Foreign policy is one of the most contentious and important issues a president must discuss, but interestingly, President Biden’s newly-announced agenda was not what many expected it would be.
Although it was assumed Biden would immediately return to the “America Last” foreign policy initiatives of the Obama Era, he surprisingly kept some of former President Trump’s pro-America policies.
In Biden’s first foreign policy speech to the State Department since taking office, he proclaimed, “America is back,” signaling a shift from Trump’s “America First” stance.
With the exception of his radical stance on illegal immigration and integrating climate change, Biden echoed the Trump Administration’s directives on diplomatic affairs when it comes to dealing with Russia and China and ending endless wars.
He stressed the importance of the U.S. and Russia agreeing to extend the New Start Treaty for five more years as it’s the only treaty left “safeguarding nuclear stability.”
Mistaking Trump’s amicable but strong relationship with Putin for weakness, Biden said, “I made it clear to President Putin in a manner very different from my predecessor that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions, interfering with our elections, cyber-attacks, poisoning its citizens are over.”
Of course, now that the Democrat establishment that been obsessed with alleging “Russia collusion” for four years has won the presidency, they’re going to act as if they are the ones putting an end to their claims that were fake to begin with.
“We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia,” Biden warned.
In reality, President Trump imposed many sanctions on Russia throughout his first term, particularly in response to their attempts to annex Crimea and undermine our national security, and he even expelled 60 Russian officials over the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.
That said, is Biden’s public stance on Russia really anything different from Trump’s?
No. He’s just acting as if he’s going to be tougher on Putin to fit the Democrats’ four-year-long narrative that Trump was soft on the Eastern country.
Although it may be unrealistic and almost laughable coming from the lifetime politician who’s been in cahoots with our Asian adversary for decades, Biden also vowed to be tough on China.
Calling the country “our most serious competitor,” he continued, “We’ll confront China’s economic abuses, counter its aggressive course of action to push back on China’s attack on human rights, intellectual property, and global governance.”
“We’re ready to work with Beijing when it’s in America’s best interest to do so. We’ll compete from a position of strength by building back better at home,” Biden said.
The president did not outline specifics on how his administration will combat the issues he mentioned.
Appealing to climate change enthusiasts, Biden announced this “existential threat” will become an integral part of America’s foreign relationships under his administration.
“We’re taking steps led by an example of integrating climate objectives across all of our diplomacy and raise the ambition of our climate targets. That way we can challenge other nations, other major emitters, to up the ante on their own commitments,” Biden announced.
Perhaps the most important announcement Biden made throughout his first foreign policy speech was his move to “end the war in Yemen,” which he describes as a “humanitarian and strategic catastrophe.”
Biden intends to “restore long-dormant peace talks” in the complex Saudi-led war.
What about Iran? This is where his foreign policy agenda sharply breaks from that of Trump’s.
The critical country Biden did not address was the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism, Iran.
By completely omitting Iran from his foreign policy remarks, we can assume America will be making an unfortunate return to the Iran Nuclear Deal days ushered in by Barack Obama.
After President Trump worked relentlessly to make America energy independent and stand tough on Iran, all while fostering Middle Eastern peace, Biden will inevitably reverse some of this progress if he returns to making disastrous deals with the country.
While Biden has yet to make a clear stance on Iran, his foreign policy approach remains similar to Trump’s, although not identical—if Biden stays true to his word, that is.
Time will tell what his administration’s directives will look like in reality, but until then, we can take hope in the fact that his early initiatives were not totally disastrous.