Biden's 'Relentless Diplomacy' Is a Tough Sell to Wary Allies | RealClearPolitics
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fairly difficult
In his first speech to the United Nations, President Biden reprised a line from his inaugural address, pledging Tuesday that the United States would not lead...
by the "example of our power," but, "God willing, with the power of our example."

Rhetorically, it's a beautiful, idealistic phrase meant to directly contrast the go-it-alone brute force and chest-beating of the Trump era. But eight months into this new administration and fresh off serious foreign policy blunders, the U.S. is struggling to instill confidence in some of our closest allies, let alone influence our adversaries and bad actors to change their ways.

Addressing those skeptical allies and adversaries alike, Biden called on nations to come together to take on the global issues of COVID-19, climate change, cyberthreats and human rights abuses, promising to solve them through "relentless diplomacy," while using the U.S. military only as a last resort. Some might call it the opposite of President Theodore Roosevelt's "speak softly but carry a big stick" philosophy.

"Today, many of our greatest concerns cannot be solved or even addressed by the force of arms," he said. "Bombs and bullets cannot defend against COVID-19 or its future variants."

Instead of the U.S. serving as the world's police force, Biden offered a vigorous endorsement of the United Nations' relevance at what he described as a turning point in history while trying to reassure world leaders of U.S. cooperation. The message upended the Trump model of calling out the U.N. as corrupt and too dependent on U.S. money and military might, but it was a particularly tough sell against the backdrop of two foreign policy crises playing out in real time.

The U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan was so chaotic it created an opening for terrorists to kill 13 U.S. Marines and scores of Afghans waiting to flee their disintegrating nation, and left a still-unknown number of Americans citizens and legal permanent residents behind enemy lines. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Afghans who helped the U.S. and NATO remain stranded. Those who served as interpreters and allies are now under a constant threat of being…
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