The Wall Street Journal

Scolding Isn’t a Foreign Policy

America needs friends, and it isn’t going to win them by delivering lectures.

Ravenel B. Curry III Distinguished Fellow in Strategy and Statesmanship
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken participates in a joint press availability with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, and Philippine Senior Under Secretary and Officer in Charge of the Department of National Defense Carlito Galvez following the U.S.-Philippines 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on April 11, 2023. [State Department photo by Freddie Everett/ Public Domain]
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken participates in a joint press availability at the US. Department of State in Washington, DC, on April 11, 2023. (State Department photo by Freddie Everett)

Internationally, it was another grim week for the Biden administration, the United States of America, and world peace. Brazil, the country with the largest population, economy and landmass in Latin America, reinforced its alignment with China as its president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva pledged to work with Xi Jinping to build a new global order and called on the European Union and the U.S. to stop shipping weapons to Ukraine. Indian officials reported that China is supporting the development of a military listening post on Myanmar’s strategic Great Coco Island in the Bay of Bengal. Saudi Arabia, which flirted a few weeks ago with opening diplomatic relations with Israel, is intensifying its oil cooperation with Russia and now seeks a meeting with Hamas. Farther south, a Sudanese military faction backed by Russia’s Wagner Group battles for control of Africa’s third-largest nation.

The usual spinners and makeup artists are doing their best to make the disorderly unraveling of the American-led world order look like a visionary triumph of enlightened foreign policy, but former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers expressed a more cogent view. Describing America’s increasing loneliness on the world scene, Mr. Summers said, “Somebody from a developing country said to me, ‘What we get from China is an airport. What we get from the United States is a lecture.’ ”

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal.