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Joni Ernst: Is Biden prepared to lead on Russia and Ukraine after a year of foreign policy disasters?

First Afghanistan, now Ukraine. The Biden administration's touted return to diplomacy, supporting our allies and partners, has proven again to be empty words and false promises.
President Biden ran on and then promised the American people that he would "repair our alliances." He claimed the United States would "compete from a position of strength." But one year in, the Biden administration’s approach has appeased our adversaries and abandoned our partners.
Protection from foreign nations, securing our borders, and protecting Americans from the scourge of crime here at home are the Constitution's charge to the commander in chief. This president has failed to answer this call.
Today, Vladimir Putin is knocking on the door of Ukraine, our trusted partner. The United States, under Joe Biden's leadership, has failed to de-escalate the conflict and stop Putin's imperial march. In fact, they have done quite the opposite.
The president has not maximized his options for defensive weapons sales to Ukraine, and Putin knows it. He also knows the Biden administration lobbied Democrats to reverse course and vote against Nord Stream 2 sanctions, necessary actions to prevent the handover of Western Europe's energy security to the Russian regime. There have been extensive assurances by Biden's amateurish national security team that reactivating sanctions in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine are sufficient to force de-escalation, but unfortunately, they’re being proven wrong.
Russia will continue to scoff at the Biden administration without decisive and proactive action.
It was just last summer when President Biden abandoned our citizens and allies to the stone age Taliban-regime in Afghanistan. He created a vacuum for Communist China and Russia to partner with the regime that once housed the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11. The same terrorists who are now more emboldened by the United States' disastrous retreat—and have felt no repercussions for killing 13 of our service members in late August.
Now is another time for choosing. Our choice concerns the commitment President Biden has to keep Americans safe.
From the Taliban and Iran's cluster of violent extremist organizations, to China, Russia and North Korea, our national defense diminishes the more our adversaries can call our bluff and see we cannot bear the cost of achieving our goals. Diplomacy only works when you are respected. And President Biden is not respected. He has had opportunity after opportunity to show strength. If you look around the globe, you can see what our adversaries and allies think of us.
Chinese President Xi is testing hypersonic missiles and seeks to destroy Taiwan. Putin is on the cusp of invading Ukraine and continues cyber-attacks on American businesses and utilities. Kim Jong Un has tested four ballistic missiles in the last 14 days. And Iran-backed proxies have supported attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the UAE since the new year.
What if President Biden does not change course? It can be hard to see the connection between a Russian-Ukrainian border conflict and challenges here on the home front. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States has maintained safety because we've proactively kept our neighborhood safe. Peace from opportunistic powers like Russia and China are not certainties. They must be protected. We cannot forget two oceans separate us from great power adversaries and terrorist organizations alike.
Suppose the United States fails to demonstrate reliable partnership to other allies in the crosshairs of terrorists or thugs like Vladimir Putin. In that case, the United States' capacity to protect the homeland and achieve peace through unmatched strength will slip away. If the president fails to curb Putin's show of force today, and Ukraine falls, expect China to move on Taiwan quickly. Walk away from that now, and the U.S. risks surrendering autonomy over our economy, safety and influence to imperial actors.
Now is another time for choosing. Our choice concerns the commitment President Biden has to keep Americans safe. Will he rely on climate resolutions as substitutes for strong defense agreements, blind his eyes to atrocities against the innocent he precipitated in the Middle East, and welcome takeovers by great powers that seek little more than resource accumulation and global dominance? Or, will he, grounded in his constitutional duty, protect our homeland and uphold our alliances?
Colin Powell said leadership is "...solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or conclude you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership."
So, Mr. President, the American people are asking you to fulfill your constitutional obligation and take necessary steps to protect our nation. Congress is ready to provide support to Ukraine and prosecute sanctions against Russia to punish its aggression against its neighbors.
Are you hearing us? If not, we can only conclude you've stopped leading us.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, is a combat veteran and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Click HERE to read the op-ed as published in Fox News.