Former Vice President Joe Biden savaged Donald Trump’s foreign policy agenda in an interview that aired Friday morning, warning that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will be completely disbanded if the president captures another White House term in 2020.
“What bothers me abroad is, look, the idea that we can go it alone with no alliances for the next 20 or 30 years is a disaster,” Biden, the Democratic front-runner to challenge Trump in next year’s general election, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
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“I come out of a generation where we were trying to be the policemen of the world. We can’t go in every place. We need allies,” Biden said. “He is absolutely dissing them. He’s embracing thugs. He’s embracing Kim Jong Un, who is a thug. He’s embracing Putin, who is a flat dictator.”
Biden also accused Trump of “stiff-arming our friends” on the world stage and “threatening NATO,” the decades-old multinational political and military alliance among 29 North American and European countries.
Trump has long expressed skepticism toward NATO, complaining that too many of the pact’s other members have failed for years to meet agreed-upon defense spending targets and threatening to pull the U.S. out of the alliance. Prodded by the president, defense spending by NATO members has climbed since 2016, apparently placating some of Trump’s concerns.
“Let me put it this way, if he wins re-election, I promise you there will be no NATO in four years or five years,” Biden said, adding that the league is “being crushed” by bad actors in the region including Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Look at what’s happening with Putin. While Putin is trying to undo our elections, he is undoing elections in Europe. Look at what’s happened in Hungary. Look at what’s happened in Poland. Look what’s happened in Moldova,” Biden said.
“You think that would happen on my watch or [former President Barack Obama’s] watch? You can’t answer that, but I promise you it wouldn’t have, and it didn’t,” he continued.
Biden also criticized the administration’s diplomatic tack toward North Korea as not advancing U.S. interests and failing to extract sufficient concessions from leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear-ambitious regime.
Trump last week became the first sitting U.S. president to foot in the isolated, communist state, with the aim of launching a new round of arms control negotiations with Kim’s government.
“He gave Kim everything that he wanted: legitimacy,” Biden said, charging that Trump “ended our relationship as a practical matter” with Japan and South Korea and pierced the “united front” shared by the U.S. and the democratic Asian nations.
Biden claimed that Kim “hasn’t done a thing” to take concrete steps toward denuclearization, and pledged as president to demand greater accountability from Pyongyang before relieving any economic penalties.
“I’d make it real clear: ‘Look, you want to talk, you want to deal with us, you want sanctions lifted? Show me something ahead of time. Show me.’” Biden said, adding: “They’re sitting there with missiles that have capacity and nuclear capacity right now. So they’re not giving up anything.”