CUNY Foreign Policy Speech - New York, NY - July 11, 2019 Photo by Adam Schultz / Biden for President

From Afghanistan to Ukraine to Gaza: Politico’s Alexander Ward on How Biden’s Foreign Policy Evolved

Alexander Ward ia national security reporter for POLITICO and author of the book “The Internationalists: The Fight to Restore American Foreign Policy After Trump.” We discuss the implications of Mitch McConnell stepping down as the leader of the Senate Republicans and delve into the key themes and insights from Ward’s important new book. We explore the concept of the “foreign policy for the middle class” and how it shaped the Biden administration’s approach to foreign policy. Ward also examines the decision-making process behind the Afghanistan withdrawal and the administration’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Our conversation sheds light on the acrimonious relationship between Biden and Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, and the challenges of navigating international crises. The episode concludes with a discussion on the ongoing Gaza crisis and the potential impact of Trumpism on future foreign policy decisions.

Alexander Ward is a national security reporter for POLITICO and a Pulitzer Prize finalist recognized for his breaking news coverage. Demonstrating his expertise in political nuances and shaping discourses, Ward is the author of the insightful new book, “The Internationalists: The Fight to Restore American Foreign Policy after Trump.” His journalistic investigations provide a thorough understanding of the current and emerging trends in American foreign policy, bringing to light the behind-the-scenes workings of the Biden administration’s strategic maneuvers.

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Key Takeaways:

  • The Biden administration’s “foreign policy for the middle class,” which considers the impact of global actions on the American populace, showcases a nuanced shift influenced by Trump-era politics.
  • Relations between Biden and Zelensky were strained before the Russian invasion, leading to tensions that have since adjusted following a mutual focus on Ukrainian defense.
  • The decision to withdraw from Afghanistan was met with comprehensive interagency deliberation, amid which Biden remained steadfast in his preference for withdrawal.
  • The approach to the crisis in Gaza mirrors early dealings with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, balancing public support with private diplomatic pressure.
  • The Biden administration has incorporated elements from Trump’s policies while maintaining distinct differences, particularly in key areas such as alliance building and addressing global crises.