"Wrong On Nearly Every Major Foreign Policy And National Security Issue Over The Past Four Decades"

- June 20, 2016

From The Middle East To Human Rights, Vice President Biden Has Been Wrong Time And Time Again


  • Today, Vice President Biden launched a "vicious attack" against Donald Trump on foreign policy.
  • Biden is among the Democrat Party's worst messengers on foreign policy, having been, according to former Defense Secretary Bob Gates, "wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."
  • Biden played a big role in the hasty and complete withdrawal from Iraq, predicting it would be "one of the great achievements" of the Obama Administration, only for it to create a vacuum for al-Qaeda in Iraq, which would become ISIS, and grow into the most dangerous terrorist organization in global history.
  • Biden predicted the Syrian conflict wouldn't be "disruptive regionally," only for it to devolve into a full-scale civil war that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands, the displacement of millions, and created a breeding ground for terrorist activity and instability.
  • Biden predicted a full withdrawal from Afghanistan by 2014 "come hell or high water," but U.S. troops and advisers still remain and are combating growing Taliban and ISIS strongholds in the country.
  • Biden smugly dismissed North Korea as a "paper tiger," only to see the state sponsor of terror defy international sanctions and test nuclear weapons.
  • From backing China's one-child policy to predicting Obama's election would lead to an international crisis, Biden has forced the Obama press team to defend his penchant for embarrassing comments on foreign policy.


Today, Biden "Launch[ed] A Vicious Attack" On Donald Trump At A National Security Speech At A Think Tank In Washington. "Vice President Joe Biden will take multiple shots at presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday in a national security-themed speech at a think tank in Washington. In one of his most political speeches of the year to date, Biden will launch a vicious attack on Trump's foreign policy doctrine." (Julian Hattem, Biden To Take Shots At Trump In National Security Address," The Hill, 06/20/16)


"Biden's Foreign Policy Expertise Was Among The Reasons Obama Chose Him As Vice President." "Biden's foreign policy expertise was among the reasons Obama chose him as vice president. Biden, who represented Delaware for 36 years in the Senate, is known for using his long-standing relationships with world leaders to help shape policy." (Nichole Gaudiano, "Gates' Book Stirs Debate On Biden's Foreign Policy Creds," USA Today, 1/10/14)

Former Obama Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates: "I Think He [Biden] Has Been Wrong On Nearly Every Major Foreign Policy And National Security Issue Over The Past Four Decades." (Robert M. Gates, "Duty: Memoirs Of A Secretary At War," 2014, p. 288)

Biden Called Obama's Reckless Withdrawal From Iraq A Great Achievement As Iraq Unraveled And Became A Hotbed For ISIS

Biden Claimed That Iraq "Could Be One Of The Great Achievements" Of The Obama Administration, Saying "You're Going To See A Stable Government In Iraq." "On Larry King Live last night, Vice President Joe Biden said Iraq 'could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.'" (ABC'S "Larry King Live", 2/11/10)

  • Biden: "I've Been Impressed How They [Iraqi's] Have Been Deciding To Use The Political Process Rather Than Guns To Settle Their Differences." VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: "I am very optimistic about Iraq I think it's going to be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home at the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government. I have been there 17 times now, I go about every two months, 3 months. I know every one of the major players and all of the segments of that society. It's impressed me, I've been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences." (ABC'S "Larry King Live", 2/11/10)

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Biden Took The Lead On Iraq Back In 2009. "Three months later, Vice President Joe Biden took the lead on Iraq Policy and [Clinton] never returned." (Chris Hill, "How The Obama Administration Ignored Iraq," Politico, 10/2/14)

Obama Tasked Vice President With Overseeing Iraq Policy As The U.S. Began Withdrawing Forces. "Shortly after he became president, Barack Obama tasked his vice president with overseeing Iraq policy as the United States began the delicate job of winding down its involvement in the troubled nation." (Anita Kumar, "On Iraq, Where's Biden?," McClatchyDC, 6/20/14)

As The United States Prepared To Withdraw Its Troops From Iraq By Year's End, Senior American And Iraqi Officials Expressed Concern That Al Qaeda's Offshoot Here … Is Poised For A Deadly Resurgence. "As the United States prepares to withdraw its troops from Iraq by year's end, senior American and Iraqi officials are expressing growing concern that Al Qaeda's offshoot here, which just a few years ago waged a debilitating insurgency that plunged the country into a civil war, is poised for a deadly resurgence." (Michael Schmidt and Eric Schmitt, "Leaving Iraq, U.S. Fears New Surge Of Qaeda Terror," The New York Times, 11/5/11)

