Ukraine is Europe’s problem, so why is Biden’s focus there instead of tackling the threat from China, asks General Keith Kellogg

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Afghanistan in 2021 and Ukraine in 2022 stand out for their profound shock and the strategic importance of President Biden’s failure in those two settings.

Both are flashpoints in understanding what is fast coming together to be President Biden’s ‘America Last’ foreign policy.

In national security, perhaps more than any other area, the impact of a single decision by an American president can be immediately felt and alter the very nature of a policy challenge, if not the broader geopolitical dynamics, as the aftermath of the Afghanistan and Ukraine crises might bring.

In such settings, a president’s own judgment and instinct are brought to bear, and the quality of his advisors matters most.

Biden and his advisors failed us in Afghanistan and appear to be heading in the same direction in Ukraine, as Putin’s Russia continues to mass military forces for a possible invasion.

Unfortunately, the current administration’s view could not be more different from the one we had when President Trump was in the White House. Our America First plan did not mean ‘America Alone,’ but it did mean we would embrace a world view of what was good for America, first, and then how our actions affected the rest of the world.

President Trump had the perfect background to marshal our actions, having had none of the baggage of a Washington politico and the needed experience of dealing with risk, profit and loss that his business background offers.

He saw that other nations took advantage of America’s decline and that American families were the ones footing the bill.

President Trump, and we who helped him carry out his foreign policy agenda, determined there should be no commitment of American lives or tax dollars without a clearly articulated benefit to the American people.

This stemmed from a deep appreciation of how exceptional America is and Americans are and, therefore, how important it is to protect and invest in what we hold dear.

That is the precise opposite of what we are witnessing and experiencing today.

Alongside a persistent awareness of the dangers of strategic overreach, the foreign policy of America First pursued by the Trump Administration elevated the nation state as the key actor in geopolitics and focused all foreign policy decisions around the top priority of protecting our Nation’s citizens.

Where necessary and overwhelming force were deemed necessary, disciplined power was used. There had to be a clear pathway to winning when conflict was needed.

When it comes to Ukraine, there is no clear pathway for success, and certainly not through the direct use of American power.

Ukraine is primarily a European issue to solve.

But the Europeans are failing.

By Keith Kellogg

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Lieutenant General (Ret.) Keith Kellogg is the Co-Chairman of the Center for American Security at the America First Policy Institute. He served as acting national security advisor to President Trump and national security advisor to Vice President Pence. He is the author of War By Other Means: A General in the Trump White House (Regnery Publishing, 2021).

Biden Doesn't Have Americans Best Interest At Heart