Grading the Biden Team’s Foreign Policy

NA Jan 22

The Net Assessment crew assesses President Joe Biden’s foreign policy in his administration’s first year. There appear to have been more failures than successes, and Chris, Melanie, and Zack debated why that might be. But, as Frank Gavin explains in the lead essay at the Texas National Security Review, a bit of perspective is in order. Crafting and executing foreign policy is difficult, even for a seasoned hand like Biden. To the extent that the promise of his approach to the world hasn’t lived up to reality, how much of that can be tied to his vision (is there one?), how much to poor execution, and how much to other factors over which the president has no control?

Zack is annoyed with all the talk of a looming civil war in the United States, and Melanie gripes about the New York Times’ coverage of a transplant patient who was the recipient of a pig’s heart. Chris (with an assist from Melanie) faults newly-inaugurated Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin for wanting to make it easier to spend taxpayer money on a new stadium for the Washington Football Team. Attaboys to one of the first Tuskegee Airman, Gen. Charles McGee, who passed away at the age of 102, and to Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota for standing up to Trump.




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Frank Gavin, “How Are They doing?” Texas National Security Review, Vol. 5, Iss. 1, Winter 2021/2022.

Mike Sweeney, “NATO, Diplomacy, and the Ukraine Crisis,” Wavell Room, Jan. 10, 2022.

David Leonhardt and Ashley Wu, “Good Morning. We look at Omicron’s toll in New York and Seattle, two cities with timely data,” The Morning, New York Times, Jan. 11, 2022.

Daniel W. Drezner, “The Policy Gap in the Indo-Pacific,” Washington Post, Jan. 12, 2022.

Anjali Dayal, Alexandra Stark, and Megan A. Stewart, “Warnings of ‘Civil War’ Risk Harming Efforts Against Political Violence,” War on the Rocks, Jan. 18, 2022,

Harrison Smith, “Charles McGee, Tuskegee Airman who fought in three wars, dies at 102,” Washington Post, Jan. 17, 2022,

Alex Tabarrok, Twitter, January 13, 2022.

Mary Clare Jalonik, “Rounds Dismisses Trump Criticism for Saying He Lost Election,” Associated Press, Jan. 10, 2022.

Richard Fontaine, “Washington’s Missing China Strategy,” Foreign Affairs, Jan. 14, 2022.

Image: U.S. Navy (Photo by Mass Communication Spc. 3rd Class Christopher Suarez)

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