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Managing a World Order in Crisis
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and China's special climate envoy Xie Zhenhua during a session at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on May 24, 2022. (Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and China's special climate envoy Xie Zhenhua during a session at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on May 24, 2022. (Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

Managing a World Order in Crisis

Walter Russell Mead

As business and political leaders flocked to the World Economic Summit in Davos this weekend, they could hardly help noting that Biden administration foreign policy is going global and kicking into high gear. In the past week alone, President Biden met with Southeast Asian leaders at a special Washington summit, talked with the Swedish and Finnish prime ministers about joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, shepherded $40 billion in aid for Ukraine through Congress, and embarked on a trip to South Korea and Japan. The Asian trip will culminate in a Tokyo meeting of the Quad, where leaders from India, Australia, Japan and the U.S. will discuss their deepening cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.

Meanwhile, the State Department is planning the 2022 Summit of the Americas, a meeting of Western Hemisphere leaders scheduled for Los Angeles in June even as American diplomats work to shore up relations with such key Middle East allies as Saudi Arabia ahead of a presidential visit to the Middle East.

This is not activism for activism’s sake. The intensification of the American foreign-policy agenda reflects a perception that the international political and economic system American presidents have labored to build since the time of Franklin Roosevelt has fallen into a deep crisis. The President’s team seems to grasp the gravity of the situation. The question is whether they have developed a workable plan.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal