What would the Biden administration identify as its three major foreign policy successes?

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked that question on Wednesday. On Thursday, after speaking with President Joe Biden, Psaki gave the administration's answer.

Glaringly absent was any reference to Afghanistan. Whereas Biden used the months preceding the August U.S. withdrawal to present his withdrawal policy as a bold act of well-designed statecraft, now, the White House acts like it never happened. This is understandable, as team Biden knows that there is no way to spin its moral and strategic calamity. In addition to its chaotic and embarrassing execution, this policy has caused child famine to spread like wildfire, girls to be restricted from schools, and terrorists to find renewed safe haven without commensurate U.S. means to counter them. Moreover, U.S. allies have been abandoned to poverty and death squads.

This is not, then, a policy that reflects Biden's inaugural pledge to "be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security."

Even then, only one of Psaki's claimed successes stands up to scrutiny: her claim that "in the Indo-Pacific, we have developed new platforms like AUKUS and elevated the Quad. We are working more closely with our allies and partners in the region on defense, security, and economic interests while deepening connections between our European and Indo-Pacific allies."

The Biden administration deserves broad credit for its China policy. Biden has maintained a robust military presence in defense of international maritime rights in the South China Sea. He has strengthened regional and international partnerships against Chinese coercion. Unlike the president he served under as vice president, Biden has refused to dance to China's traditional diplomatic waltz, accepting trade in return for political acquiescence in other areas.

Biden's China policy has not been perfect, however. The U.S. diplomatic boycott of the Beijing 2022 Olympics was too long delayed and should have included a call to relocate the games. So, too, should Biden have called on hypocritical U.S. multinationals to suspend their sponsorship of the Games. Biden's rhetoric and action on Taiwan have also been confusing, and his excusing of Chinese cyberattacks has been inexcusable.

Regardless, Psaki's two other claims of foreign policy success are far less credible.

The former State Department spokeswoman says that the Biden administration has been "reclaiming our leadership role in international institutions and convening world leaders to make real progress on the biggest challenges of our time — serving as the world’s vaccine arsenal, driving the global economic recovery, and restoring U.S. leadership on climate."

True, the Biden administration has prioritized international climate action. Yet it has utterly failed to extract meaningful commitments from China. Considering that China emits nearly twice as much carbon as any other nation, the current situation reflects a failure of a "U.S. leadership role ... to make real progress on the biggest challenges of our time." And when it comes to the "vaccine arsenal" and "global economic recovery," this White House must share much credit with the Trump administration.

Psaki's final assertion is that the Biden administration is "restoring our alliances, including with Europe. We have resolved significant trade disputes, including on airplanes, steel, and aluminum, and we have done so in a way that protects our workers, advances our shared values, and strengthens our ability to compete."

The trade points have some merit, but existing disagreements between Europe and the United States on the former's technology sector protectionism remain unresolved.

Psaki's central claim, that the Biden administration has restored "U.S. alliances, including with Europe," is untenable. In fact, Biden has put the interests of a very poor U.S. ally, Germany, above the interests of all other European allies. Germany has abandoned its NATO obligation to spend 2% of GDP on defense, and it is now degrading NATO's nuclear deterrence posture. Germany is also pressuring Ukraine to cede its sovereignty rather than sacrifice its own access to cheap Russian gas via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

At the same time, Biden has challenged the interests of America's closest ally by relegating to the back of the queue a U.K. trade deal that had been prioritized by the Trump administration. Biden has also upset France, failing to give prior warning of his otherwise well-designed AUKUS plan (AUKUS involved the cancellation of a major Australian submarine purchase from France). And with the UAE's help, France is now retaliating in kind. The Baltic states, Poland, and Ukraine have also been disheartened by the Biden administration's failure to adequately consolidate them against Russian threats.

Put simply, it's not surprising that Psaki took 24 hours to develop this list. It clearly required some rather creative thinking.