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Allies fear Biden may struggle to defeat Trump, express concern about Ukraine, Politico reports

by Olena Goncharova July 7, 2024 4:57 AM 2 min read
US President Joe Biden speaks about the Senate passage of war aid for Ukraine in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on Feb. 13, 2024. (Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images)
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Diplomats and world leaders, preparing for next week’s NATO summit, are privately voicing significant concerns about U.S. President Joe Biden’s age, health, and his ability to secure victory in the 2024 presidential election.

These foreign officials generally support Biden’s reelection and worry that Donald Trump’s return to office could harm the NATO alliance and undermine the war effort in Ukraine. However, they were disheartened by Biden’s recent debate performance and fear he may be too frail to defeat Trump and lead a global superpower, Politico reports.

Over the past month, the outlet spoke with 20 individuals connected to NATO or the alliance’s upcoming summit, revealing that many had already harbored quiet reservations about relying on Biden long before the debate. Biden must reassure his counterparts that he is not only ready for the challenge but also capable of navigating a political crisis to remain in the race.

"It doesn’t take a genius to see that the president is old," one official from a European NATO country was quoted as saying. "We’re not sure that, even if he wins, he can survive four years more."

Biden already faced a challenging task at the upcoming NATO summit, where he was set to address allies' concerns about America's commitment to Ukraine. However, his debate performance against Trump has shifted the focus of the summit to an evaluation of Biden’s physical and political resilience.

NATO allies are increasingly concerned about how much longer Biden can maintain American support for Europe’s defense, especially with the prospect of a close election against a former Republican president who is skeptical of aiding international partners.

"We’re having more conversations about our own defenses since it looks like Trump is coming back," said an official from a NATO country after the debate.

Additionally, some NATO allies are not fully satisfied with Biden’s leadership, criticizing his incremental approach to providing weapons and permitting Kyiv to strike inside Russia.

Biden’s stance on Russia’s war against Ukraine is well known, and he reiterated many of his points during the debate with Trump. He described Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal who "wants to reestablish what was part of the Soviet Empire. Not just a piece, he wants all of Ukraine."

Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, mentioned that he has personally heard concerns about Biden’s condition from numerous G7 and European leaders. "Ukraine is still the most important topic," he said, "but concerns about Biden and growing panic from Europeans about Trump are increasingly distracting the substantive conversations."

Opinion: As an American in Kyiv, I’m proud of how much we helped Ukraine and scared we may let it down
If you speak English on the street in Ukraine, it’s not uncommon for strangers to stop and ask where you’re from. Many times when I’ve said I’m American, people (ranging from teenagers to the elderly) have thanked me for my country’s help. I’m forever

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