After a Year of Biden, We Still Have Trump-Era Foreign Policy

Joe Biden and the Democrats were highly critical of Donald Trump’s foreign policy, so it was reasonable to expect that Biden would quickly remedy its worst impacts. As a senior member of the Obama administration, Biden surely needed no schooling on Obama’s diplomatic agreements with Cuba and Iran, both of which began to resolve longstanding foreign policy problems and provided models for the renewed emphasis on diplomacy that Biden was promising.

Tragically for America and the world, Biden has failed to restore Obama’s progressive initiatives, and has instead doubled down on many of Trump’s most dangerous and destabilizing policies. It is ironic and disappointing that a president who so strongly proclaimed his independence from Trump has been so unwilling to reverse his regressive policy. Now the Democrats’ failure to deliver on their promises with respect to both domestic and foreign policy is undermining their prospects in November’s midterm election.

Here is our assessment of Biden’s handling of 10 critical foreign policy issues:

1. Prolonging the suffering of the Afghan people. It is perhaps symptomatic of Biden’s foreign policy problems that the signal achievement of his first year in office was an initiative launched by Trump, to withdraw the U.S. from its 20-year war in Afghanistan. But Biden’s implementation of this policy was tainted by the same failureto understand Afghanistan that didomed and begged at least three prior administrations, and the hostile military occupation of Afghanistan for 20 years. This led eventually to the swift restoration of the Taliban government and the televised chaos resulting from the U.S. withdraw.

Instead of helping Afghans recover from 20 years of U.S.-inflicted destruction and damage, Biden has taken control $9.4 billionAfghan foreign currency reserves are being held in Afghanistan, while the Afghan people suffer from a dire humanitarian crisis. It is difficult to imagine Donald Trump being more cruel and vindictive.

2. Provoking a crisis with RussiaUkraine Biden’s first year in office is ending with a dangerous escalation of tensions at the Russia/Ukraine border, a situation that threatens to devolve into a military conflict between the world’s two most heavily armed nuclear states. This crisis is largely attributable to the U.S. supporting the Ukraine/Russia border. violent overthrowbacking of the elected government in Ukraine in 2014. NATO expansion right up to Russia’s border, arming and training Ukrainian forces.

Biden’s failure to acknowledge Russia’s legitimate security concerns has led to the present impasse, and Cold Warriors within his administration are threatening Russia instead of proposing concrete measures to de-escalate the situation.

3. An increase in Cold War tensions and a dangerous arms race against China. Trump launched a tariff-war with China, which economically damaged both countries. He also reignited a dangerous Cold War with Russia and an arms race with China and Russia to justify a growing U.S. military budget.

After you have completed the following: decade of unprecedented U.S. military spending and aggressive military expansion under George W. Bush and Obama, the U.S. “pivot to Asia” militarily encircled China, forcing it to invest in more robust defense forces and advanced weapons. Trump, in turn, used China’s strengthened defenses as a pretext for further increases in U.S. military spending, launching a new arms race that has raised the existential riskNuclear war at a new level

These dangerous international tensions have been exacerbated by Biden. His aggressive policies towards China have not only increased the risk of war but also created obstacles to cooperation with China to address global issues like climate change and pandemics.

4. Abandoning Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran. After Obama’s sanctions against Iran utterly failed to force it to halt its civilian nuclear program, he finally took a progressive, diplomatic approach, which led to the JCPOA nuclear agreement in 2015. Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement in 2018, despite Iran having fulfilled all of its obligations under the treaty. Trump’s withdrawal was vigorously condemned by Democrats, including candidate Biden, and Sen. Bernie Sanders promisedIf elected president, he would be required to rejoin the JCPOA his first day in office.

Instead of immediately rejoining an agreement that worked for all parties, the Biden administration thought it could pressure Iran to negotiate a “better deal.” Exasperated Iranians instead elected a more conservative government and Iran moved forward on enhancing its nuclear program.

Biden is now in Vienna a year later and has completed eight rounds with shuttle diplomacy. still not rejoinedThe agreement. With the agreement, he will be ending his first year in office at the White House. threat of another Middle East war is enough to give Biden an “F” in diplomacy.

5. Backing Big Pharma over a People’s Vaccine. Biden was elected as the first COVID vaccinations were approved and were being rolled out in the U.S.A and around the world. Severe inequities in global vaccine distribution between rich and poor countries were immediately apparent and became known as “vaccine apartheid.”

Instead of manufacturing and disseminating vaccines on a non-profit basis to combat the pandemic, the U.S.A. and other Western countries chose to keep the neoliberalPatents and corporate monopolies on vaccine manufacturing and distribution are the norm. The failure of opening up vaccine distribution to poorer nations gave the COVID virus freedom to spread and modify, leading to new global outbreaks of infection and death due to the omicron and delta versions.

Biden belatedly agreed to support a patent waiver for COVID vaccines under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, but with no real plan for a “People’s Vaccine,” Biden’s concession has made no impact on millions of preventable deaths.

