Small Wars Journal

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: April

Fri, 04/01/2022 - 8:37pm

Access the Tracker HERE.

April 1, 2022 | FDD Tracker: March 2, 2022-April 1, 2022

FDD | Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: April · by David Adesnik Senior Fellow and Director of Research · April 1, 2022

Trend Overview

Edited by David Adesnik

Welcome back to the Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker. Once a month, we ask FDD’s experts and scholars to assess the administration’s foreign policy. They provide trendlines of very positive, positive, neutral, negative, or very negative for the areas they watch.

As Russian bombs fell on theaters, markets, and hospitals across Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy became a global icon of democratic resistance to tyranny and aggression. Defying expectations, Ukraine bled Russian forces around Kyiv until they could advance no further, ensuring the capital would not fall. The United States and its NATO allies escalated sanctions on Moscow and provided many of the weapons essential to Ukraine’s survival, but consciously remained in a supporting role, wary of a direct confrontation with Russia.

While visiting Poland, President Joe Biden cast the war as the latest clash in the “great battle for freedom” that must be fought in every generation. Both as a candidate and during his first months in office, Biden spoke of a historic confrontation between democracy and dictatorship, yet that assessment has rarely seemed to drive his foreign policy. Will the Warsaw speech mark a turning point, or just an interlude of inspirational rhetoric? The White House still has no clear policy toward China despite the grave threat posed by Beijing’s increasingly hostile regime. In March, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time since 2017, reminding the Biden administration that leaving Kim Jong Un to his own devices is not a sustainable policy. In the Middle East, Biden’s strategy remains wedded to the hope of finalizing a nuclear deal with the clerical dictatorship in Tehran, which has gunned down far more of its own citizens than Vladimir Putin has. Is change coming, or will the status quo prevail?