Joe Biden, Standard Bearer of Obamaism

Joe Biden (Credit - Creative Commons)
Joe Biden (Credit – Creative Commons)

On the Campaign Trail:

The former Vice President was among the more dovish of President Obama’s aides. He argued against Obama’s build-up of Afghan forces in 2009. Unlike Hillary Clinton, he did not favor arming the Syrian rebels.

At the same time, Biden boasted he wrote the template for the Patriot Act, which was used to justify mass surveillance of Americans (reportedly discontinued by Trump.) He also voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq in 2002.

On issues of war and peace, Biden is a status quo candidate who sometimes resists military solutions but sees no need for a fundamental change in the U.S. national security apparatus.

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On Invading Iraq:

In 2002 Biden voted to authorize President Bush to invade Iraq and praised his handling of the issue. “President Bush did not lash out precipitously at Iraq after 9/11. He did not snub the U.N. or our allies. He did not dismiss new inspection regimes. He did not ignore Congress,” Biden declared in a floor speech.

“It was a mistake,” Biden said on NBC’s Meet the Press in 2005. “It was a mistake to assume the president would use the authority we gave him properly.”

On Afghanistan:

For eight years, Biden was the Obama administration’s “in-house pessimist” on Afghanistan. He argued that the country would revert to chaos, regardless of how long the United States stayed there. “It doesn’t matter if we leave tomorrow or 10 years from now,” he said at one meeting in 2015. He was, he said, a “broken record” on this issue.

On Syria:

When 51 diplomats criticized Obama’s decision not intervene militarily in Syria in 2016, Biden defended the president saying the critics presented no plausible alternative. “There is not a single, solitary recommendation that I saw that has a single, solitary answer attached to it — how to do what they’re talking about,” he said. (CBS, This Morning, June 21, 2016)

On Libya:

“I argued strongly against going to Libya. My question was, ‘Okay, tell me what happens? He’s gone. What happens?’ Doesn’t the country disintegrate? What happens then? Doesn’t it become a place where it becomes a petri dish for the growth of extremism? Tell me. Tell me what we’re going to do,” Biden said. (CBS, This Morning, June 21, 2016)

On NATO:

Biden was an enthusiastic advocate of expanding NATO, the U.S. policy that enraged Russian president Vladimir Putin the most. He was deeply involved in policy of intervening in Ukraine to secure a more pro-Western government.

On Israel:

During the 2012 vice presidential debate, getting visibly upset, Biden deflected criticism of strained Israel-U.S. ties from Paul Ryan by insisting he and Netanyahu had been friends for 39 years. 

Biden told “Shalom TV” in 2007: “I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist” (Biden himself is Catholic).

On Israel and the Mideast, Will Biden 2020 Be a Repeat of Clinton vs. Trump in 2016? — Haaretz

On Venezuela:

Biden supports Trump’s policy of regime change, which is also supported by many Western governments.

In the Eyes of ‘the Blob’ and the Secret Intelligence Agencies:

A Biden presidency would be welcomed by the policymaking elites, intelligence chiefs, and military leaders disturbed by Trump’s indifference to the perceived threat of Russia, his withdrawals from Syria and Afghanistan, and his disdain for the policymaking process.


Biden Defends Iraq

Return to Insider’s Guide to the 2020 Democrats on War and Peace


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