I’LL say it straight from the outset, I’m far from impressed by Joe Biden’s presidency in terms of foreign policy. Yes, there was a promising start with the US re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement and World Health Organisation, both of which Trump abandoned.

But then came the Afghanistan debacle which on looking back now seems to have been an ominous portent of things to come.

Ever since then Biden strikes me as having tied himself in knots.

Let’s not forget that this is a man who came into office vowing to re-establish America’s standing in the world and repair ties with allies after the roller coaster era of the Trump presidency.

Instead, Biden, living up to Trump’s derisory description of him as “sleepy Joe”, seems time and again to have been caught napping as international crises play out around him. While fortunately he has eschewed the madcap style of his predecessor, there is still that sense as Al Jazeera journalist Marwan Bishara put it the other day, that Biden talks like Obama but walks like Trump when it comes to foreign policy.

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Biden might have expended great energy lambasting Trump’s foreign policy take, but so far, he has kept much of it in place. Take for example Trump’s intensified blockade of Cuba, no change there. Then there are his sanctions on Venezuela and failure to pull back on the same on Iran which has seriously damaged negotiations over re-entering the nuclear deal and helped enhance the position of hardliners in Tehran.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, unlike Trump, Biden might not be on the best of terms with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but the US continues selling arms to Saudi Arabia despite its devastating war in Yemen.

Biden talks too of the importance of the two-state solution over Israel-Palestine, but then turns a blind eye to continued repression of the Palestinians and illegal Jewish settlements.

In short, this is a president far from at ease and nowhere near settled into a new modus operandi when it comes to foreign policy.

If Biden is good on one thing it’s rhetoric and there’s been lots of it. Remember that inaugural commitment to “lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example”? Or what about the proclamation that the US would “be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress and security”?

Then there was the promise when pulling out from Afghanistan that “we’re going to do so in a safe and orderly way … we’re in consultation ... with our allies and partners in how to proceed”.

To date it’s repeatedly been the same old story, one of empty words, strategic misjudgement and a foreign policy that has oscillated between chaos, indecision, and weakness. All this of course has not gone unnoticed in place like Beijing, Tehran and most recently Moscow, where Russian president Vladimir Putin, has put Biden’s administration firmly on the back foot over Ukraine.

If the US leader has no shortage of challenges on the global stage, then compounding them through mixed messaging has become his forte. Only last week he walked blithely into the trap again after suggesting that a “minor incursion” by Russia might split Nato over how to respond.

How I’d love to have been a fly on the wall in the West Wing or US defence department, that day when all hands had to man the pumps and bail the president out again. Biden had only been referring to cyber-attacks and paramilitary activities and not Russian troops crossing the border, aides tried to reassure political leaders in Kyiv and other European capitals as many likely went into momentary meltdown over the US president’s remarks.

If there is one area where Biden’s foreign policy shortcomings have been starkly exposed though, it’s in relations with America’s European allies. While no-one ever imagined that relaunching transatlantic co-operation and repairing damage from the Trump years would be as easy as flicking a switch, Biden has made heavy weather of this.

It didn’t help of course that he infuriated and embarrassed the French by failing to warn them of his AUKUS submarine deal with Australia. Later even Biden admitted that his administration’s handling of the affair was clumsy and lacked finesse.

But it’s been the Ukraine crisis that has finally exposed the extent to which the rift between the US and Europe lingers on.

Yesterday, Biden said he was considering personal sanctions against Russian president Vladimir Putin, but his remarks came at precisely the same time as diplomats from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, and France gathered in Paris for talks about the ongoing tensions under the Normandy format. Once again, this duality of approach has thrown into sharp focus the extent to which there are differing views within the Nato allies over Russia’s posturing on Ukraine.

Back in Washington meanwhile, Republicans are said to be increasingly irritated by Germany’s stance in particular leading to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal with the headline “Is Germany a Reliable American Ally? Nein”.

For its part Berlin has made its position quite clear with German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, defending his country’s recent refusal to allow Estonia to send German-manufactured arms to Ukraine, saying it was rooted “in the whole development of the past years and decades”.

READ MORE: UK to give Ukraine 'self-defence' weapons and training over fears of Russian build-up

Could it be that what we are now seeing is Germany and to some extent France digging their heels in even further over how to handle the Ukraine crisis much to the annoyance of both the US and UK?

After the EU was side-lined from talks held last week between Russia and America, French president Emmanuel Macron said the EU “must open its own talks with Russia rather than rely on Washington”, comments interpreted by some as a snub to the Biden administration. Snub or not there’s no denying that things are not good right now between Washington, Berlin, and Paris.

Perhaps increasingly aware of the frostiness with which US foreign policy is perceived in some quarters, just last month in a speech typical of Biden he pledged to “course-correct our foreign policy” with a “global posture review”.

The need for that review could not be more pressing, for right now on the world stage Biden’s administration is making more enemies than friends and doing little to reassure or repair relations with some US “allies” in Europe.