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Whither US Foreign Policy?

The central elements of US President Joe Biden's foreign policy are becoming visible, and place him squarely in the post-World War II tradition repudiated by his predecessor. But given the fear of many around the world that Trump was no aberration, Biden should revive the principle that domestic politics stops at the water’s edge.

NEW YORK – Joe Biden has been president of the United States for just a few weeks, but the central elements of his approach to the world are already clear: rebuilding at home, working with allies, embracing diplomacy, participating in international institutions, and advocating for democracy. All this puts him squarely in the largely successful post-World War II American foreign-policy tradition repudiated by his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Delivering his first address on foreign policy from the State Department on February 4, Biden declared “America is back.” He emphasized that Secretary of State Tony Blinken speaks for him and went to great lengths to support both America’s diplomats and diplomacy.

Biden also declared that he would stop any withdrawal of US armed forces from Germany, as Trump had ordered, presumably to help restore NATO members’ confidence in US security guarantees and to signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he should not try to use foreign adventurism to distract attention from domestic protests.