Biden vs. Trump: The Battle for America’s Foreign Policy Direction


What kinds of foreign policies should we expect from the next presidency, whether Trump or Biden?  Would a re-elected Trump find new ways to advance his America First agenda, this time backed by a team of appointees more united and supportive of his goals?  What would Biden’s pledge to restore competence and normalcy to US foreign policy mean in practice?  

The Center for the National Interest hosted a distinguished pair of panelists for a discussion of these issues on Wednesday, September 30: 

  • Robert D. Kaplan is the Robert Strausz-Hupé Chair in Geopolitics at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, respected author of numerous best-selling books on foreign affairs, and frequent contributor to The National Interest.  His recent article in The Spectator, “The Return of the Blob,” forecast a restored level of competence under a Biden administration, perhaps paired with excessive foreign policy ambition. 
  • Emma Ashford is a highly respected foreign policy scholar whose writing has been featured in The National InterestForeign Affairs, and numerous other policy journals and news publications.  Her recent op-ed in the New York Times, “Biden Wants to Return to a ‘Normal’ Foreign Policy. That’s the Problem,” argued that Biden is less likely to improve American foreign policy than he is to resurrect a failed Washington consensus. 

George Beebe, who is the Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for the National Interest, a former director of Russia analysis at the Central Intelligence Agency, and a former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney on Russia matters, will moderate the discussion. He is the author of The Russia Trap: How Our Shadow War with Russia Could Spiral into Catastrophe.