Of all the powers that Article II of the 1787 Constitution explicitly recognizes to US presidents, foreign policy is where the occupants of the White House enjoy the greatest autonomy, in their dual capacity as top diplomatic and chief executive officer. commander-in-chief. Since Truman, and the outbreak of the Cold War, each and every one of them has been tempted to formulate a great unifying doctrine to justify the place that the US should occupy in the world.
Since the fiasco of withdrawal from Afghanistan, and apart from the bipartisan consensus forged since 9/11 in favor of a more aggressive and expeditionary foreign projection, the Biden doctrine begins to emerge to
explain what to expect from US foreign policy from now on In this new chapter, the Biden Administration appears much more interested in competition between great powers (Russia, but especially China) than in maintaining prolonged deployments military with null results.
“The decision on Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It is about ending an era of great military operations to remake other countries, “explained the president to justify a withdrawal decision not shared by the internationalist” establishment “, both American and European, Democratic or Republican, of which Biden has been a part during decades. In his view, there is a better way to protect American global interests through a combination of diplomacy, limited counterterrorism missions and the use of military force only when strictly necessary.
The litmus test for this doctrine will be to counter the narrative about the perceived decline of the US and that the future belongs to authoritarian and nationalist regimes such as those led by Xi Jinping or Putin. To do this, the White House will have to achieve economic recovery and control of the pandemic without crossing the red lines of a liberal democracy. The recycled motto of this new foreign policy may once again be ‘the economy, stupid’.