Biden Steers Clear of Foreign Policy

The public deserves a more thorough accounting of what their government is doing in their name.

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Even by the standards of past State of the Union addresses, Biden’s speech last night was remarkably light on references to foreign policy. Stephen Wertheim commented on this during the speech:

It is understandable that most of the speech would be on domestic issues. A State of the Union address is principally a report on the conditions in the country and what the administration is doing about things at home. Even so, there is something amiss when the president has so little to say about foreign affairs. In a speech that lasts more than an hour, foreign policy should rate more than a tiny fraction of that time.

Foreign policy is one of the areas where the president has the greatest leeway, and foreign policy decisions that the president has made and will make can have serious consequences for the country as a whole. The public deserves a more thorough accounting of what their government is doing in their name, and Americans should expect the president to inform them of how he has been acting on their behalf over the previous year. If there is not much from the last year for Biden to boast about, that is itself something that the public needs to know.

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Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

5 thoughts on “Biden Steers Clear of Foreign Policy”

  1. Yes, but on the other hand, these people lie as a matter of course, so what they say at the State of the Union Address or anywhere else doesn’t mean a lot, if anything. Far better to watch what they do and who they pick for their cabinet and Chief of Staff.

  2. Biden should steer clear of foreign policy outside of his speech. He is causing more tension with Russia and China than any previous POTUS. He caused the war in Ukraine to occur by supporting Zelensky who persecutes the Russian speakers in his country and expanding NATO up to Russia’s borders.
    He also causes tension with China by expanding bases up to its borders and by providing more military aid to Taiwan.

    1. The problems that Biden has caused with Russia regarding Ukraine go back to when he was vice president. But the U.S. has been provoking Russia even longer than that, starting with the failure to disband NATO when the Soviet Union disbanded over 30 years ago, then the constant expansion of NATO in violation of the U.S. promise to Russia not to do so.

      My point is that focusing on any one president leads to a false conclusion. It’s the U.S. empire in general, not any particular president.

      1. I discussed Biden because he is the current POTUS.
        In different comment sections, I’ve discussed other POTUS. The problems Biden causes with Russia and China go back before he was vice president.
        George HW Bush increased military spending as the Cold War was dying out and Clinton expanded NATO although he knew the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact were dissolved. He started a war with Serbia. Since he became POTUS, Russia and China have moved closer to each other and further away from the US.

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