The Nobel committee could not have recognized two braver, worthier, or more dedicated individuals with their choice to award Dr. […]
In over 45 years of working in global affairs, I’ve observed a simple truth: America’s ability to lead the world depends not just on the example of our power, but on the power of our example.
American democracy is rooted in the belief that every man, woman and child has equal rights to freedom and dignity. While the United States is far from perfect, we have never given up the struggle to grow closer to the ideals in our founding documents.
Former vice president Joe Biden will lead two new academic centers in his first role after leaving office, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware announced Tuesday, spanning both foreign and domestic policy.
Former Vice President Joe Biden will split his post-White House time between a foreign policy institute at the University of Pennsylvania and a domestic policy institute at the University of Delaware, the two universities announced on Tuesday.
Vice President Joe Biden delivered an epic final speech Wednesday to the elites at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The gist of his speech was simple: At a time of “uncertainty” we must double down on the values that made Western democracies great, and not allow the “liberal world order” to be torn apart by destructive forces.
Joe Biden is now the vice president who will not be president. He’s been VP for seven and a half years, preceded by decades of work on U.S. foreign policy in the Senate, but the question remains whether he is distinctive in any memorable way for his work in international affairs. Was he simply a glad-handing flack pushing the Obama agenda, a manic schmoozer of foreign leaders? A gaffe-prone foreign-policy dilettante who, in the long run, won’t matter?
Biden puts some people off. His critics argue that despite his passion for worthy causes-from efforts to stabilize Iraq to the “cancer moonshot” to his task force devoted to “a strong middle class“-his bouts of imprecision and occasional foot-in-mouth foibles get in the way. An adviser to retired General Stanley McChrystal reportedly referred to Biden as “Bite Me.” Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates wrote in his memoir, Duty, that Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”
That hasn’t been my observation. I have traveled with Biden during his vice presidential tenure to Asia and Europe, watched him interact with foreign leaders abroad and at home, and have had wide-ranging discussions with him since his Senate days on everything from the confirmation battle over John Bolton’s nomination as U.N. ambassador to how the U.S. should approach its challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan. I haven’t always agreed with Biden’s positions, but those positions have tended to follow a pattern and demonstrate a consistency of approach, analysis, and engagement that stands out-particularly when compared with many other foreign-policy players who often don’t leave clear footprints.
“We are stronger and more secure today than when President Barack Obama and I took office in January 2009,” writes Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. in a special pre-released essay from the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs, “Building on Success: Opportunities for the Next Administration.”
Biden makes the case for continued engagement in the world, warning that “It is worth remembering that our indispensable role in the world is not inevitable. If the next administration chooses to turn inward, it could very well squander the hard-earned progress we’ve made not just over the past seven and a half years but also over the past seven decades.”
The vice president focuses on “four tasks that loom large: seizing transformative opportunities on both sides of the Pacific, managing relations with regional powers, leading the world to address complex transnational challenges, and defeating violent extremism.”
Biden notes that because Asia is home to half the world’s population, “we simply cannot afford to ignore the economic opportunities there. That’s why securing the Trans-Pacific Partnership remains a top priority.” He continues: “The next administration will have to steer a relationship with China that encompasses both breakthrough cooperation and, potentially, intensified competition. And sometimes, as when facing the mounting threat from North Korea, cooperation and competition with China will coexist.”
While he contends terrorism and violent extremism are “the most vexing example of a virulent transnational danger that demands sustained U.S. leadership,” Biden insists that “ISIS is losing.” But, he maintains, “even when ISIS’ would-be caliphate is destroyed, the jihadist challenge will continue.” He argues for a comprehensive campaign carried out in a manner that keeps the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims on the U.S. side. “America’s greatest strength is not the example of our power but the power of our example. More than anything, it is our adherence to our values and our commitment to tolerance that sets us apart from other great powers.”
He concludes, “Because of the actions we’ve taken and the boundless energy and resilience of the American people, I’ve never been more optimistic about our capacity to guide the international community to a more peaceful and prosperous future.”