Biden’s division of the world into “for us or against us” camps carries uncomfortable echoes of George W Bush, circa 2001, and of Putin himself. That it is America’s manifest destiny (updated version) to defend and promote freedom and democracy everywhere is a message that normally plays well with US voters.
At least, it did once, during the cold war with the Soviet Union, when Biden’s worldview was formed. No more. Despite Putin’s aggressive imperial irredentism, that era has passed. Today’s fractured, fragmented world is multipolar and geopolitically complex.
After Afghanistan and Iraq, many Americans ask why the US continues to assume the burdens and responsibilities of global leadership, as unthinkingly advocated by politicians of Biden’s generation. The next president, Democrat or Republican, may take a less expansive, inward-looking view. Biden is the last of his ilk.
If that’s true, then the bold pledges he made in Warsaw may last only as long as Biden himself. It’s a worrying thought that Europe’s security hinges on the views, however passionately held, of a frail, 80-year-old man who could soon be replaced by an unknown – or heaven forfend, Donald Trump.
It’s a powerful argument for greater self-sufficiency. Biden has become Europe’s one-man buffer. But he’s an old buffer. He may fail….
Mohammed Hanif: The rest of the world has had it with US presidents, Trump or otherwise