This week the U.S. commemorates the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII and honors those Americans and what their sacrifices and efforts meant to the world. Our actions in the war gave the U.S. its seat at the head of the international table, showing that it was an ally to be counted on when needed. Today, given the current state of affairs, I can’t help but think how the world looks at America; the seat at the head of the table is no longer ours. Questioning the importance of NATO, pulling out of the Paris Climate accord, discontinuing funding and collaboration with the World Health Organization, withdrawing from the nuclear arms agreement with Iran, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, to name a few, have left our European and Asia-Pacific allies wondering what will happen next and what it means for the rest of the world.
The election of Vice President Joe Biden to the presidency will set the U.S. back on a path to return to the diplomatic status it has been known for in previous administrations since 1945. He will also reassure our allies that the U.S. is a partner they can depend on in matters like trade and defense pacts. Biden is a known quantity to U.S. allies, having served as vice president and, before that, on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, itself a reassuring fact for those countries.
There's not going to be a light switch turned where Biden is going to be able to come in and fundamentally improve ties overnight. In an op-ed for Foreign Affairs at the beginning of this year, Biden himself wrote he would “take immediate steps to renew U.S. democracy and alliances” if elected. “As president, I will do more than just restore our historic partnerships; I will lead the effort to reimagine them for the world we face today. Working cooperatively with other nations that share our values and goals does not make the United States a chump. It makes us more secure and more successful.”
This exemplifies Biden’s campaign slogan of Build Back Better and should be kept in mind of voters when they head to the polls on Nov. 3.