The Washington Post Editorial: The Complete Withdrawal Decision "Increases The Risk That Painfully Won Security Gains In Iraq Will Come Undone; That Iran Will Be Handed A Crucial Strategic Advantage" And That The U.S.-Iraqi Alliance "Will Wither." "It could be, as White House officials argued, that the government of Nouri al-Maliki and its armed forces can manage all these threats without help or training from American soldiers, who have already played a secondary role since the end of combat operations last year. But Mr. Obama's decision to carry out a complete withdrawal sharply increases the risk that painfully won security gains in Iraq will come undone; that Iran will be handed a crucial strategic advantage in its regional cold war with the United States; and that a potentially invaluable U.S. alliance with an emerging Iraqi democracy will wither." (Editorial, "An End To The Iraq War? Only For The U.S.," The Washington Post, 10/22/11)

  • The Washington Post Editorial: Doubted That The Move Was "Responsible." "In the meantime Mr. Obama will surely boast on the campaign trail, as he did Friday at the White House, that he has fulfilled his 2008 pledge 'to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end.' End it will, for Americans if not for Iraqis; as for 'responsible,' count us among the doubters." (Editorial, "An End To The Iraq War? Only For The U.S.," The Washington Post , 10/22/11)

The Wall Street Journal Editorial: "There Are Serious Risks In This Complete Withdrawal." "There are serious risks in this complete withdrawal. Iraq has made great progress in providing its own security, with some 600,000 Iraqi troops gradually taking the handoff from U.S. forces. But the Iraqis still lack vital military assets in intelligence and logistics, not to mention naval and air power. Mr. Obama said the U.S. will continue to discuss 'how we might help Iraq train and equip its forces,' but this is no substitute for a more robust, long-term presence of the kind we retain in South Korea and Japan 60 years after the end of the Korean War." (Editorial, "Leaving Iraq Behind," The Wall Street Journal, 10/24/11)

Before The War In Syria, The Leader Of ISIS Had "Laid The Foundation For The Group's Resurgence" As Americans Were Leaving Iraq. "But even before the civil war in Syria presented him with a growth opportunity, Mr. Baghdadi had been taking steps in Iraq - something akin to a corporate restructuring - that laid the foundation for the group's resurgence, just as the Americans were leaving. He picked off rivals through assassinations, orchestrated prison breaks to replenish his ranks of fighters and diversified his sources of funding through extortion, to wean the group off outside funding from Al Qaeda's central authorities." (Tim Arango and Eric Schmitt, "U.S. Actions In Iraq Fueled Rise Of A Rebel," The New York Times , 8/10/14)

  • ISIS "Has Expanded To Other Countries, Including Libya, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula And Afghanistan." But U.S. intelligence agencies see the overall situation as a strategic stalemate: The Islamic State remains a well-funded extremist army able to replenish its ranks with foreign jihadis as quickly as the U.S. can eliminate them. Meanwhile, the group has expanded to other countries, including Libya, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Afghanistan." (Ken Dilanian, Zeina Karam, and Bassem Mroue, "Despite Bombing, Islamic State Is No Weaker Than A Year Ago," The Associated Press , 7/31/15)

Years After The Withdrawal From Iraq, Director Of The CIA Said That Despite Efforts To Combat ISIS, It Has Not Reduced The Terror Groups Capability To Carry Out Attacks. CIA DIRECTOR JOHN BRENNAN: "Unfortunately despite all of our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group's terrorism capability and global reach. The resources needed for terrorism are very modest. And the group would have to suffer even heavier losses on territory man power, and money for its terrorist capacity to decline significantly. Moreover the group's foreign branches and global networks can help preserve its capacity for terrorism regardless of events in Iraq and Syria. In fact as the pressure mounts on ISIL we judge that it will intensify its total global terror campaign to maintain its dominance of the global terrorism agenda." (John Brennan, Select Committee On Intelligence, 06/16/16)

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In 2011, Biden Predicted Violence In Syria, Wouldn't Be "Disruptive Regionally"

