Small Wars Journal

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: January (December 4, 2021-January 11, 2022)

Tue, 01/11/2022 - 9:35pm

Access the foreign policy tracker HERE.


FDD | Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: January · by David Adesnik Senior Fellow and Director of Research · January 11, 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. Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden set a “goal of building a stable and predictable relationship with Russia.” Russian President Vladimir Putin has not obliged. In December, Moscow put Europe on edge with persistent threats to launch a major military offensive against Ukraine. Meanwhile, nuclear negotiations with Iran continued even though Tehran’s proxies targeted U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria with armed drones. Belatedly, the White House announced a “diplomatic boycott” of next month’s Winter Games in Beijing, yet only a handful of allies will keep their diplomats home.

With hostility growing on almost every front despite the administration’s “relentless diplomacy,” Congress signaled the need for greater strength by authorizing $740 billion in defense spending, or $25 billion more than the president requested. There was overwhelming bipartisan support for this increase, with veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate. Congress lent similar support to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which Biden signed into law just before Christmas. The United Nations is expected to release its own findings on Beijing’s human rights violations in the coming days; in December, it approved plans to spend $4.2 million on an open-ended investigation of Israel. The Biden administration dismissed the inquiry as “inherently biased and an obstacle to the cause of peace,” but could not block the funding.

Trending Positive


By RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery and Trevor Logan


By Bradley Bowman

International Organizations

By Richard Goldberg

Trending Neutral


By Craig Singleton


By John Hardie


By David May


By David Maxwell


By John Hardie

Trending Negative

Arms Control and Nonproliferation

By Anthony Ruggiero and Andrea Stricker


By Hussain Abdul-Hussain


By Craig Singleton

Latin America

By Carrie Filipetti and Emanuele Ottolenghi

Sunni Jihadism

By Thomas Joscelyn


By David Adesnik


By Aykan Erdemir

Trending Very Negative


By Richard Goldberg and Behnam Ben Taleblu


By Tony Badran