The conventional wisdom had been the 2020 Presidential race would be dominated by domestic issues, from the economy to healthcare. That is, up until the impulsive assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian head of the Al-Quds Force. Iran has pulled out of the nuclear deal. The Iraqi parliament has voted for the U.S. to leave the country, opening the door for ISIS’ reemergence. As tensions continue to build throughout the world, the 2020 election’s signature issue will be foreign policy.
Soleimani aided and abetted terrorists and anti-American militias throughout the Middle East in furtherance of an Iranian version of rollback. However, it is unclear what the Trump Administration wanted to accomplishand how (or whether) it will contain the fallout. This echoes Donald Trump’s careless abandonment of our Kurdish allies in Syria a few months ago, until he flip-flopped and decided they might be useful after allin guarding oil reserves.
It’s a cliché to point out Trump is no stranger to self-promotion. But, the boasting about the first stage of a trade deal with China verges on the delusional. The Trump Administration bragged that China would start buying $50 billion worth of agricultural productsthe type of accomplishment aimed squarely at winning votes in Iowa. However, it does not meet the hype. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Dave Marshall, a farm marketing advisor with First Choice Commodities said with respect to China, “They need U.S. pork, they need U.S. soybeans. Do they need $50 billion of agricultural goods? Absolutely not.”
Trump has abandoned our allies (such as the Kurds), allied with our adversaries (such as Russia), and capitulated to some of the most ruthless actors in the international system.
Given that this election is likely to be dominated by foreign policy issues, the President that we need to succeed Trump is Joe Biden. The all other Democratic candidates have their virtues, but they are lacking foreign policy experience, expertise, and, most importantly, getting it right when it counts.
For Biden, foreign policy would not require on-the-job training. He played a central role in bringing about the Iran nuclear deal, assembling the multi-national coalition against ISIS, and worked to ratify the New START treaty with Russia. As a Senator, he quarterbacked legislative action to bring an end to the heinous genocidal wars in the Balkans during the 1990s.
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Many of the former Vice President’s critics posit that should he win the nomination, he will be swift-boated by Ukraine. But after two general election victories as Barack Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden demonstrated that he knows how to punch back. Not only is there no proof that he did nothing wrong, but this is going to prove to be a trial by fire and make him a stronger candidate for the general election.
Donald Trump promised Americans that they would be winning so often they would get tired of it. While Trump is likely to win his trial in the Senate, we know that his reelection is a risky bet America cannot afford. Joe Biden is the best prepared candidate to build a better, stronger world order out of the wreckage this administration would leave behind.
Dr. Albert B. Wolf is the Dean of the American University of Kurdistan. He is a former Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be followed at @albertwolf82.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.