Skip to main content
The Antidote to Trump Isn’t Obama Redux
Opposition leader Alexei Navalny attends a hearing at the Babushkinsky District Court in Moscow, Feb. 5.

The Antidote to Trump Isn’t Obama Redux

Walter Russell Mead

In his first major foreign-policy address as president, Joe Biden couldn’t have been clearer: There’s a new sheriff in town. Not only did his speech last week announce reversals of high-profile Trump policies; it criticized the neglect “and, I would argue, abuse,” of American alliances in the, ahem, recent past. In describing a recent phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the new commander in chief said he conducted himself “in a manner very different from my predecessor.”

The Biden team is driven by conviction. It really believes that America’s leading position in the world rests on global admiration for U.S. values. The administration thinks America’s alliance network is based on those values and Washington’s commitment to a multilateral approach. President Trump’s “America First” foreign policy, in this view, was an all-out assault on the foundations of U.S. power.

Let us hope that Mr. Biden’s leadership will strengthen alliances and rally the rattled forces of democracy against rival authoritarian great powers. But talk is easy; work is hard.

No president in recent decades made as many inspiring speeches about democracy and human rights as President Obama—and yet no administration in recent decades saw authoritarian powers make so many gains. In 2011 Mr. Obama put down a marker in Syria: “The time has come for President Assad to step aside.” A decade later, propped up by Russia and Iran, Bashar Assad is still there.

Read the full article in Wall Street Journal

Related Articles

Fall of Taiwan Would Spell the End of US Preeminence

Seth Cropsey & Harry Halem

John Hennessey-Niland’s late March visit to Taiwan was the first by an American ambassador in 42 years. It came on the heels of Secretary of State A...

Continue Reading

How Beijing Is Testing the Biden Administration

Tim Morrison

The Chinese government welcomed President Joe Biden to office by sanctioning 28 former Trump administration officials (and their families) on Inaugura...

Continue Reading

Counterbalance | Ep. 6: Mike Pompeo on China, Iran, and the Future of American Foreign Policy

Michael R. Pompeo et al.

Former Secretary of State and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo sat down with Mike and Marshall to discuss the foreign challenges the United States face...

Continue Reading