Ukraine War, July 4, 2023 (UPDATED): Biden blocking Ben Wallace, pushing Von der Leyen for next NATO Secretary

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, and you will see a list in chronological order.


1) Alan Cochrane and Nick Gutteridge,”Britain’s fury with US as Joe Biden ‘blocks’ Ben Wallace for Nato chief; Minister’s ambition to be the alliance’s next secretary-general thwarted as Washington reportedly refuses to endorse his candidacy,” The Telegraph, June 22, 2023 (9:56 pm);

2) Joe Barnes, “Biden pushing for Ursula von der Leyen to be next Nato boss after blocking Ben Wallace; Brussels chief has emerged as frontrunner amid difficulties finding a successor to Jens Stoltenberg, who has had his term extended,” July 4, 2023 (8:49 pm);

3) “Joe Biden blocked Ben Wallace from top Nato role after F-16 row; Defence Secretary had been a front-runner to succeed Jens Stoltenberg, but failed to secure support of Washington,” The Telegraph, July 5, 2023 (2:14 pm);

4) James Crisp, “The reason Joe Biden wanted Ursula von der Leyen as Nato boss; Ursula von der Leyen is a present to worried EU leaders from Joe Biden,” The Telegraph, July 5, 2023 (12:29 pm);

5) Joe Barnes, Nick Gutteridge and Dominic Penna, “Biden turned to Von der Leyen for top Nato role after F-16 row; Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, had been a front-runner to succeed Jens Stoltenberg, but failed to secure US support, The Telegraph, July 6, 2023 (1:00 am);

6) Jackson Diehl, “Joe Biden doesn’t have a perfect foreign policy record. But unlike Trump, he’s learned from his mistakes,” Washington Post,
September 27, 2020 (2:52 p.m. EDT);

7) You can’t fill a bucket with a hole in it,” tge Trenchant Observer, August 31, 2023;


One can consider Joe Biden as a good candidate for reelection as President of the United States only if you exclude his foreign policy record from consideration.

He is now embarked on a course of action which could have a decisive impact on the war in Ukraine, and which if continued could result in the defeat of Ukraine and tge West in the conflict.

By blocking or seeking to block Ben Wallace, the British Defense Minister, from election as Jen Stoltenberg s successor as Secretary General of NATO, Biden is vetoing an outstanding defense leader capable of exercising strong leadership during a time of extraordinary peril in the civilizational struggle with Russia, in favor of Ursula von der Leyen, a former German Defense Secretary with an abysmal record, and currently the popular President of the European Commission, tge EU executive branch.

Watson has pushed hard for tge weapons Ukraine needs, and is serious in his determination to help Ukraine win the war.

Von der Leyen is a politician, with no military experience other than her time as a po,itical appointee (as Defense Minister) in the government of Ãngela Merkel. She left the Defense Ministry as she found it, in a disastrous state of unpreparedness.

Joe Biden doesn’t like strong personalities who might challenge him. That is probably why Susan Rice, one if not the most qualified senior foreign policy official of the Obama administration, was shunted off to head the White House Domestic Policy office when Biden took office. Undoubtedly she contributed mightily, behind the scenes, to the success of Biden’s domestic policy agenda. But her foreign policy experience and expertise, which were great, were wasted by Biden who doesn’t like being challenged by independent-minded experts.

Instead of appointing individuals of great stature and independent thinking, that is probably why he appointed Antony Blinken as Secretary of State and Jake Sullivan as National Security Adviser in when he took office in 2021.

Blinken had been Biden’s foreign policy adviser for over 20 years, since Buden’s days as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Biden had worked closely with Jake Sullivan for many years.
Both Blinken and Sullivan were Biden’s boys, owing tbeir career advancement in large part to Joe Biden.

Both could be expected to not oppose Biden on a foreign policy issue about which the president felt deeply.

Thus, neither spoke out to oppose Biden’s decision to withdraw all American forces and contractors from Afghanistan in April, 2021.

This decision was perhaps the most catastrophic foreign policy decision by any Western leader since Brtish prime minister Neville Chamberlain and French leader Ėdouard Daladier agreed to cede the German-speaking Sudetenland to German Führer Adolf Hitler in the face of the latter’s amassing of troops on the border and threat to invade Czechoslovakia on September 30, 1938.

The Afghan decision confirmed Biden’s disastrous foreign policy judgement, about which former U.S. Secretary of State Robert Gates had the following to say in his 2014 memoir, as Diehl reports:

In considering Joe Biden’s foreign policy record, it’s hard to overlook the scathing critique delivered by Robert Gates, the Washington wise man and veteran of half a dozen administrations who served as President Barack Obama’s first defense secretary. While Biden was “a man of integrity” who was “impossible not to like,” Gates wrote in a 2014 memoir, “he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

There is so much to unpack here. But we are out of space and out of time. Further analysis will follow in future articles.

The Trenchant Observer


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