This Friday, during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2022 in Florida, veteran Republican diplomat Richard Grenell spoke about the responsibility that Joe Biden’s administration bears for the Russian invasion of Ukraine, asserting that America is experiencing a “total collapse of diplomacy.”
Grenell, U.S. ambassador to Germany and then acting director of National Intelligence during the Trump administration, argued that diplomacy “is not a weak option,” but it is nothing without the “credible threat of force.”
Regarding Russia’s advance against Ukraine in recent weeks, Grenell referred to Biden’s decisions as a “waste of diplomatic capital” that “hyped a bloody war.”
“President Biden told us that he was going to bring diplomacy back. Instead, it’s on its back,” he said. “We desperately need new, creative, visionary diplomacy — muscular diplomacy to secure meaningful peace when a conflict arises.”
Grenell: The Diplomatic Differences Between Trump and Biden
According to Grenell, both Donald Trump and President Biden had the same “diplomatic and military tools” at hand, with the difference being that the Trump administration pursued a “pro-American and unapologetic” diplomacy, supported by a “credible military option.”
Grenell believes that, by contrast, President Biden has demonstrated “weakness” in the face of the challenges of Afghanistan and Russia.
“Is American diplomacy working?”, Grenell asked the audience. “Let’s be clear: Europe has seen its borders rewritten this week under Joe Biden, and in 2014 when Barack Obama was president. And yet the Left continues to mock the successful America First diplomatic strategy.”
In that regard, the Republican diplomat asserted that both America’s enemies and allies “sense the weakness of the White House” under the Biden administration.
He noted that, while Trump was president, the Democratic left insisted on calling his administration’s ambassadors “mean” or “rude” because they worked to “represent Americans, not Europeans.” In contrast, Biden’s diplomats attend “fancy dinners and receptions.”
“Well, if avoiding war could be accomplished by a dinner party, then we wouldn’t be seeing Putin’s forces inside Ukraine,” Grenell said. “They failed to avoid war.”
Grenell insisted that a “deep and systematic reform” of U.S. foreign policy institutions is necessary to “peacefully advance” towards American interests.
“It is time for the State Department to rediscover its mission and reclaim its purpose: preventing war and aiming to keep the American people strong and prosperous is the goal, and we have much to do,” he stressed.
Grenell reiterated the need for “impactful diplomacy,” led by “the right people” and doing their job of conflict resolution “even while the military moves into place.”