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

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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