President Joe Biden took office last year during one of the most turbulent times the United States had experienced in decades. Though his administration has tackled important foreign policy issues, it has also faced multiple domestic crises, so the primary focus of this first year has been on the urgent matters at home. In 2022, though, the world is likely to demand more of Biden’s attention, even as the domestic challenges remain far from resolved.
Some of the foreign policy issues are expected and already evident. To start, Biden will have to work to help the entire planet, including poor nations, bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic and its related social and economic crises. Without a global solution, new variants will continue to emerge, keeping the pandemic alive, even as lopsided healing potentially triggers destabilizing refugee flows.
Then, of course, there’s the big surprise: the crisis already brewing, unnoticed, that, once emerged, will become an urgent priority. But aside from these knowns and unknowns, there is much else we can predict about 2022. Here are some of the foreign policy issues that are sure to rise to the top of Biden’s agenda: