As a unionist, I already thought President Joe Biden’s US foreign policies were fatally flawed

A letter from Michael Palmer:

By Letters
Thursday, 19th August 2021, 1:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 1:42 pm
Joe Biden speaks from the White House yesterday. Afghanistan is his first major foreign policy test and he has failed
Joe Biden speaks from the White House yesterday. Afghanistan is his first major foreign policy test and he has failed

“We will be judged, you and I, for how we resolve the cascading crises of our era.

“Will we rise to the occasion? That democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrived. “That our America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world.”

These were the words uttered by President Biden in January 2021 during his inaugural address as he took office.

The current situation in Afghanistan is the Biden Administration’s first major foreign-policy test and sadly Biden has failed utterly.

No-one had foreseen just how quickly the Taliban would seize Afghanistan.

Those who thought a US withdrawal would inspire the Afghan populace into fighting against the Taliban forgot one very important rule in politics: power is a constant. It cannot be destroyed. It only ever changes hands.

So when a major power withdraws from a region, another power moves in to fill the vacuum.

Those unsettling images of the Taliban in the presidential palace is unfortunately a contagious piece of propaganda that will no doubt inspire other such movements in the world.

If the original goal of the US was to make the world a safer place, can anyone seriously say it is safer now with a reinvigorated Taliban in power?

Though as a unionist, I cannot say I am surprised at the Biden administration’s attitude towards Afghanistan. The Biden administration dismisses unionist concerns over the Northern Ireland Protocol and only seeks to protect the North-South elements of the Belfast Agreement while shamefully ignoring its equally important East-West elements.

Its foreign policy is fatally flawed, which only continues to alienate rather than alleviate.

Michael Palmer, Newtownards, Ulster Unionist Member Ards and North Down

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