Just under a year ago, President Biden asked this question: "What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al Qaeda gone?"
Just over a week ago, he provided an answer. On his order, two missiles from a Hellfire drone targeted Ayman al-Zawahiri, the 71-year-old emir of al Qaeda, who was taking his morning tea on the balcony of a well-appointed home in an exclusive Kabul neighborhood.
Lebanon was once a noble experiment. When the age of European imperialism ended, most Arab and Muslim lands became dictatorships where ethnic and religious minorities – Christians, Jews, Kurds, Druze, Baha'i, Yezidis, and others – enjoyed no rights or freedoms.
The Lebanese attempted to find a better way – a modus vivendi among its peoples.
In 1943, an unwritten agreement known as the National Pact established Lebanon as a "multiconfessional" state. Its president was to be a Maronite Christian, its prime minister a Sunni, its speaker of the Parliament a Shia, its deputy speaker Greek Orthodox.
Joe Biden entered the Oval Office planning to make climate change his national security priority.
The "forever" war in Afghanistan? He'd shut it down.
Iran's rulers? He'd bring them into a "longer and stronger" version of the deal President Obama cut and from which President Trump withdrew.
Conflicts with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Chinese dictator Xi Jinping? Diplomatic solutions.
None of this has worked out. But leaders should expect the unexpected. Franklin D. Roosevelt didn't plan to fight World War II. George W. Bush didn't anticipate the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. They adjusted. Has Mr. Biden?
President Biden's mission to the Middle East had been going so well.
In Jerusalem, he pleased his hosts by telling them: "Israel must remain an independent, democratic, Jewish state — the ultimate guarantee and guarantor of security of the Jewish people not only in Israel but the entire world. I believe that to my core."
In Bethlehem, he announced $316 million in financial assistance for the Palestinian Authority and told its president, Mahmoud Abbas, that he felt Palestinian "grief and frustration." But he refrained from initiating a new "peace process" that the 87-year-old Mr. Abbas, unpopular in the West Bank and persona not grata in Hamas-ruled Gaza, is incapable of pursuing.
Bipartisanship is rare in Washington these days. Christopher Wray is an exception – sort of. President Trump nominated him as FBI director but soon soured on him and would have fired him had Attorney General William Barr not threatened to resign should that occur.
Joe Biden, upon becoming president, accepted a recommendation from the FBI Agents Association that Mr. Wray continue his ten-year term for "the stability, credibility, and integrity of the Bureau."
Director Wray is now energetically addressing what may be the most significant threat to America's national security. Others – on a bipartisan basis – are failing even to comprehend the threat. More on that in a moment.