Could Joe Biden Handle a Global Crisis? President Joe Biden is an admitted gaffe machine.
He can’t do the simplest public appearance without stage management from handlers.
He misspeaks and tells tall tales.
His unfunny jokes come at the wrong times. He butchers prepared remarks.
But despite all of these difficulties, they are generally harmless.
The problem is if he continued his klutzy performances and made fatal mistakes during an international crisis, that could place the fate of America in the balance.
Foreign Policy Could Sting Biden Into Inaction
The chance of failure could happen in foreign policy. Russia has rattled the nuclear sabers during its war in Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin has intimated that he would do the unthinkable by using tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield.
If that happened, would Biden be able to react appropriately to lead the United States through such a difficult time?
Could He Handle Another Cuban Missile Crisis?
The last time we were close to nuclear war with the Russians was during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. President John F. Kennedy was at the top of his game and displayed much stamina during the ordeal. One of the reasons for his vigor and competence was his young age of 43 when he was elected. There was no question that Kennedy was in charge and operating optimally while the Soviet Union prepped the missiles to fire on the United States.
China Could Attack Taiwan
Joe Biden is now 80, and it makes one wonder if he could outlast Putin in a nuclear showdown.
The other problem would be China. What if that country’s leader, Xi Jinping, orders his military to invade Taiwan?
What would Biden have the Americans do? Would he be an effective wartime leader? If the United States intervened, there would likely by thousands of casualties shaking the nation with fear.
A terror attack that would kill a substantial number of Americans on domestic soil would be another difficult test for Biden. Or if there was a catastrophic terrorist incident using cyber warfare or an electromagnetic pulse attack that could incapacitate critical infrastructure. This would be a crisis that could last months. Biden would be under extraordinary pressure, would have less sleep, and the danger could bring about high stress that would strain his mental faculties.
A biowarfare attack would be disastrous for Biden. He would need to be sharp to make split-second decisions if a virus spread rapidly again. There would be no hiding in his basement this time.
When He Didn’t Rise to the Occasion
The chaotic retreat from Afghanistan in 2021 was telling. Biden showed his vulnerability during a press conference amid the crisis. He was asked a question, and the president bowed his head in silence, looking for an answer. This went on for several seconds and made him look bewildered, overmatched, and tired.
The weight of the world was on the president, and he was at a loss for words. You almost had to feel sorry for him as events in Afghanistan appeared to be too much for Biden to handle.
Other global incidents could stress out Joe Biden. Iran could build a nuclear weapon and use it against Israel. Or Israel could attack Iranian nuclear infrastructure and start a war in the Middle East. North Korea could invade South Korea. Russia could attack a NATO country and Article V of the treaty could be invoked in which members of the alliance would have to fight back. This counter-attack would have to be led by the United States with Biden at the helm.
Some of these contingencies are low probability events, to be sure. Biden has arguably handled the war in Ukraine as well as could be expected, but this has not necessitated American boots on the ground. Should the war ever involve U.S. military personnel, Biden may not pass the test of leadership.
If Biden cannot walk a straight line when reviewing troops as he showed in Poland, how is he going to lead troops? This is a fair question for the leader of the free world. Allies look for concrete actions from the United States while enemies search for weaknesses. Joe Biden may not be up to the task should an international disaster strike. This must make the American people wonder if this is the right person to be in the White House during times of global crises.
Author Expertise and Experience:
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.