After 294 days, Brittney Griner is coming home. This is fantastic news; no human being should be imprisoned on dubious charges for political theater. While I am excited to see an American freed, it would be remiss to ignore the troubling trend being advanced by the Biden administration.
Russia held Griner to humiliate the United States, and they succeeded. Biden has repeatedly negotiated and worked to compromise with those who would see the US and its allies wiped from existence. Biden’s foreign policy illustrates a lack of confidence and standing in the world.
In return for Griner’s safe return, the US released Viktor Bout, an international arms trader who goes by the moniker “Merchant of Death.” Bout was convicted of plots to kill US civilians and officials, delivery of anti-aircraft missiles, and providing aid to terrorist organizations around the globe. He once bragged to US informants that he could have arms airdropped into Colombia and use them to kill Americans.
Obama’s chief of operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration categorized him as, “one of the most dangerous men on the face of the Earth.” By all metrics, the world is less safe with this individual heading back to Russia.
Biden and negotiations with Iran, Palestinians, Russia
Biden has taken the same approach regarding nations such as Iran. Iran’s supreme leader could not be more clear about his hopes to see the West burn. Iran openly calls for the death of the US and Israel, who it refers to as big and little Satan. Yet, knowing all this, the Biden administration has spent two years bending backward to revive the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal). Israel has warned the US time and time again that the JCPOA framework will result in a nuclear Iran, threatening not only Israel but all nations.
Throughout the war in Ukraine, Biden has failed to cut Russia off from the international marketplace. Russian fuel is still reaching consumers, and those reliant on it have yet to switch to alternatives. If anything, his administration is continuously working to dampen the impact of sanctions behind the scenes.
METHODS SUCH as price caps and allowance of some Russian exports are not getting the job done. These are tools utilized to give the appearance of harsh sanctions while not wanting to deal with the blowback of economic consequences.
The US government recently greenlit Exxon to resume operations in Venezuela, a rogue state allied with Putin. Oil exports from Venezuela will only bolster Putin’s network of supporters, while alleviating the pain for the Maduro regime. Maduro had previously been caught trading gold with Iran for oil services after his refineries had been crippled under US sanctions.
In Israel, the Biden administration has, on numerous occasions, sought to work with individuals claiming to represent the “Palestinian” cause. Over the last few years, Israel has made significant strides to normalize relations with the Arab world. Biden’s actions mark a return to the old structure of giving into Hamas, or the PLO.
Whether it be humoring the idea of opening a consulate in Israel’s eternal capital of Jerusalem or investigating Israel’s self-defense actions, Biden’s policies assist those who have no interest in peace.
Two years into his presidency, it is not too late to change course. Stop negotiating with terrorists, cease this trend of giving hostile actors what they want, and remind the world that the US and its allies are not to be trifled with. Biden can make the world stronger by putting his foot down and promising destruction, not rewards, for capturing civilians and threatening allies.
The writer is pursuing a masters of public policy at Arizona State University’s Watts College of Public Service. He serves as the youth engagement director for the Young Republicans National Federation.