U.S. Foreign Policy Under the Biden Administration: Challenges and Changes

U.S. Foreign Policy Under the Biden Administration: Challenges and Changes

25 Feb 21

On February 25, U.S. Ambassador (Ret.) Daniel Fried, U.S. General (Ret.) Philip Breedlove, and Professors Mustafa Aydin came together to discuss how the Biden Administration would tackle big U.S. foreign policy issues regarding NATO.

Ambassador Fried started by discussing the role of NATO in enforcing democratic values, explaining that while NATO wasn’t built as an alliance of democracies, it still has an interest in ensuring the spread of democracy, and the United States emphasizes the values of democracy. 

He went on to discuss the importance of continued collaboration internationally, particularly when it came to Iran and the potential for U.S. collaboration with Turkey on the issue. 

General Breedlove shared the same points on emphasizing the value of alliances and NATO, and he addressed the need to overcome our differences in order to secure our alliances. Russia wants to see the United States/ relationships drawn apart and its democracies dragged down, and it would take unity to go beyond this. He also covered the refugee crisis and how the western world needs to consider their role in enabling Bashar Al-Assad and need to face their culpability, while the refugee hosts need relief.

Finally, Professor Aydin covered a wide range of issues, from the Black Sea to NATO’s role in democratization to Cyprus. He declared that the Biden administration would not be the Obama Administration 2.0, as the world has changed drastically since those days, but he did express his optimism for the increased role of diplomacy that could ameliorate US-Turkey relations. Going in depth on the relationship, he explained that Turkish-Ameican relations have lost their strategic backbone. We have diverged in our interests and our threat perceptions, and this switch in the relationship to ‘transactionality’ could make it even less possible to have a backbone of a relationship

The speakers presented critical elements of diplomacy and increased dialogue needed in order to foster a productive conversation of how to enact change, and prepare for the upcoming changes and challenges of the Biden Administration's foreign policy plan abroad.