As we crossed yesterday the threshold of six months in office for the Biden administration, much of the focus is on the historic spending and domestic priorities they and their allies in the mainstream press jointly champion. But on foreign policy less attention was paid, at the same time that a worrying number of trends require examination. Outside of the prominent ‘We’re back’ multilateralist messaging designed for and happily consumed by Western European audiences, there is little salience to the Biden’s administration’s foreign policy messaging. That’s because events have overtaken any incoming momentum the administration had.
Underwhelming responses against acts of cyber-subversion against the homeland, and military aggression from adversaries in Iraq, Syria, the Black Sea, and Afghanistan risk creating a Deterrent Collapse. In just six months, each recalcitrant power – Russia, China, Iran – tested the United States. In some cases, these were escalations in ongoing tit-for-tats but with new tactics: Iranian weaponry advances in Iraq, Russian spoofing of U.S. ship data in the Black Sea, Chinese use of criminal civilian contractors for cyber-espionage. Others were precedent-setting attacks with disruptions to our supply chain, attacks apparently accepted by this administration as a new normal.
Let’s review a few of