Biden and the mending of the West
The US will veer from a neo-isolationist approach to a more outward-looking foreign policy, according to Kenneth Yalowitz, former US foreign service officer and ambassador to Belarus and Georgia.
Washington, D.C. (Brussels Morning) The coming to office of former president Donald Trump in 2016 took away the guarantee that the US would be Europe’s security provider. Washington repositioned troops, articulating a financial conditionality of sorts for its engagement in Europe. The Euro-Atlantic “club”, NATO, was more a sum of its parts than a community.
Russian deterrence became a far more European concern, unveiling the continent’s historical inability to speak as one with regards to relations with Moscow. That became abundantly clear during Josep Borrell’s recent visit to Moscow in February 2021.
The question now is how the Biden Administration will affect Euro-Atlantic relations, and by extension relations with Moscow. Will the US articulate an unreserved commitment to Europe’s collective security and continue to champion NATO’s expansion? The question is existentially significant for countries that stretch along the Russian border — from Belarus to Georgia — some of whom have signed association agreements with the EU to give them access to the single market, are members of NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme and aspire to become “westernised”, a term now more ambiguous than before.