Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

U.S. foreign policy is about to get boring

By Stephen M. Walt

04 May 2023 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

For the next 18 months, Joe Biden's priority will be to get reelected. How will his administration handle foreign policy between now until Election Day? Don't expect many fireworks, FP writes.

U.S. President Joe Biden has officially announced that he intends to run for reelection. If you’re a regular reader here at Foreign Policy, you may have asked yourself what his decision to run means for U.S. foreign relations. If so, this column is for you.

Of course, it is much too early to speculate on what U.S. foreign policy will look like after the next election. Biden might not win, and his most likely opponent—former President Donald Trump—would almost certainly do things differently if he regains the Oval Office. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis might still catch fire and end up on top, but nobody has any idea how DeSantis will handle foreign policy if he manages to become president. (And I doubt he knows himself.) This level of uncertainty is a serious problem, because both allies and adversaries are less likely to make lasting adjustments to their behavior if they expect U.S. policy to shift every time the White House changes hands.

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