Following the failed withdrawal from Afghanistan that left Americans and allies behind enemy lines, U.S. Senator Steve Daines is calling on President Joe Biden to project strength abroad, reassure our allies of U.S. resolve and counter our adversaries like China who in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal are moving to diminish U.S. influence around the world.
“Our closest allies feel vulnerable, and some are re-evaluating their ties with the U.S. The strongest world power for nearly a century is seen as weak and reluctant, embattled with internal strife. As we pivot from Afghanistan, the U.S. must not validate those perceptions with partisan infighting, and we must instead act decisively to regain our footing abroad,” Daines wrote.
“Over the past three days, Super-typhoon Chantu brought devastating winds and torrential rainfall upon our closest allies in the south Pacific, including the Philippines and Taiwan. Scenes of catastrophic flooding, landslides, and human suffering are likely hours away, ripe for Chinese propaganda to chip away at the confidence of its 23 million citizens. U.S. ships should be first on scene to provide assistance as necessary to those in need. Concurrently, the Philippine National Defense Secretary has asked your Administration for support in defending its sovereignty against China’s new maritime law which took effect on September 1st, requiring vessels inside the nine-dash line to report to Chinese authorities. Those assurances should be implicitly understood, and any ambiguity resolved before the Secretary’s return to the Philippines. The U.S. should also protect and support the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea for trade and our allies in the region. Additionally, China is reportedly considering troop deployments to Bagram Air Base in consultation with Taliban authorities, giving credence and legitimacy to its government. We must not cede any more leverage in our diplomatic efforts—or what little remains from our outpost in Doha,” Daines continued.