President Joe Biden was elected promising to create a “foreign strategy for the middle class” that promotes global engagement and prioritizes everyday Americans’ interests. It was difficult to achieve this neat vision in a world full of unexpected challenges.
The Biden foreign policy agenda will place America back at the head of the table, working with our allies and partners — to mobilize global action on global threats, especially those unique to our century,” he promised during a speech in July 2019.
Biden was a senator and chaired Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has been surrounded by experienced foreign policy aides. Biden often views his entire policy agenda as “democracy against autocracy.”
Biden’s initial focus was on the global issues that he and his advisors anticipated most, such as the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, and competition with China. This large agenda was complicated in the face of unexpected global events that were happening in a changing world.
Already, the administration had to deal with major protests and civil unrest in several countries. This included a difficult reentry in nuclear talks with Iran, a resurgent Taliban, and widespread skepticism about American leadersshi since Trump’s time. Domestic politics have been affected by major conflicts overseas, sometimes dividing Biden’s ally and encouraging his critics.
These are the five events that administration attends, possibly unintentionally:
In mid-July, thousands of Cubans took to the streets across the country to protest the poor economic conditions and authoritarian repression in the country that has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. Both American and Cuban politics were affected by the protests, which attracted immediate attention from the White House.
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, stated that Cuba policy was not a priority for the administration in April. This position was made untenable by the largest anti-government protests in the island’s history since the Cuban revolution.
Since then, the White House has taken steps to support protestors, including imposing sanctions against top Cuban officials and enacting measures that ensure remittances don’t get seized by Cuban authorities.
One of the most dangerous conflicts in the world and the largest refugee crisis is currently occurring in Ethiopia. The conflict started when Abiy Ahmed, the current prime minister of Ethiopia, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (a regional political party which ruled the country for many decades), got into conflict.
Human Rights Watch, a research and advocacy group, has described scenes of mass killings, communications blackouts, famine and the pillaging of schools, factories and hospitals. Biden made a specific condemnation of the widespread use of sexual violence as a weapon in war.
Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, stated Wednesday that the administration was “horrified” by ongoing human rights violations in Ethiopia.
An armed battalion made up of mercenaries entered Haiti’s presidential palace at night to kill President Jovenel Moise. This brazen attack caused chaos in an already unstable country.
At the time, Biden called the situation “very worrisome” and urged calm as the U.S. and other regional observers gathered more information. The attack details led to an international investigation that included the Department of Homeland Security as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They visited Haiti and met with leaders.
Ned Price, State Department press secretary, stated that “We believe that our focus should be to assist the Haitian Government in navigating the investigation into President Moise’s assassination, determining who was culpable and supporting the Haitian government in its pursuit of justice.”
A legal dispute over property rights in Jerusalem’s Jerusalem neighborhood in May sparked intense fighting between Israeli security forces and Hamas militants.
Biden, a longtime supporter of Israel who had a decades-long relationship with then-Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, was put in a bind by the conflict. Many in the Democratic Party supported Palestinian rights and the conflict reverberated throughout the U.S.
Myanmar was once a success story for democracy in the 2010s. However, it suffered a rapid and severe coup during the Biden administration’s early days.
The military overthrew the civilian government in March. Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest along with the democratically elected president.
The civilian government won a majority of the November elections, which were free and fair deemed by outside observers.
Biden stated that the military must give up the power it has seized and show respect for the willful intentions of the Burmese people as expressed in their Nov.8 election.