Biden falters in pledge to strengthen US alliances

President Biden has promised to strengthen U.S. alliances, but some of his high-profile moves in the early months of his administration have rankled allies.

France is outraged by a new partnership between the U.S., United Kingdom and Australia on nuclear-powered submarines; the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has caused allies to question U.S. commitments abroad; and Europeans are frustrated over the administration’s decision to maintain coronavirus-related travel restrictions even as countries open their borders to vaccinated Americans.

The White House insists that Biden values U.S. partnerships with its allies and is committed to bolstering those bonds, especially after four years of former President Trump testing those relationships with his combative nature and “America first” foreign policy.

But the recent developments nevertheless complicate Biden’s efforts, particularly with European allies.