projection, Jimmy.
            Your silly potshots at someone who knows how to write
            and what he’s talking about are the most cuckoo things I’ve read here.
            We get very few trolls here because the writers are too intelligent and informed.
            Why don’t you take a crack at writing something, that is if you know how to write.

            1. Whatever you say, Mr. I’m so smart because I know Victoria Nuland is responsible for the Crocus theater attack.


  3. At the U.S.-Mexican border millions of illegals ( pardon the term), many of whom are not even Hispanic and some of whom are nasty pieces of work, cross into America unimpeded. We have a diverse selection of criminal psychopaths, Chinese spies and Muslim Jihadists ( pardon the term) crossing a now-cancelled international boundry.

    At the same time millions of illegals ( pardon the term), many of whom are nasty pieces of work and some of whom may be Muslim Jihadists ( pardon the term) cross into Europe from N. Africa and the Mid-East at an ever increasing pace.

    While this invasion of individuals whose values are the antithesis of our own intensifies, our political elites, backed by most media, attempt to focus our attention on an utterly useless conflict that will only end, it seems, when every last Ukranian male is killed.

    Had Russia committed 911; had they bombed The London Tube, had they attacked the Baticlan, killed at Fort Hood, run over douzens on La Promenade des Anglais, shot up Kosher supermarkets and slaughtered those Charlie-Hebdo folks…then I could understand NATO’s current ‘defense’ posture.

    However, our recently acquired status of *Bollard Nation* has nothing to do with Russians. Instead, NATO’s intransigence, its lack of focus, its subserviance to private economic interests, and its crass inability to provide even minimal protection to the population it was set up to serve, helped facilitate all that.

  4. What say the survivors of the conflicts (perpetrators and defenders) re the benefits and detriments, as of now, deriving from the perp’s incitement/bullying and the defender’s response?
    Who made the decision to subvert the Russian-leaning Ukraine government, ~2014, and convert it to Western-leaning?
    Who’s responsible for the 1,000,000,000+ military casualties and 10,000,000,000+ Ukrainian displaced persons?
    Where is the updated list of war profiteers and current profits?
    At eventual war end, who profits for how much from debt paybacks? Who will be the scrap-metal dealers? Will bomb craters be converted to multi-local swimming pools?
    Who will make a fortune selling military and civilian collateral dead burial plots and services?
    Do we need more wars than we now have?
    Must ‘Olaf glad and big’ die 1000’s of times more?

    1. Howard, if you are suggesting that Ukraine is another feckless proxy war, another regime change operation that backfired, I believe that you are correct. They call it “blowback” in my former profession. Boondoggles like Afghanistan and Ukraine, once underway, often get their momentum from motives that have nothing to do with national security.

      1. GMD, you see me correctly. There’s an old lifeline guideline for these times. It goes something like this, “Don’t ask whether it’s possible, ask whether it’s necessary. If it is do it.” General
        George Patton and all who behaved nobly in battle, will understand.
        Regarding ‘doing it’ , is it not necessary to separate the contenders into more comfortable ethnic/political enclaves of essential Brself-rule, for examples —-
        * India-Pakistan-Bangladesh-(Kashmir)
        * North and South Korea
        * Great Britain as: England, Irelands (lots of Ire), Wales, Scotland
        Remaining dislike and squabbling have been better than egomaniacal hate-fueled, profit-driven warfare
        Coerce/Incentivize territory citizenry ethnicity and political leaning, via plebiscite. Reassign ownership of assets as before the Plebiscite, enforcing fairness.
        This puts lifetime decision-making in the hands, hearts, and bowels of the affected citizenry.
        Sale of assets between (among) different ethnicities must be approved by the Seller’s Citizen Council.

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