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February 1, 2023 | FDD Tracker: January 1-31, 2023
Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: February
By David Adesnik and John Hardie
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. This is our first monthly tracker since the special year-end edition we published before the holidays.
The big story in January was Berlin’s refusal to send Ukraine Leopard tanks or even to let other NATO members give their German-made Leopards to Kyiv. As the war reaches a pivotal phase, the impasse threatened to undermine what has thus far been impressive transatlantic unity. But the Biden administration persuaded Berlin to cooperate by pledging to provide Ukraine with Abrams tanks. Washington is also sending Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and Stryker armored personnel carriers for the first time. This is all good news, yet the White House still refuses to send Kyiv ATACMS missiles, which would maximize Ukraine’s chances of victory and help hasten the war’s conclusion.
Another difficult question for the administration is why its envoy for nuclear negotiations with Iran held unpublicized talks with Tehran, which a foreign media outlet later revealed. The White House says it will not push for a nuclear deal while Tehran is crushing protests at home, yet it seems unwilling to give its full support to demonstrators marching under the banner of “Woman, Life, Freedom.”
Check back with us next month to see if NATO remains united behind Ukraine and if the White House clarifies its priorities for U.S policy toward Iran.