WP Opinion: Biden Faces Brewing New Cold War

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Opinion Biden faces a brewing new Cold War

Posted On Washington Post Opintions Page January 6, 2023 at 7:55 p.m. EST

Regarding David Ignatius’s Jan. 5 op-ed, “Biden’s unsentimental foreign policy strategy”:

Because the United States is on a path to another Cold War, perhaps it’s premature for Mr. Ignatius to state that President Biden “begins 2023 with the wind at his back on foreign policy.”

The Biden administration inherited significant bilateral problems with four nuclear states, and the tensions with all of them have increased. His national security team is practicing dual containment with both Russia and China, and that approach has produced the closest bilateral relationship between Moscow and Beijing in their history. Mr. Biden could have returned quickly to the Iran nuclear accord but insisted on changes to a seminal agreement that the United States unfortunately abandoned. A campaign of pressure and coercion continues against North Korea, with no sign of success. Meanwhile, there is no sign of a greater role for diplomacy from our State Department, and the Pentagon’s general officers are replacing our civilian leaders as spokesmen for national security policy.

The soaring defense budget and the lack of any serious discussion on arms control and disarmament are additional problems that Mr. Biden’s national security team must address.

Melvin A. Goodman, Bethesda

The writer, a former CIA intelligence analyst, is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy.

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