By Greg Pence*
London realized earlier than any other country that one of America’s weaknesses was exorbitant focus on unplanned international consensus. This was of course the best opportunity for Britain. London was well aware that the United States had the power to be at the center of global consensus after World War II and that was why European allies were following Washington. Given its cultural and linguistic affinity, Britain quite delicately prevented Washington from making independent foreign policy moves through powerful foreign lobbies and some influential Middle Eastern governments in the American press and think tanks. Consequently, over the past decade, the importance of the United States’s global role as a consensus-building leader has gradually diminished. The result is that most US allies and partners whose wars and crises were taken care of through US taxpayers’ money are no longer willing to cooperate and help protect the United States‘ interests
Trump and Biden were a boon to Britain’s long-term strategies. On the one hand, Trump backed London’s secession from the European Union, and on the other, Biden is swamped with domestic challenges and his foreign policy over the last year has not led to tangible gains. Also, the voice of the Republicans’ success in the 2024 elections can already be heard. The question that many Americans are asking is how and why Biden is losing its popularity so soon and what all these political clashes among the Democrats are about. Even the Republican Party tries to portray Biden as a weak and old President who irreparable tactical mistakes.
Even in the case of China, Russia, and Iran, although Biden has shown itself to be politically independent in international politics and tends to side with Britain like the AUKUS Pact, London is trying to gain a better strategic position via US military and economic power. Even in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, Britain was able to reap commercial and military benefits by encouraging US involvement with other actors. The French called the British the fifth wheel as they are accustomed to political and security abuse.
On the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, when it was hoped that Biden’s foreign policy team would act with a forward-looking logic, the scene suddenly changed and Biden was forced to step up pressure on Iran as a result of direct and indirect political and destructive by EU3 and some Middle Eastern countries.
Even in this new British game, European countries that now have lost their strategic importance due to new US strategic priorities in the face of the challenges that China and Russia pose, have been forced to deviate from the European consensus format and become more inclined to bilateral relations with the British government, and continually ask for the necessary assurances from them as well as the United States and NATO.
Even now the influential parties in London, ignoring the concerns of European countries and using their tools among some Republicans and Democrats, are trying to reshape the Euro-Atlantic relationship and widen the gap between the United States and the European Union by using trade relations and defining new and profitable interests between the United States and the EU3. This is a future that could jeopardize even the individual and mutual interests of both parties.
The chain of these developments has gone so far that have shackled Biden, who is working hard to solve the problems posed by Covid 19 and its new variants and to find ways to solve domestic economic problems and formulate and implement its foreign policy towards China and Russia. Displaying the Biden administration as ineffective especially against Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran, brings Washington closer to London.
These divergent forces can put the United States at odds with China, Russia, and Iran, create scenarios that would not benefit regional security and US interests in the Middle East, discredit Biden administration’s policies, and waste the White House’s consensual rhetoric. Exorbitant use of foreign policy tools like sanctions can stir Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran’s animosity and gradually expel the Democrats from the arena of future political rivalries. In the event of serious crises for the United States, due to the freeze on diplomacy, the United States approaches its sunset and Britain will reemerge as a superpower.
The current situation shows that Biden and his foreign policy team may not be able to break out of London’s destructive exploitation cycle and with the costly foreign policy imposed by unplanned consensus. and in coordination with some Republicans, force Democrats to leave the scene of power in the United States through the 2024 election.
What Biden needs to learn from Trump is that radical consensus, without considering the requirements of consensus and defining protocols that do not bring about proper political credibility or US interest, cannot lead to a sudden shift in the balance or transfer of power to the United States global rivals and even its current allies.
*Greg Pence is an international studies graduate of University of San Francisco