In December 2011, Biden Dismissed Fears That Violence In Syria Would Become "Disruptive Regionally." "In his meeting with the Turkish president, the senior administration official said, Mr. Biden acknowledged that there were fears in the Middle East about what would happen if the uprising in Syria managed to topple President Bashar al-Assad. But he argued that Mr. Assad himself was the greatest cause of instability and sectarian strife. 'The problem right now is Assad,' Mr. Biden said in the interview. 'Could something emerge that is more disruptive regionally? I don't think so, but it could.'" (Mark Landler, "In Turkey, Biden Talks About Iran And Syria," The New York Times, 12/2/11)

The Syrian Civil War Has Led To A Death Toll Of More Than 250,000. " Even before Madaya, sieges were common in the Syrian war, which has led to more than 250,000 deaths, displaced millions and generated a humanitarian catastrophe. But the tactic appears to be increasingly applied as President Bashar al-Assad's forces, backed by Russian airstrikes, wage a new offensive against rebel groups." (Hugh Naylor, "Death By Siege In Syria's Civil War: Hundreds Of Thousands At Risk," The Washington Post , 1/23/16)

The War Has "Displaced Half Of The Country's Population, And Facilitated The Rise Of ISIS." "Whatever it is, it has so far killed 220,000 people, displaced half of the country's population, and facilitated the rise of ISIS." (Kathy Gilsinan, "The Confused Person's Guide To The Syrian Civil War," The Atlantic, 11/15/15)

Biden Predicted A Full Withdrawal From Afghanistan By 2014 "Come Hell Or High Water"

In 2010, Biden Said That "Come Hell Or High Water" U.S. Would Be "Totally Out" Of Afghanistan By 2014. "An item left over the from the Sunday shows: Vice President Biden said the United States will be 'totally out' of Afghanistan by 2014, 'come hell or high water' -- and that a July drawdown of U.S. soldiers 'will not be a token amount.'" (David Jackson, "Biden: out Of Afghanistan By 2014, 'Come Hell Or High Water,'" USA Today , 12/20/10)

In What Would Be A "Major Shift In Policy," U.S. Military Commanders Want To Keep Several Thousand U.S. Troops In Afghanistan Beyond 2016. "In a potential major shift in policy, U.S. military commanders want to keep at least a few thousand American troops in Afghanistan beyond 2016, citing a fragile security situation highlighted by the Taliban's capture of the northern city of Kunduz this week as well as recent militant inroads in the south." (Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor," The Associated Press , 9/30/15)

  • The Associated Press Headline: "US Military Favors Keeping Troops In Afghanistan Past 2016" (Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor," The Associated Press , 9/30/15)

General John W. Nicholson's Three Month Afghanistan Assessment In The Beginning Of 2016 Showed That Taliban Now Hold More Ground Than They Did In 2001, Despite U.S. Efforts To Expel The Group From The Country. "The new U.S. commander in Afghanistan has submitted his first three-month assessment of the situation in the war-torn country and what it's going to take to defeat the Taliban, a U.S. military official has told The Associated Press." (Lynne O'Donnell, "The Taliban Now Hold More Ground In Afghanistan Than At Any Point Since 2001," Military Times , 06/16/16)

A New Public Opinion Poll Revealed That Only 20% Of Afghans Feel Safe; While 49% Said That Security Is Worse Than What It Was Under The Taliban Led Government. "'Perceptions of security remain near all-time lows,' the report said. Only 20 percent of Afghans surveyed in March called security good. That is a drop from 39 percent a year earlier. In the latest polling, 42 percent of Afghans said security is worse now than during the time of the Taliban." (Robert Burns, "Pentagon Report Says Afghans Feel Less Secure," The Associated Press , 06/17/16)

  • The U.N. Assistant Mission In Afghanistan Reported That Casualties In 2015 Were The Highest Recorded Since It Began Recording Figures In 2009. "Afghan civilian casualties in 2015, as counted by the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, hit the highest level since the U.N. group began systematic documentation in 2009, the Pentagon said. It said the number continued to rise in the first half of this year." (Robert Burns, "Pentagon Report Says Afghans Feel Less Secure," The Associated Press , 06/17/16)

Biden Brushed Aside The Threat From North Korea As A "Paper Tiger"

As A Senator, Biden Dismissed North Korea As A "Paper Tiger." BIDEN: "I would rather have seen [the U.S.] do exactly what it did: demonstrate to the whole world that it is, in fact, a paper tiger. It does not have the capacity to do any short-term damage to the United States of America..." (CBS' "The Early Show," 7/5/06)

