The latest blow-up with the French over the nuclear submarine deal the U.S. cut with Australia behind their backs is just the latest foreign policy blunder demonstrating how incompetent Biden’s foreign policy team is.
The Afghanistan withdrawal decision and implementation remains the most damning example of the their incompetence. That fiasco represents the greatest foreign policy disaster of a Western democracy since Édouard Daladier and Neville Chanberlain agreed to the German annexation of the Czech Sudetenland in 1938. Czechoslovakia was then a thriving democracy in the heart of Europe, the 10th-ranking industrial power in the world.
Insight into the core problems afflicting the Biden foreign policy team is provided by David Sanger in his September 17 article in the New York Times, which provides details on the perfidy of the Americans in dealing with the French in relation to the nuclear deal with Australia.
David E. Sanger, “Secret Talks and a Hidden Agenda: Behind the U.S. Defense Deal That France Called a ‘Betrayal’; In meeting after meeting with their French counterparts, U.S. officials gave no heads-up about their plans to upend France’s largest defense contract.,” New York Times, September 17, 2021.
There was an obvious alternative: the kind of nuclear-powered submarines deployed by the Americans and the British. But American and Australian officials agreed that if the French caught wind of the fact that the plug was going to be pulled on one of the biggest defense contracts in their history, they almost certainly would try to sabotage the alternative plan, according to officials who were familiar with the discussions between Washington and Canberra.
So they decided to keep the work to a very small group of officials, and made no mention of it to the French, even when Mr. Biden and Mr. Blinken met their French counterparts in June.
It seems clear that the well-known phenomenon of “Groupthink” is operating within the councils of Biden’s foreign policy team.
Te telltale signs are clear. “So they decided to keep the work to a very small group of officials.”
Within this small group of decision makers, there was virtually no internal debate.
American officials said the decision to toss over the existing French-Australian contract, and replace it with one that would bind Australia technologically and strategically to the nuclear submarine program, generated virtually no internal debate, participants said. The reason was straightforward: In the Biden White House, the imperative to challenge China’s growing footprint, and its efforts to push the U.S. Navy east, to the next island chain in the Pacific, reigns supreme.
With “Groupthink” in the saddle, in a small group of incompetent decision makers, we can only expect more foreign policy blunders from Biden and his foreign policy team.
The Trenchant Observer