Small Wars Journal

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: November

Mon, 12/06/2021 - 6:34am

Access the assessments HERE

December 3, 2021 | FDD Tracker: November 3, 2021-December 3, 2021

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: November

David Adesnik

Senior Fellow and Director of Research

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. November, like October, proved to be a month in which the dividends of the administration’s “relentless diplomacy” remained elusive. Persuasion moved few adversaries to temper their demands, mitigate their threats, or moderate their oppression at home. In Vienna, nuclear negotiations with Iran resumed after a five-month break, with Iran demanding immediate sanctions relief while enriching uranium at a fortified underground facility. Determined to reach a deal, the Biden administration muted its criticism despite Tehran’s persistent stonewalling of UN inspections. In Qatar, U.S. diplomats negotiated with Taliban officials, who likewise called for the lifting of sanctions. Meanwhile, the Pentagon reported that China accelerated the buildup of its nuclear arsenal, although Chinese leader Xi Jinping sought to reduce tensions in a virtual meeting with President Joe Biden. The administration remained silent when the United Nations fired a whistleblower who revealed the Human Rights Council’s practice of sharing information about dissidents with Beijing. Russia gathered military forces near Ukraine, threatening a new offensive. Syria continued its emergence from diplomatic isolation, which began after the White House quietly signaled to Arab governments they could re-engage with Damascus. The Venezuelan and Nicaraguan regimes held rigged elections with little concern for U.S. or regional backlash. As the end of its first year approaches, the administration may want to reconsider the importance of leverage as a prerequisite of effective diplomacy.

Trending Positive



By RADM (Ret.) Mark Montgomery and Annie Fixler



By Bradley Bowman



By John Hardie

Trending Neutral



By Craig Singleton



By Hussain Abdul-Hussain


International Organizations

By Richard Goldberg



By David May



By David Maxwell



By John Hardie

Trending Negative


Arms Control and Nonproliferation

By Anthony Ruggiero and Andrea Stricker



By Craig Singleton


Latin America

By Carrie Filipetti and Emanuele Ottolenghi


Sunni Jihadism

By Bill Roggio



By David Adesnik



By Aykan Erdemir

Trending Very Negative



By Richard Goldberg and Behnam Ben Taleblu