Biden Keeps Saying ‘Don’t.’ Enemies Don’t Give A Damn. Trump’s Threats Established American Deterrence.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: U.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks virtually to the National Action Network Convention from the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus on April 12, 2024 in Washington, DC. During Biden’s remarks, he spoke on his administration’s advancements in protections of civil rights. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Joe Biden, the president of the United States, says one word over and over and over: “Don’t.”

He said it of the Taliban with regard to attacks on American troops. And then they did. He said it to the Russians with regard to going into Ukraine. And then they did. Now he’s said it to the Iranians with regard to directly attacking Israel. And then, of course, they did.

All of which means that Joe Biden is not a credible player on the world stage.

There is something in foreign policy called deterrence. It’s the single most important concept of the postwar era. The Defense Department defines deterrence as the “prevention of action by the existence of a credible threat of unacceptable counteraction and/or belief that the cost of action outweighs the perceived benefits.”

In other words, you do not attack me because I am threatening you. If you attack me, I will clock you into next week.

You know who is an expert at deterrence? President Donald Trump. He was excellent at deterrence because every threat that he uttered was perfectly credible. He kept everybody off-balance.

It’s a kind of madman theory of foreign policy. You never knew when he meant it and you never knew when he didn’t. It didn’t matter whether you understood it. It only mattered whether he understood it. He could push you off the ball simply by saying, “If you cross the line, you don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’s going to be really bad.” 

And other nations took that seriously. The Taliban took that seriously. Russia took that seriously. China took that seriously. Iran took that seriously. 

But when Joe Biden — over and over and over again — keeps saying “Don’t,” and then other parties do, and the United States not only doesn’t respond but also slow-walks aid to America’s allies so even America’s allies cannot respond, or also intervenes to tell America’s allies not to do too much, the party that is deterred is not, in fact, the opponents, the enemies of the United States.

The party that is deterred is the United States herself.

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It is one thing to suggest that the United States should be deterred from forward action by the presence of, for example, the Soviet Union. But to suggest that the United States should be deterred from providing full aid to Ukraine, such that Ukraine is not overrun, and that we should be deterred by the possibility Vladimir Putin is going to unleash nuclear weapons — which of course is not a credible threat when it comes to simply maintaining the current battle lines in Ukraine — that’s stupid.

Or the suggestion that the United States should be deterred by Iran, which is what’s happening right now. Iran is saying, “We fired 300-odd missiles and drones at Israel. Most of those got knocked down. Virtually all of them got knocked down. But don’t go further or we are going to go further.” 

Iran is saying if Israel were to counterattack, then it would unleash 1,500 cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. So Biden is putting pressure on Israel.

The United States is the deterred party.

Being deterred is a sign that you are the weaker party in any conflict. The stronger party typically is not deterred. It is the weaker party who is worried that the cost of action will outweigh the perceived benefit. Typically, if you are on the playground, it is not the bully who is being deterred by the weakling. It’s the weakling who is being deterred by the bully.

When it comes to foreign policy, the United States has the world’s largest and most powerful military presence spanning the globe in terms of technology — far more advanced than anything on the table by a factor of probably five.

And yet, the United States is being deterred over and over by significantly smaller powers, which is why smaller powers are feeling their oats right now.

So the question is why? Why exactly has it become rote for smaller powers to deter the United States?

The answer is not the insufficiency of American materiel. The answer is not the insufficiency of America’s military might. America is so far beyond, for example, the Chinese military in terms of advancement. China going to a full-scale war with the United States would be the biggest mistake China ever made.

And if that’s true of China, who has nuclear weapons, think about Iran, who does not have nuclear weapons and whose ballistic missile system is so bad that half of the rockets just fired at Israel fell in its own territory or the territory of other countries before they even hit Israeli airspace.

So, again, why is America being deterred? The answer is simple: moral cowardice. Under Biden, the United States has become a morally cowardly force. Under Biden, the United States has basically decided that any engagement in the world’s sphere is some sort of act of aggression. Even so much as funding our allies so those allies can defend themselves with forward action to deter — for example, Iran from doing this again — would be some sort of American aggression that would escalate.

The reality is that when it comes to the Middle East, every single conflict is a game of chicken. The game of chicken, as we all know, is a game wherein two sides drive toward a cliff and whoever gets closest to the cliff without driving over wins. The worst case scenario is you’re the one who goes off the cliff.

But when it comes to the United States versus other countries, we have both the best gas and the best brakes. The reality is that if there were to be a cliff and if we were to hit it, the significant impact would be on Iran and not on the United States.

The United States is already engaged in wartime activity against Iran. It was American forces striking down drones directly from Iranian territory.

But it is Joe Biden who is acting the weakling, not just with regard to Iran directly, but also with regard to Hezbollah, with regard to Hamas, which is a basically defunct terror group at this point. The only reason that is happening is because Biden does not have the courage of American convictions.


This is not an argument for America to be involved in war. There’s an argument that American deterrence relies on credible threat of force, and that in a world where America’s deterrence is gone, everybody gets a lot more aggressive, the world becomes a lot more violent.

There’s this theory out there from both the far-libertarian Right and from the far-Left Noam Chomsky group that the way world wars start is through a series of escalating steps that no one can stop.

There are two ways world wars start. That can be one way world wars start: when you have a relative balance of power. But when you have one full-on dominant power, the way the world war starts is by simply mistaking your way into it by failure of credibility.

The reality is that the United States owes it to the West to be an iron wall and to provide enough support to its allies that those allies can be an iron wall against forces of countries like Iran.

And yet, that is not what the Biden administration is pursuing.

That is a moral shortcoming. That is a question of will and a question of common sense.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Biden Keeps Saying ‘Don’t.’ Enemies Don’t Give A Damn. Trump’s Threats Established American Deterrence.