Biden’s speech was a refreshing change from the erratic, transactional approach of the past four years, but there is much that needs to be fleshed out if the United States is truly going to set a new course where diplomacy indeed comes first and the militarized approach to foreign affairs that has characterized U.S. policy throughout this century and before is going to finally be abandoned in favor of a more constructive and effective approach to helping solve the most urgent threats to our safety and security.
Despite what Secretary Pompeo and the Trump administration have claimed, the United States is not “the world’s leader” in responding effectively to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. does, however, lead the world in the greatest number of cases and deaths.
The four-year circus will soon leave town, and the clean-up effort will take at least a decade. The three rings of Trump’s circus—his White House, his do-nothing Senate, and his politicized judiciary—have contaminated governance, and given the Biden administration the worst political inheritance in U.S. history both at home and abroad.
As President Obama left office in 2016, he warned the incoming President Trump that North Korea would be “the most urgent problem” that he would face. That problem remains today, and in many ways has worsened.