U.S. President Joe Biden, who came into office seeking to do “less not more” in the Middle East, is increasingly using the focus on China as an excuse to again do more in the region. But using the “great power competition” frame to justify and shape U.S. engagement in the Middle East is unrealistic and likely counterproductive.
Antony Blinken was in Africa this week for a three-country tour, where he unveiled the Biden administration’s new approach for deepening ties with African nations. The strategy seems to hit all the right notes. But to implement it, the U.S. will have to break long-established habits in its relations with the continent.
In the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week, much of the commentary in the U.S. has been on the visit’s impact on U.S.-China relations. Unfortunately, the reactions within Taiwan and China have attracted less attention, as they are revealing of domestic factors driving decision-making on both sides of the strait.