Biden laid the foundation for an alliance to maintain democracy

To understand the bold ambitions behind President Joe Biden’s trip to Europe this week, think of him as a doctor in the democratic (small “d”) world, not as the commander-in-chief of the United States. ..

Eighty years ago, far less democracy was besieged by the surge of authoritarian forces, so Franklin Roosevelt gave Dr. Win the War in his famous “Four Freedoms” speech in 1941. Declared. Now that the democratic world is facing a new attack, Biden’s turn is to become a save democracy doctor.

Biden, who has repeatedly provided diagnoses of cancer that endangers world democracy, accelerated the course of treatment last week. Like other good doctors, he understands that after many years of invasive and metastatic disease, healing and recovery remain uncertain.

Waiting any longer would have ensured the patient’s failure in Biden’s diagnosis of an “inflection point” in the historical and systematic struggle against authoritarianism. As he said at NATO Headquarters in Brussels this week, he laid out the themes that underpin his entire presidency: “We must prove to the world and our people that democracy can overcome the challenges of our time and meet the needs of our people... “

The message of the 78-year-old president and his amazing patience in the five whistle-stops of the trip were impressive, but any US leader can have a similar meeting. They finished bilateral relations with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, followed by the world-leading G7 rally of industrial democracy, the NATO summit, the US-European Union summit, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva. Included. Of the battle of Biden.

More notably, what Biden did to them. Through careful planning and negotiation, his team and its partners have created dozens of pages of agreements, communiqués, and future commitments. It was all designed to provide a thread of story and cause a common cause among world-leading democracies.

The top priority Biden administration behind it focuses on China as a challenge for our time. Unlike the Trump administration, which confronted Europe and China at the same time, the Byden administration paved the way for Europeans to compete with China, even if compromises from individual countries or the entire European Union were needed. Stepped out It counts China as their major trading partner.

The agreement reached last week Carvis Bay G-7 Summit Communiqué This included, among other things, a commitment to provide the world with an additional billion doses of corona vaccine this year, plans to revitalize the economies of member states, and a commitment to a global minimum tax.

They were included US-EU Summit StatementProbably the most underreported and underestimated of this week’s agreement, many dialogues that can build closer cooperation on everything from Covid’s bailout and climate change to technical cooperation and China. Established.

“We will continue to coordinate our common concerns, including ongoing human rights abuses in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Tibet. Erosion of the process of autonomy and democracy in Hong Kong, financial coercion, disinformation campaigns, Local security issues. “

The move to end the 17-year trade and tariff dispute between Boeing and Airbus has also motivated it to intensify competition with China. Even in 3 paragraphs US-Russia Presidential Joint Statement on Strategic Stability With China in mind, with the aim of initiating a bilateral strategic stability dialogue aimed at creating a more predictable environment with Moscow so that Washington’s energy can be more straightforwardly focused on Beijing. It was.

But what remains under the surface of all of President Biden’s meetings has endured doubts about the sustainability of this new American commitment to alliances, democratic partners, and common causes. The tone is very different from President Trump.

Europeans have reason to wonder what the next US election will bring, as Trump and his allies still refuse to accept his election defeat and claim fraud. They also have their own election uncertainties, the September German elections set to end the nearly 16-year leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron’s local elections on Sunday. In the face of, we may offer a preview of the confrontation with Marine Le Pen next year.

Not a little, acknowledge the uncertainty of great success with Biden’s partner last week. They were just too enthusiastic about embracing change. The Trump administration has shown that, as in the first few months of President Biden, world democracy continues to rely on US leadership. So why not take advantage of the present and develop as many agreements and habits as possible and expect them to last?

In that spirit, the week started properly New Atlantic Charter Signed with British Prime Minister Johnson. This helps remind us of how the internationally involved United States can make a historic difference in Original anniversary Atlantic Charter US President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill have agreed.

“Our Revitalized Atlantic Charter” reads a new document, “Maintaining our lasting values ​​and protecting them from old and new challenges, based on the commitments and aspirations set 80 years ago. Confirm our ongoing commitment to. We promise to work closely with everyone. Share our democratic values ​​and undermine our alliances and institutions. A partner who opposes the efforts of those who try. “

Almost four months before the official US entry into World War II, Roosevelt and Churchill agreed to the original charter, outlining a common ambitious purpose for the post-war world, and the British war effort. Recall that we have clarified our support for the United States. August 14, 1941.

It is also worth considering what the world would have been if the United States had not moved forward.

With the post-war free order threatened, the New Atlantic Charter could serve as a clear call for a new international commitment to the resurgence of democracy.

Back in December of last year, I I have written In this area, “Joe Biden has the rarest opportunity that history offers. It’s an opportunity to become a transformative president.”

Biden’s trip to Europe recognizes the opportunity and builds on it. But perhaps just as well, there is the cost of an understood but unspoken failure to grab the question of whether global forces will shape the future.

Frederick Kemp Is a best-selling author, award-winning journalist, and president and CEO of the Atlantic Council, one of the most influential world affairs think tanks in the United States. He has worked for The Wall Street Journal for over 25 years as a Foreign Correspondent, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, and the longest editor of the European edition of this treatise. His latest book, Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Krusichov, and the Most Dangerous Places on Earth, is the New York Times bestseller and is published in more than 12 languages. Follow him on Twitter @FredKempe and subscribe to Inflection Points here. Every Saturday he looks at last week’s top stories and trends.

Biden laid the foundation for an alliance to maintain democracy

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