In January 2016, North Korea Said It "Successfully Carried Out A Hydrogen Bomb Test, Which If Confirmed, Will Be A First For The Reclusive Regime And A Significant Advancement For Its Military Ambitions." "North Korea says it has successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, which if confirmed, will be a first for the reclusive regime and a significant advancement for its military ambitions. A hydrogen bomb is more powerful than plutonium weapons, which is what North Korea used in its three previous underground nuclear tests." (Euan McKirdy, "North Korea Announces It Conducted Nuclear Test," CNN , 1/6/16)

  • CNN Headline: "North Korea Announces It Conducted Nuclear Test" (Euan McKirdy, "North Korea Announces It Conducted Nuclear Test," CNN , 1/6/16)

"A Hydrogen Bomb Is More Powerful Than Plutonium Weapons, Which Is What North Korea Used In Its Three Previous Underground Nuclear Tests." (Euan McKirdy, "North Korea Announces It Conducted Nuclear Test," CNN , 1/6/16)

The Four-Star Army General Nominated To Take Control Of U.S. Forces In Korea, Recently Stated That North Korea "Is Moving In The Wrong Direction." "North Korea is 'moving in the wrong direction' with its escalating approach to crisis on the peninsula and in the region while voicing threats of nuclear attack on the United States and its allies and partners, the Army four-star general nominated to take command of U.S. forces in Korea told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday." (John Grady, "U.S. Forces Korea Nominee: North Korea Is 'Moving In The Wrong Direction'," USNI News, 4/19/16)

Intelligence Analysts Now Believe That North Korea "Probably" Possesses A Miniaturized Nuclear Warhead. "Some U.S. intelligence analysts now believe that North Korea "probably" possesses a miniaturized nuclear warhead, several U.S. officials told CNN. The assessment has yet to become a formal consensus view of the U.S. government. But it reveals just how far along many in the U.S. believe the reclusive country has come to gaining a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile that could potentially strike the U.S. As North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's public rhetoric has escalated in recent weeks, concern has grown inside intelligence circles that he has made progress on several fronts." (Barbara Starr and Ryan Browne, "Intel Officials: North Korea 'Probably' Has Miniaturized Nuke," CNN, 3/24/16)


As The Vice Presidential Nominee In 2008, Biden Said Obama's Election Would Led To An International Crisis

In October 2008, Then-Senator Joe Biden "Guaranteed" That Within The First Six Months Of An Obama Presidency, "We're Gonna Have An International Crisis, A Generated Crisis, To Test The Mettle Of This Guy." SENATOR JOE BIDEN: "And here's the point I want to make. Mark my words. Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he's gonna have to make some really tough - I don't know what the decision's gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it's gonna happen. I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate." (Senator Joe Biden, Remarks At A Seattle Fundraiser, Seattle, WA, 10/19/08)

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Biden Claimed Obama Was Not Ready To Be President

In A 2007 Democratic Debate Against Obama, Biden Claimed That Obama Was Not Fit To Be President Due To His Lack Of Experience. ABC'S GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: "You said: 'I think he can be ready but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on the job training.'" Biden: "I think that I stand by this statement."

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After 9/11, Biden Suggested Sending Iran $200 Million With No Strings As A Good Faith Gesture

After September 11th, Biden Suggested Sending $200 Million To Iran, "No Strings Attached," As A Gesture Of Good Faith To The Arab World. "At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: 'I'm groping here.' Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we're not bent on its destruction. 'Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran' Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face." (Michael Crowley, "Rhetorical Question," The New Republic, 10/22/01)

On National Television, Biden Claimed U.S. Personnel In Benghazi Never Requested More Security Prior To The 2012 Attack

Biden Claimed The Obama Administration Wasn't Told That U.S. Personnel In Benghazi "Wanted More Security There." BIDEN: "We weren't told they wanted more security. We did not know they wanted more security there." (Vice Presidential Debate, Danville, KY, 10/11/12)

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State Department Personnel In Libya Requested Additional Security, Including Five Agents In Benghazi, But The State Department Responded By Asking Why He Sought "The Sun, The Moon, And The Stars." "Yet, when the Libyan mission transmitted its official request for additional security personnel on March 28, 2012, the pushback from Ms. Lamb's office was swift and significant. While the request, which included five temporary duty Diplomatic Security agents in Benghazi, was clearly reasonable, one of Ms. Lamb's subordinates asked Mr. Nordstrom why the official cable sought 'the sun, the moon, and the stars.'" ("Review Of The Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Facilities In Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012 Additional Views Of Vice Chairman Chambliss And Senators Burr, Risch, Coats, Rubio, And Coburn," Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, 1/15/14)

