Biden's foreign policy: Fine words, little action

With midterm elections only a year away, the US president needs to follow through, argues Daniel Strieff

The World Today Published 3 December 2021 3 minute READ

Daniel Strieff

Author of ‘Jimmy Carter and the Middle East: The Politics of Presidential Diplomacy’

‘America is back,’ Joe Biden told anyone who would listen in the opening weeks of his presidency. ‘Diplomacy’, he boasted, ‘is back at the centre of our foreign policy.’

But nearly a year into a presidency launched on lofty ideas about transforming US relations with the rest of the world after Donald Trump’s nationalistic, America-first ethos, Biden’s record suggests an approach long on encouraging words and short on decisive change.

The 46th president has anchored his foreign policy to the twin pillars of, first, renewed American diplomacy and multilateralism, and second, the defence of democratic values against autocracy and authoritarianism. The results so far, however, leave much to be desired.

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