Special Pre-release from the September/October Issue of Foreign Affairs: Vice President Joe Biden on Opportunities for the Next Administration

“We are stronger and more secure today than when President Barack Obama and I took office in January 2009,” writes Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. in a special pre-released essay from the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs, “Building on Success: Opportunities for the Next Administration.”

Biden makes the case for continued engagement in the world, warning that “It is worth remembering that our indispensable role in the world is not inevitable. If the next administration chooses to turn inward, it could very well squander the hard-earned progress we’ve made not just over the past seven and a half years but also over the past seven decades.”

The vice president focuses on “four tasks that loom large: seizing transformative opportunities on both sides of the Pacific, managing relations with regional powers, leading the world to address complex transnational challenges, and defeating violent extremism.”

On China and the TPP:

Biden notes that because Asia is home to half the world’s population, “we simply cannot afford to ignore the economic opportunities there. That’s why securing the Trans-Pacific Partnership remains a top priority.” He continues: “The next administration will have to steer a relationship with China that encompasses both breakthrough cooperation and, potentially, intensified competition. And sometimes, as when facing the mounting threat from North Korea, cooperation and competition with China will coexist.”

On ISIS and countering violent extremism:

While he contends terrorism and violent extremism are “the most vexing example of a virulent transnational danger that demands sustained U.S. leadership,” Biden insists that “ISIS is losing.” But, he maintains, “even when ISIS’ would-be caliphate is destroyed, the jihadist challenge will continue.” He argues for a comprehensive campaign carried out in a manner that keeps the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims on the U.S. side. “America’s greatest strength is not the example of our power but the power of our example. More than anything, it is our adherence to our values and our commitment to tolerance that sets us apart from other great powers.”

He concludes, “Because of the actions we’ve taken and the boundless energy and resilience of the American people, I’ve never been more optimistic about our capacity to guide the international community to a more peaceful and prosperous future.”

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