6. COP26 in Glasgow: Ensuring catastrophic global warming After Trump had ignored the climate crisis for four long years, environmentalists were encouraged by Biden’s first days in office to join the Paris climate agreement and cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Biden had already let the Clean Energy Performance Program, which was the core of his own climate plan (CEPP), go by the time he reached Glasgow. stripped outThe Build Back Better bill was introduced in Congress at the request of Joe Manchin, a puppet of the fossil-fuel industry. It turned the U.S. promise of a 50% reduction in 2005 emissions by 2030 into an empty promise.

Biden’s speech in Glasgow highlighted China and Russia’s failures, neglecting to mention that the U.S. has higher emissionsPer capita, they are both lower than the other two. COP26 was underway, but the Biden administration angered activists by putting oil and gasLeases up for sale for 730,000 acres of American West land and 80 million acres in Gulf of Mexico. Biden has been talking the talk for the past year, but when it is time to confront Big Oil, he isn’t walking the walk. The whole world is paying the price.

7. Political prosecutions of Julian Assange, Daniel Hale and Guantánamo torture victims. Biden’s leadership, the United States is still a country that values freedom and democracy. systematic killingWhile civilians are still being punished for war crimes, whistleblowers who expose these horrendous crimes to the general public are taken to court and placed in prison as political prisoners.

In July 2021, former drone pilot Daniel Hale was sentenced to 45 months in prison for exposing the killing of civilians in America’s drone wars. WikiLeaks publisher Julian AssangeAfter 11 years of fighting extradition to America for exposing U.S. secrets, Belmarsh Prison, England, still holds him. war crimes.

Twenty years after the U.S. set up an illegal concentration camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to imprison 779 mostly innocent people kidnapped around the world, 39 prisoners remainThere is illegal, extrajudicial detention. Despite promises to close the sordid chapter of American history, the prison is still operating and Biden is allowing Pentagon to build a Guantanamo new closed courtroom to better keep the workings secret from the public.

8. Economic siege warfare against Venezuelans, Cubans and other countries. Trump unilaterally rolled back Obama’s reforms on Cuba and recognized unelected Juan Guaidó as the “president” of Venezuela, as the U.S. tightened the screws on its economy with “maximum pressure” sanctions.

Biden has continued Trump’s failed economic siege warfare against countries that resist U.S. imperial dictates, inflicting endless pain on their people without seriously imperiling, let alone bringing down, their governments. Regime change and brutal U.S. sanctions have been a failure. universally failedFor decades, they served primarily to undermine the U.S. claim of democratic and human rights credentials.

Guaidó is now the least popular opposition figure in Venezuela, and genuine grassroots movements opposed to U.S. intervention are bringing popular democratic and socialist governments to power across Latin America, in Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Honduras — and maybe Brazil in 2022.

9. Still supporting Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and its repressive ruler. Trump’s leadership, Democrats along with a few Republicans in Congress built gradually a bipartisan majority that voted. withdraw fromThe Saudi-led coalition is attacking Yemen and to stop sending armsSaudi Arabia. Trump vetoed their efforts. However, the Democratic election victory of 2020 should have led the end to the war in Yemen and the humanitarian crisis.

Instead, Biden only issued an order to stop selling “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia, without clearly defining that term, and went on to OK a $650 million weapons sale. Even though the humanitarian crisis in Yemen has resulted in thousands of deaths, the U.S. supports the Saudi war. And despite Biden’s pledge to treat the Saudis’ cruel leader, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, as a pariah, Biden refused to even sanction MBS for his barbaric murder of Jamal Khashoggi is a Washington Post journalist.

10. Still complicit with illegal Israeli occupation, settlements, war crimes. The U.S. is Israel’s largest arms supplier, and Israel is the world’s largest recipient of U.S. military aid (approximately $4 billion annually), despite its illegal occupation of Palestine, widely condemned war crimesGaza and illegal settlement building. U.S. military assistance and arms sales to Israel clearly infringe the U.S. Leahy Laws Arms Export Control Act.

Donald Trump was unabashed in his disregard for Palestinian rights. He transferred the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to a Jerusalem property. only partly within Israel’s internationally recognized borders, a move that infuriated Palestinians and drew international condemnation.

Biden’s leadership has not made any changes. The U.S. policy on Israel and Palestine remains as contradictory and illegitimate as ever. Furthermore, the U.S. Embassy is still located on illegally occupied territory. Biden supported Israel’s latest assault on Gaza in May. It resulted in the death of many. 256 PalestiniansHalf of them were civilians, including 66 children.


Each component of this foreign-policy fiasco results in human deaths and instability at the regional, as well as global, level. There are always progressive alternatives policies that can be implemented in each case. Only missing is political will to be independent from corrupt vested interests.

The U.S. has wasted unprecedented wealth, global goodwill, and a historic position in international leadership to pursue unattainable imperial ambitions. They have used violence and coercion in flagrant violations of the UN Charter as well as international law.

As a presidential candidate, Biden promised to restore America’s position of global leadership, but as president he has instead doubled down on the policies through which the U.S. lost that position in the first place, under a succession of Republican and Democratic administrations. Trump was only the latest iteration in America’s race to the bottom.

Biden has wasted a vital year doubling down on Trump’s failed policies. We hope that the public will remind Biden about his deep-seated hatred of war and that he will respond by adopting more rational approaches in the next year.