Which president has united this country the most?
United against China and Russia : How US President Biden wants to push back authoritarian states
Right at the beginning, Joe Biden himself gave the hint: “It's good to be back in the State Department.” For him, the vast range of topics of American foreign policy is not new territory. The political veteran has worked on it incessantly for decades: as a senator, as a Vice-President and most recently as a campaigning presidential candidate. In his first foreign policy speech as US President, no groundbreaking innovation was to be expected.
And yet: the world wants to hear what the head of state of what is probably still the most powerful nation has to say to it. Biden did not disappoint: America is also back, he said confidently, and diplomacy is back, which will once again play an important role in foreign policy.
Despite doubts about the current state of American democracy, which struggled to withstand the attacks of populist election loser Donald Trump and is still struggling with his legacy, the United States is making a comeback on the world stage. Because: America could no longer afford to stay away from her, declared the President.
Together with others instead of "America first"
It is imperative that the US regain its leadership role and regain "credibility and moral authority". Not an easy undertaking: after four erratic years and considering that just a month ago an angry mob wanted to prevent the peaceful change of power, the foundation of democracy.
In his speech, Biden knew how to harness the apparent weaknesses of his own country for his mission. It should never be accepted that forces in a country tried to ignore a legitimate election result. He said this with a view to the coup in Myanmar, but it was clear that he was also referring to America, which was just able to fend off this attempt.
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Because the Americans had managed to do this, they could now all the more advocate democratic values elsewhere, so the argument, which can certainly be argued about. But Biden also emphasized that this can best be achieved with partners who share the same values. “America first” should be a thing of the past. Instead, America should lead others.
American strength - to keep China in check
That this is not a purely selfless strategy became clear in Biden's speech. If America repairs its alliances and regains influence in the world, it is not about the past. It's about the challenges of the future.
One of the greatest challenges at the moment is therefore the spreading authoritarianism - even if it has just been voted out of office in the USA. It is getting stronger in China and Russia, Biden said, and both countries could seriously damage the United States in the process. China, with its desire to replace America as the leading global power, and Russia, because it wants to destroy American democracy.
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The often heard confessions to international cooperation under American leadership, which many Americans who have grown tired of grueling wars no longer receive, suddenly become a solid strategy for the next few decades.
The claim is formulated
That China is a dangerous rival whose unscrupulous growth strategy is better countered with united forces, and that Russia is interested in weakening its old adversary: all of this can be conveyed comparatively easily.
Biden made it clear that America could better meet other challenges such as the corona pandemic and the dangers of climate change together with other nations. A realization that sounds banal, but apparently needs to be re-emphasized after four years of Trump.
No, it wasn't revolutionary news that Biden announced on Thursday. But it was the basic outline of a foreign policy doctrine. Only time will tell whether America will be able to regain the title of “Leader of the Free World” under him. At least the claim is there.
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