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The red telephone is gone, but a new generation of nuclear hotlines is sorely needed to manage international crises.
Argument: Why U.S. Cities and States Should Play a Bigger Role in Foreign Policy Why U.S. Cities and States Should Play a B...
This article is part of Foreign Policy’s ongoing coverage of U.S. President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office, detailing key administration policies as they get drafted—and the people who will put them into practice.
In a 2009 essay, I coined the term “formestic” to describe the inevitable intertwining of foreign and domestic policy and the fact that solutions to global challenges often lay at home—and vice versa. Although I’m not holding my breath for the word to catch on, the observation that foreign and domestic policy are inseparably connected is a core conviction of U.S. President Joe Biden’s team. He made the point repeatedly during the run up to the November 2020 elections and has kept making it since. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was one of the architects of a “foreign policy for the middle class.” If there is a Biden doctrine, breaking down the silos of foreign and domestic policy would be a fundamental element.
The reason why these realms are deeply connected is simple: The United States is only as influential abroad as the strength of its economy, institutions, people, and ideas at home. But if that fact has sunk in, the discussion has mostly revolved around what the federal government can do, such as repairing and building national green infrastructure, investing in research and development, and shoring up the day care system. Encouragingly, the Biden administration has vowed to measure foreign-policy success by what that policy delivers for everyday Americans. “Everything we do in our foreign policy and national security will be measured by a basic metric: Is it going to make life better, safer, and easier for working families?” Sullivan said in February.
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