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Biden Wouldn't Be a Second Obama
President Barack Obama walking with Vice President Joe Biden in The White House
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Biden Wouldn't Be a Second Obama

Walter Russell Mead

Only four months ago, the consensus among the rich, powerful and well-connected who gathered for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, was that Donald Trump would win a second term. The coronavirus and consequent economic collapse have challenged that certainty. As they huddle in their lockdowns from Brussels to Beijing, world leaders are trying to figure out what a Biden administration’s foreign policy would look like.

It’s a good question. American foreign policy in the 21st century has been even more erratic than usual. The Sept. 11 attacks led President George W. Bush to proclaim a global war on terror. In 2008, Barack Obama was elected in large part on his record of opposition to the Iraq war Mr. Bush launched. President Obama negotiated three high-profile international agreements: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, designed to limit Iran’s nuclear activities; the Trans-Pacific Partnership, aimed at pre-emptively setting up economic rules for Pacific Rim countries that would constrain China; and the Paris climate accord, envisioned as the first step in a globally coordinated campaign to limit the emission of greenhouse gases.

Donald Trump ran against all three and proclaimed an “America first” foreign policy that sought to upend decades of U.S. trade and alliance policy. What kind of shifts and somersaults in American foreign policy can the world expect if Joe Biden moves into the West Wing next January?

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal

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