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April 4, 2023 | FDD Tracker: March 1-April 4, 2023
Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: April
By John Hardie and 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.
Last month saw President Joe Biden host his Australian and British counterparts to announce next steps in their trilateral defense pact, known as AUKUS, which seeks to strengthen deterrence of Beijing. Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea are working to mend ties, a boon for U.S. efforts to combat threats from China and North Korea. The White House also released a long-awaited national strategy that delineates U.S. cybersecurity priorities.
The good news ends there, however. Although it is working with allies to help Ukraine prepare for a spring counteroffensive, the administration continues to withhold key weapons from Kyiv. The administration also refuses to lower the G7-imposed price cap on Russian oil exports, neutering its ability to cut Kremlin revenue. Additionally, the president’s proposed defense budget, once adjusted for inflation, would leave the U.S. military with flat or even declining resources while failing to fund top priorities identified by Indo-Pacific Command.
Meanwhile, Biden continues to struggle to assert leadership in the Middle East. Beijing brokered a deal to normalize relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Middle Kingdom’s first major foray into Middle East politics. Tehran inches ever closer to a nuclear weapons capability, but the White House seemingly lacks a strategy to stop it. The administration also continues to green-light Arab normalization with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Check back with us next month to see whether Biden manages to right the ship.