Biden's foreign policy: too little action?

US President Joe Biden has outlined his foreign policy priorities in a keynote address at the State Department. Unlike his predecessor, he talked of closer cooperation with US allies and addressed words of warning to Russia and other countries. Commentators praise his rhetoric but note a lack of concrete plans.

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Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Kissinger couldn't have put it better

Lidové noviny breathes a sigh of relief after Joe Biden's keynote speech on foreign policy:

“The term 'realpolitik' is associated with political dinosaurs like Henry Kissinger. And also Joe Biden's foreign policy vision is absolute realpolitik. This is reassuring news, especially after the era of Donald Trump's emotional and instinct-driven policy, which brought interesting results in the Middle East, for example, but unsettled the allies. Reassuring for the US's partners as well as for those who had feared some kind of cultural revolution in the US. Biden's stance towards China, for example, the US's biggest competitor, is based on realpolitik. Despite the brutal Chinese policies towards the Uighurs and Hong Kong, Biden declared: 'We are willing to work with Beijing - if it is in the interest of the US.' Kissinger could not have said it better.”

The Observer (GB) /

Overdue corrective

The new US president struck the right note on two key issues, The Observer writes in praise:

“Biden and his secretary of state, Antony Blinken, also want to revive the Palestine-Israel two-state solution that Trump and Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, did their best to bury. In short, a period of increasingly strained relations [with Israel] is in prospect. This is not necessarily a bad thing, if it restores balance and perspective to the conduct of Middle Eastern affairs. Likewise, Biden's tough words for Vladimir Putin - 'the days of the US rolling over in the face of Russia's aggressive actions are over' - were an overdue corrective.”

Radio Kommersant FM (RU) /

Hard rhetoric, soft stance

Radio Kommersant FM, however, can't make out a tougher course towards Russia:

“If Trump accused Obama of allowing the Crimea and Donbass affairs, Biden now seems more resolute on the one hand, but on the other his words contain little substance. Trump was ready to come to terms with Putin for the good of the United States, but he didn't succeed. Biden comes across as a tough leader, but his decisions effectively indicate just the opposite. No sooner was the 46th US President in office than he extended the New Start arms control treaty with his rival. So the question of who can get the better of the situation and how is still open. ... In principle, the only issue on which Biden agrees with Trump is that China is the main threat.” (PL) /

US has enough on its hands with its own problems

If the EU was hoping that under Biden the US would become a strong foreign policy partner once more it was sorely disappointed, points out:

“Biden wants to focus primarily on the problems that the US faces. For him the task at hand is to rebuild the country's potential and bolster its opportunities, competitiveness and strength. ... As for the allies, their task will be to shoulder more responsibility. Not because the nature of the alliances is changing, but simply because the US won't be in a position to take responsibility for problems in so many parts of the world. ... In some cases, for example in relation to Russia or the coup in Myanmar, rhetoric is already obscuring a lack of genuine measures.”