Biden 'Doesn't Give a Damn' About Britain, Other Countries, Ex-Obama Adviser Claims
13:45 GMT 12.09.2021 (Updated: 13:57 GMT 12.09.2021)
The old friendship between Britain and its former colony has suffered a setback in recent weeks in the wake of NATO's chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, with the Biden administration moving forward with the exit despite pleas by allies, including Britain, to delay the pullout.
Joe Biden's failure to appoint an ambassador to Britain, over seven months into his term, is a sign that the president doesn't really care about Britain or the rest of the world, former US diplomat Brett Bruen, who served as White House director of global engagement under Barack Obama, has suggested.
"There is clearly an emerging foreign policy doctrine from Biden which is 'I mostly don't give a damn about the rest of the world'", Bruen said, speaking to The Express in an article published Sunday.
"It is certainly surprising to see someone who spent his whole career doing foreign policy now continuing with a political rationale pioneered by [Donald] Trump and putting foreign policy on the back burner", the ex-official lamented.
As for Britain, Bruen suggested that Biden's position has been to take for granted the "Special Relationship" between Washington and London, and the president "has not, as I'd have expected him to, forged a deeper dialogue and strategy between a post-Brexit UK and a post-Trump US", with the two countries seeming "to be more estranged" despite "need[ing] each other now more than ever".
An unnamed businessman working in both the US and the UK and with both countries' governments called the current situation "a low point" that's "proving to be a problem. Biden hasn't even appointed an ambassador and it is a real insult".
The Biden administration has faced intense criticism over its inability to get candidates for national diplomatic postings approved by the Senate. Last month, a former US diplomat calculated that the administration still has over 80 vacant ambassadorships
, with President Biden's record on the matter shown to be worse than predecessors Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and even Donald Trump, whom Democrats and their media allies attacked relentlessly for his unadulterated Twitter diplomacy and supposed "disengagement with the world".
The US ambassadorship to Britain has been vacant since January, when Trump-appointed envoy Woody Johnson left his post, and was replaced by charge d’affaires Philip Reeker. Biden has nominated career diplomat Jane Dorothy Hartley for the job, but the post and dozens of others like it have yet to be filled, despite the Democrats' strong position in the Senate, where appointees are vetted.
8 September 2021, 16:09 GMT
The long-standing "Special Relationship" between the US and Britain that formed during the Second World War has been scuffed by Washington's unilateral decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan earlier this year without consulting its NATO allies. Prime Minister Boris Johnson reluctantly agreed to pull British forces out of the war-torn country ahead of the "remorseless" US deadline, and told parliament that the UK had come up "against [the] hard reality
" that the US contributed the overwhelming majority of forces and weapons deployed by NATO, and that Britain and other nations could not go it alone in the conflict.
This week, British Defence Minister James Heappey said
that the Afghan disaster has led to a "worrying" "wobble in confidence" in the personal relationship between Johnson and Biden, and suggested that the US appeared to be facing "a real crisis in confidence about its role in the world".
British lawmakers gave Biden an unprecedentedly sharp rebuke during a debate on the Afghan pullout last month, with the US president and the British prime minister facing a flurry of criticism
from parliament, including from members of his own Conservative Party, over the country being overrun by the Taliban* before foreign forces had even left.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other nations.