As Biden underlined in his address to the UN General Assembly yesterday, the return of the US to the global stage is not about military force - “US military power must be our tool of last resort,” he declared.
US President Joe Biden has chosen a particular mixture of policies.
On the one hand he is touting the doctrine “America is Back”.
As he underlined in his address to the UN General Assembly yesterday, the return of the US to the global stage is not about military force - “US military power must be our tool of last resort,” he declared at the UN – but rather about the democratic values that characterise the US – liberty, equality, opportunity, and universal rights.
“Democracy remains the best tool we have to unleash our full human potential,” he said.
On the other hand, there is the slogan “America First” that Biden received from his predecessor.
In the name of that doctrine, he decided to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan without consulting with America’s allies, and he signed the AUKUS agreement with the UK and Australia without briefing France and the rest of the EU.
He has adopted a similar posture as regards the economy, closing the cycle that began with Ronald Reagan and opting for a “social democratic” policy.
It remains to be seen how well these two doctrines can be combined in order to shape a cohesive policy.
Naturally, much will depend on America’s domestic political balances.
Yet, Europe does not have the luxury of waiting. Freed from the bridles that were held, for different reasons, by the UK and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it can now pursue with all its forces a desirable strategic autonomy.