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March 1, 2022 | FDD Tracker: February 2, 2022-March 1, 2022
Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: March
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.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, ending what hope remained that Washington and Moscow could “build a stable and predictable relationship,” as President Joe Biden initially proposed. As Russian forces advanced toward Kyiv, Western sanctions against Russia and arms transfers to Ukraine went much further than Washington and its allies threatened while attempting to deter the invasion. Had their readiness to do so been clear from the outset, perhaps Russian President Vladimir Putin might have hesitated to invade. An even less pleasant surprise for Putin has been the resilience of Ukrainian forces in the first days of the war; whether they can keep playing David to the Kremlin’s Goliath is open to considerable doubt, even as Western arms and materiel begin to flow freely.
Despite Moscow’s aggression, the Biden administration continued working with Russia to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, with signs of a possible agreement in early March despite Tehran’s continued obstruction of UN nuclear inspections. Putin waited patiently for the Winter Games to wrap up in Beijing before launching his invasion, letting the Chinese government finish its celebration of impunity for the atrocities it continues to commit against its citizens.
“The triumph of democracy and liberalism over fascism and autocracy created the free world,” Biden wrote during his presidential campaign, warning that “this contest does not just define our past. It will define our future, as well.” Will the president now take those words to heart?