Joe Biden Is Making America Look Weak

Joe Biden

Joe Biden Is Making America Look Weak

This is the hour of America’s maximum danger. When we should prepare for great power conflict, no one “is in charge of the clattering train”—the malice of the wicked is reinforced by the weakness of the American president. 

Who is in charge of the clattering train? The axles creak, and the couplings strain. For the pace is hot, and the points are near, and Sleep hath deadened the driver’s ear: And signals flash through the night in vain. Death is in charge of the clattering train!

So recited Winston Churchill as the tide of appeasement overwhelmed the traditional good sense of the British people while Germany rearmed, and Hitler swallowed central Europe piece by piece. When the reckoning was finally tallied, over forty million were dead. The great man lamented, “There never was a war more easy to stop than that which has just wrecked what was left of the world from the previous struggle,” and all because “...the malice of the wicked was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous.”

The echoes of the twentieth century have returned with a vengeance. After the Great War, defense budgets were slashed, Western allies signed pacts declaring the end of war as an instrument of national policy, and powerful warships were sliced apart and sold for scrap. The invasion of Poland and Pearl Harbor destroyed that pacifist dream. The fall of the Berlin Wall also heralded the “end of history” for some. Utopian fantasies even survived years of terrorist savagery sponsored by fanatical enemies of the West. 

The lessons remained unlearned by the Left. America now faces mortal peril from an axis of evil—China, Russia, Iran—more menacing and more complex than the sclerotic Soviet Union ever was. British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said that we are now entering a “pre-war” phase at a time when his own military has enough munitions for only a week of fighting in a Ukraine scenario. 

The Obama-Biden administration appeased traditional adversaries—Iran, Russia, and China. They dispatched billions of taxpayer dollars to the mullahs, promised Putin we would be easy on him after the 2012 election, and signaled weakness to China by not maintaining our naval footprint in the Pacific. More ominously, their administration squandered American power by daring malevolent actors not to cross military “red lines” lest American reprisals be swift and devastating. The red lines were repeatedly crossed with no response from the White House. America was painted as the paper tiger the communists and theocratic fanatics always claimed we were. In the meantime, wars expanded, and more Americans were put in harm’s way. Then came Afghanistan and now pinprick responses to Iranian-backed attacks on Americans in the Middle East.

America’s military has been overextended, undervalued, and insufficiently resourced. Obama’s “third term” is worse because his successor, Joe Biden, is presiding over the most precipitous decline in American power and prestige in our history. Defense spending is the lowest percentage of GDP since the end of World War II and military recruitment has dried up as the administration uses the Pentagon as a social justice experiment. It took Biden fewer than seven months to accomplish in Afghanistan what Jimmy Carter couldn’t do in four years: make America an object of derision.

If that was not enough, on February 8, 2024, the Department of Justice told the world that the President of the United States was not up to the job. Intelligence chiefs across the globe immediately briefed their bosses on the contents of the Hur Report and replayed videos of Presidential incoherence before the press. 

It also begs the question of who is in charge at the White House. After all, in this administration, the Secretary of Defense disappeared for days, and no one noticed. Are the faculty-inspired radicals on the White House staff running the show steering the administration farther left, even to the point of casting Israel to the wolves? This is the same staff that has wrecked our energy independence and looks longingly to the UN Human Rights Council for inspiration. 

This is the hour of America’s maximum danger. When we should prepare for great power conflict, no one “is in charge of the clattering train”—the malice of the wicked is reinforced by the weakness of the American president. 

About the Author 

Robert Wilkie served in the Trump administration as the tenth Secretary of Veterans Affairs and as Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. He serves as a distinguished fellow at the Center for American Security at the America First Policy Institute.

Image: Gage Skidmore.