Why Biden isn’t likely to find much political relief abroad in 2022

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The United States faces at least two potential national security crises that could explode in short order. First, it must try to head off a potential invasion of Ukraine by Russia in what would be Moscow’s boldest bid yet to reshape the post-Cold War order. And unless talks bear fruit soon, Iran could reach the threshold of being a nuclear weapons power, and leave Biden with an excruciating choice of whether to respond with military action that could draw the US back into a Middle East conflagration.
As grave as each situation is, both in some ways are a distraction from the epochal 21st-century US foreign policy conundrum: how to handle an increasingly powerful and aggressive China. The intense diplomatic and military attention Washington would need to devote to a showdown with Iran or Russia would delight Beijing, after its rise to prominence coincided with the US quagmires in Iraq…

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