Given converging challenges at home and abroad, the United States needs a return to evidence-based policy, consistency, and systematic action. A hard U.S. foreign policy reboot is essential.
- Biden and the World – Part 1 Keeping U.S.- China Strategic Competition Under Control
- Biden and the World – Part 2: Opportunities for Africa in a U.S. Diplomatic Reboot
Since 2017, the United States has led the strongest assault on global multilateralism that the United Nations has faced in its seventy-five years. The U.S. withdrawal from major accords such as the Paris Agreement and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action fostered uncertainty and flux.
- Biden and the World – Part 3: A Chance for Europe to Pursue Greater Autonomy with U.S. Support
- Biden and the World – Part 4: Biden Can Restore Balance for Democracies
This could soon change, however. Biden respects multilateralism and a rules-based international system. He believes that America should lead by example. Against a backdrop of a global pandemic, working with the World Health Organization to prevent infection and boost the race for a COVID-19 vaccine will send positive signals.
- Biden and the World – Part 5: The Challenge of National Reconciliation and Multilateralism
- Biden and the World – Part 6: Biden Knows Central Europe and It Knows Him
Rebuilding the relationship with Africa will require a change of tack—to focus on Africa’s potential and challenges rather than to use the continent as a space for competition with China. Biden could build on former President Barack Obama’s legacy of supporting the African Union to drive democratic governance. In the wake of fragile transitions in Algeria and Sudan, the clear opportunity is to partner to improve governance and ensure civilian transfer of power.
- Biden and the World – Part 7: Japan – USA; Renewing International Cooperation
- Biden and the World – Part 8: Lingering Challenges in the U.S.-ASEAN Strategic Partnership
The fight against terrorism has had constructive results in the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin, and Somalia, but has not eradicated terrorist groups. A reassessment of Washington’s counterterrorism support to African states could prioritize more comprehensive approaches.
- Biden and the World – Part 9: Furthering the Economic Prosperity and Stability of the Gulf
- Biden and the World – Part 10: Expect a Rebalanced U.S. Middle East Policy
Impartial mediation in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute, drawing on principles of equality and international law, will drive win-win outcomes for all parties involved.
The United States will likely find allies to speed up its diplomatic reboot but will also encounter stiff challenges in driving sustainable resolutions to perennial and emergent challenges—from the Middle East to the Eastern Mediterranean. The world is ready for the reboot, however.
Executive Director, Institute for Security Studies (South Africa)