Ambassador Stevens Recommends The Creation Of Security Teams In Tripoli And Benghazi That Were Never Created. "On June 6, 2012, Stevens recommended the creation of [REDACTED] teams, made up of locally hired personnel, in Benghazi and Tripoli. The State Department attempted to create a team in Tripoli, but was unable to do so because it was difficult to find and clear appropriate personnel. A [REDACTED] team was never created in Benghazi despite the Ambassador's recommendation." ("Review Of The Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Facilities In Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012 Together With Additional Views," Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, 1/15/14)

Ambassador Stevens Submitted A Request For 13 More U.S. Security Personnel, But The State Department Never Responded. "On July 9, 2012, Stevens sent a cable to State Department headquarters requesting a minimum of 13 'Temporary Duty (TDY) U.S. security personnel for Libya, which he said could be made up of DS agents, DoD Site Security Team (SST) personnel, or some combination of the two. These TDY security personnel were needed to meet the requested security posture in Tripoli and Benghazi… The State Department never fulfilled the request and, according to Eric Nordstrum, State Department headquarters never responded to the request with a cable." ("Review Of The Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Facilities In Benghazi, Libya, September 11-12, 2012 Together With Additional Views," Senate Select Committee On Intelligence, 1/15/14)

Biden: "Look, The Taliban Per Se Is Not Our Enemy"

In A December 2011 Interview With Newsweek, Biden Said, "Look, The Taliban Per Se Is Not Our Enemy." "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That's critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us. So there's a dual track here: One, continue to keep the pressure on al Qaeda and continue to diminish them. Two, put the government in a position where they can be strong enough that they can negotiate with and not be overthrown by the Taliban. And at the same time try to get the Taliban to move in the direction to see to it that they, through reconciliation, commit not to be engaged with al Qaeda or any other organization that they would harbor to do damage to us and our allies." (Leslie Gelb, "Joe Biden On Iraq, Iran, China And The Taliban," Newsweek, 12/19/11)

Biden Backed China's Brutal One-Child Policy Which Includes Forced Sterilization And Abortion

Biden Endorsed China's One Child Policy Which Includes Forced-Sterilization And Abortion. "Vice President Biden has emphatically backed away from his apparent endorsement of China's one-child policy. …The one-child policy has rested on coercion, including forced sterilization and abortion, as well as incentives." (Editorial, "Mr. Biden Stumbles In China, Twice," The Washington Post, 8/24/11)

And Embarrassingly, Biden Has Made Up Tall Tales Of Being Under Enemy Fire In Iraq And Afghanistan

At A 2007 Debate, Biden Claimed That He Had Been Fired Upon In Iraq. BIDEN: "You take all the troops out; you better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone, where I've been seven times and shot at; you better make sure you have protection for them or let them die, number one." (Senator Joe Biden, CNN/You Tube Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Charleston, SC, 7/23/07)

  • Biden Later Said A More Accurate Comment Would Have Been: "I Was Near Where A Shot Landed." "Biden said the incident happened in the morning while he and at least one other senator were shaving. Although he said it shook the building, he wasn't rattled enough to duck and cover. 'No one got up and ran from the room-it wasn't that kind of thing,' he said. '…It's not like I had someone holding a gun to my head.' Thinking about it now, he said, a more accurate comment would have been: 'I was near where a shot landed.'" (Susan Crabtree," Biden Revises Claim He Was 'Shot At' In Iraq," The Hill, 8/8/07)

Biden Implied That His Helicopter Had Been "Forced Down" By Al Qaeda In Afghanistan. BIDEN: "If you want to know where al Qaeda lives, if you want to know where bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me. Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down with a three-star general and three United States senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are. Where is that safe haven? It is not Baghdad. It is in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan where my helicopter was recently forced down." (Senator Joe Biden, Remarks To The National Guard Association, Baltimore, MD, 9/22/08)

  • Biden's Helicopter Was Forced Down By Snow, Not Terrorists. "When Joe Biden tells voters he understands the threat posed by Afghan extremists, he dramatically illustrates one reason why: His helicopter was 'forced down' on 'the superhighway of terror.' Actually, snow, not the enemy, persuaded the helicopter pilot to land and wait out a storm." (Calvin Woodward, "Fact Check: Biden Spins A Helicopter Tale," The Associated Press, 10/2/08)

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