Biden Foreign Policy Plan Says Trump Has Left U.S. Image 'In Tatters'

Former Vice President Joe Biden has released the Democratic draft platform for the November election, setting out a foreign policy agenda designed to restore American world leadership after President Donald Trump's time in office.

Biden's draft platform is expected to be approved at the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin next month. First reported by The Washington Post, the 80-page document is a scathing denouncement of Trump's term.

"President Trump promised he would put 'America First'—but Trump's America stands alone," the document reads. "Under his leadership, America's reputation and influence are in tatters. Our country is less safe, our economy more fragile, and our democracy, values, and unity endangered."

Biden accused Trump of having "retreated" on the world stage, allowing U.S. adversaries "to fill the void." Biden's pitch is one of international cooperation, and said Trump has "hollowed out American diplomacy, shredded international commitments, weakened our alliances, and tarnished our credibility."

The former vice president said he plans to increase funding for and attention on the U.S. diplomatic corps, prioritizing diplomacy and multilateralism after four years of Trumpian "America first" foreign policy.

Trump's apparent disdain for traditional alliances is a key grievance in Biden's document. He claimed that the president has "betrayed" U.S. partners and vowed to stand alongside American allies in need, for example Kurdish forces in Syria.

The president has been widely criticized for his apparent coziness with autocrats like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Trump has been accused of prioritizing relationships with such strongmen over traditional American allies.

"Rather than defend democracy and human rights, he's fawned over autocrats, sent love letters to despots, sided with dictators over peaceful protestors, and invited foreign interference in our elections," Biden said.

Biden's foreign policy pledges include vows to end "forever wars" and scale back U.S. counter-terror operations, which have spread all across the Middle East and North Africa since 9/11.

"Rather than end our forever wars, he's brought us to the brink of new conflicts, and further militarized our foreign policy," Biden said of Trump. "Rather than reduce nuclear dangers, he's amplified them, and brought the world closer to catastrophe."

Biden also plans to cut military spending, arguing: "We can maintain a strong defense and protect our safety and security for less."

Trump has often lauded his support for the military and his push for ever-larger military budgets, which dwarf even the richest and most militarily advanced nations in the world. Biden accused the president of wasting "billions on vanity projects" while using the military as a weapon to "sow fear and division" at home.

On China, Biden said his administration would be "clear, strong, and consistent in pushing back where we have profound economic, security, and human rights concerns about the actions of China's government."

Biden dismissed Trump's trade war with Beijing as "reckless" and "politically motivated," claiming it has "punished American workers, antagonized our allies, and benefited our adversaries."

But he stressed that Democrats do not see the China challenge as "primarily a military one," though that the party "will deter and respond to aggression." This includes in the contested South China Sea and around Taiwan.

Though Biden backs extending nuclear arms control measures with Russia, he also said his administration would "join our European partners in standing up to a revanchist Russia," vowing to block Russian meddling abroad and reinforce U.S. backing for NATO and Ukraine. Biden accused Trump of seeing Putin's Russia as "a strategic partner—not a strategic rival."

Tensions with Iran have continued throughout Trump's time in office, with Washington and Tehran coming close to war more than once. Biden rejected Trump's "maximum pressure" approach to Iran as a "race to war," and vowed to resurrect the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.

Biden described the JCPOA as "the best means to verifiably cut off all of Iran's pathways to a nuclear bomb," though acknowledged it was "always meant to be the beginning, not the end, of our diplomacy with Iran."

"Democrats support a comprehensive diplomatic effort to extend constraints on Iran's nuclear program and address Iran's other threatening activities, including its regional aggression, ballistic missile program, and domestic repression," the document said.

Elsewhere, Biden said his administration would continue "diplomacy with North Korea" to achieve denuclearization and humanitarian aid for the country's citizens. Trump has been unable to make any real progress on the North Korea issue, though many experts remain skeptical that any administration could realistically convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal.

The former vice president dismissed Trump's Venezuela policy as "failed" and committed to "smart pressure and effective diplomacy" rather than "bellicose threats untethered to realistic policy goals and motivated by domestic partisan objectives." Biden also vowed to "swiftly to reverse" Trump's Cuba strategy "including its efforts to curtail travel and remittances."

In the Middle East, Biden said he would back a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and said he will not support the proposed Israeli annexation of land in the Palestinian West Bank which the United Nations considers illegal under international law, though Trump administration officials are among those who dispute this.

Still, Biden said Democrats will stand firmly behind Israel on its right to self-defense, and condemned any efforts to "unfairly single out and delegitimize Israel," whether at the UN or via the international pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.

Elsewhere in the region, Biden said the "blank cheque" era of America's relationship with the Gulf states would end, as would "indulging authoritarian impulses, internal rivalries, catastrophic proxy wars, or efforts to roll back political openings across the region."

Biden was among those who criticized Trump for withdrawing from the Paris climate accord early in his presidency. Biden said climate change is an "existential threat" and accused Trump of having "denied science and accelerated the damage."

Under his leadership, Biden said the U.S. will pursue climate change resilience and support global efforts to do the same. "We have no time to waste in taking action to protect Americans' lives and futures," he wrote.

"Democrats believe four more years of Donald Trump will damage our influence beyond repair," Biden wrote.

"But closing the chapter on 'America First' is just the beginning of the work ahead. We must meet the world as it is today, not as it was before President Trump's destruction. That's why we cannot simply aspire to restore American leadership. We must reinvent it for a new era."

Ken Farnaso, the deputy national press secretary for the Trump 2020 campaign, dismissed Biden's attacks on the president. In a statement to Newsweek, Farnaso said: "Joe Biden's failed track record of political appeasement has already proven to be catastrophic for American national security."

"President Trump has kept his promise to rebuild the military, eliminate two most-wanted terrorists, destroy the ISIS caliphate, and implement robust political and economic pressure on foreign adversaries who wish harm to the homeland."

This article has been updated to include a statement from the Trump 2020 campaign.

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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is pictured at a campaign event on July 21, 2020, in New Castle, Delaware. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images/Getty

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