Though the 2020 presidential campaign focused largely on domestic matters such as COVID-19, race relations, and economic recovery, President Biden must now contend with pressing foreign policy questions.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently told reporters that President Biden’s “first love” is foreign policy. Indeed, the longtime Senator from Delaware once led the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and assisted in negotiating many of President Obama’s signature foreign policy moves.
President Biden’s campaign website proclaimed that he would “once more place America at the head of the table, leading the world to address the most urgent global challenges.”
Though most of his foreign policy platform discussed America’s need to “reinvigorate our own democracy” before enacting reforms overseas, Biden promised to lead the world on fighting climate change and “end the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle East” — though he formerly voted for the Iraq War and backed NATO’s intervention in Libya.
Across the globe, America’s rivals are already testing President Biden’s responses to aggression. In the past week, Russian President Vladimir Putin challenged Biden to an unscripted debate, while Chinese diplomats mocked the new administration at a conference in Alaska.
Here are four regimes whose saber-rattling appears aimed at testing the 46th Commander-in-Chief’s foreign policy chops.
Days after President Biden’s inauguration, China began asserting its dominance in the South China Sea. Taiwanese defense officials reported that fifteen Chinese ships entered its airspace on January 24, including fighter jets and anti-submarine aircraft.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier group entered the South China Sea the same day. Rear Admiral Doug Verissimo said that the vessels would promote “freedom of the seas” and reassure “allies and partners.”
According to Reuters, China recently passed a law that would permit its coast guard to more easily fire upon foreign vessels. The legislation would also allow Chinese forces to board foreign ships in waters claimed by China and destroy other nations’ structures in the South China Sea.
Iran is beginning to further accelerate its breach of the Obama-Biden nuclear deal.
A report from the International Atomic Energy Agency obtained by Reuters reveals that Iran started feeding new centrifuges with uranium hexafluoride on January 30 — ten days after President Biden’s entry into the Oval Office.
The report also indicates that the Islamic Republic is moving forward with plans to install more advanced centrifuges. Iran informed the IAEA on February 1 that it will install two enrichment cascades at its Fordow nuclear facility.
State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that Iran’s moves are “a challenge we have to tackle immediately.”
On January 29, President Biden tapped Obama administration alumnus Robert Malley to serve as the State Department’s Special Envoy for Iran policy. Malley was an architect of the Iran nuclear deal — which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized for its lifting of sanctions that bar Iran from arming terror proxies.
On January 31, a Russian bomber flew over an American warship in the Black Sea — a move that the United States Navy swiftly condemned.
Commander Kyle Raines — a spokesman for the Navy’s Sixth Fleet — told Newsweek that the aircraft passed within 100 yards of the vessel. The interaction lasted for 10 minutes; a video posted to Twitter by the Sixth Fleet shows a portion of the incident.
In response, President Biden deployed two destroyers into the Black Sea, while Russia swiftly moved a missile defense system into Crimea.
Kim Jong-un celebrated his birthday on January 8 with a military parade that unveiled a new arsenal of weapons — including a nuclear-powered submarine, larger warheads, new long-range missiles, and spy satellites.
The North Korean leader released a comprehensive list of goals for the nation’s military development, including longer-range missiles, an unmanned aerial vehicle, a hypersonic missile, and upgraded nuclear warheads.
“If Kim sees no shift from the traditional US emphasis on comprehensive and total nuclear disarmament before any sanctions can be eased, I’d think he’ll simply push ahead with testing and other activities,” foreign policy analyst Ankit Panda told the BBC.
A November 2019 press release from North Korea mocked Biden by claiming that the 78-year-old is in the final stages of dementia.
“A rabid dog in the U.S. has another fit of spasm, being greedy for power,” said the statement. “Such rabid dogs are second to none in their craftiness in seeking their own interests.”
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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