President Biden’s foreign policy has shown some encouraging early signs for those invested in breaking with America’s disastrous, decades-old geopolitical trajectory. As The Daily Beast first reported, Biden is extricating the U.S. from the Saudi-led war in Yemen and has placed counterterrorism strikes under review. America is back in the Paris climate accord and the United Nations Human Rights Council. Biden extended the nuclear arms-control framework with Russia. And on Friday, the White House told Politico that it’s embracing a congressional push to repeal certain post-9/11 war powers.
But interviews with half a dozen progressive and socialist activists, Hill staffers, foreign-policy experts and former Obama administration officials in touch with Bidenworld point to deep dissatisfaction over what they consider an alarming drift toward the traditional, bellicose Washington foreign-policy consensus—what former Barack Obama aide Ben Rhodes famously termed “the Blob.”
“This has been a terrible week for Biden’s foreign policy,” said historian Stephen Wertheim of the left/right antiwar Quincy Institute, author of Tomorrow, The World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy. “I credit the Biden administration with picking some low-hanging fruit early. But I refuse to accept a situation where the U.S. can do incredibly destructive and stupid things like aid the war in Yemen and then everyone has to cheer when an administration stops doing such things despite continuing the quest to extend armed dominance across the glob. And since we don’t know yet what exactly the administration’s Yemen policy is, we should remain cautious even on that front.”