With the constant threat of war, Russian President Vladimir Putin has successfully managed to divert the attention of the Biden administration from Asia, which has been the primary focus of global politics lately.
The news of the Sino-US conflict has become secondary immediately, and the Indo-Pacific strategy of America seems to be pushed to the back-end.
The United States is looking to Europe so that its relations with its long-lasting allies from Europe, which had already its terms settled with America.
Russia was largely being ignored by the western world in the aftermath of the Cold War, and it was not even considered a direct threat to the United States.
As America was making its foreign policy decisions related to Chinese ambitions, Russia was becoming irrelevant. However, its aggression against Ukraine has made it relevant in global politics once again.
The core focus of the Biden administration’s foreign policy was to play a “pivotal role” in Asia; however, it is confronted with a challenge it did not anticipate.
This is how the foreign policy of America works. Congress, the White House, and the media can only focus on one bigger foreign policy issue at a time.
This is why the Chinese Olympics and its human rights violations have become a secondary thing for the United States.
Major Events in Asia Ignored by America
As Putin threatened to attack Ukraine, some significant events happened in Asia which did not get any traction in America but could have sparked a major outrage otherwise.
- North Korea tested a ballistic missile for the sixth time in January 2022.
- China had a warring ambition against Taiwan, as it flew 39 warplanes toward the island, one of the largest groups of aircraft in recent memory.
- An American F35 plane crashed in the South China Sea, which has become the latest battleground for the Sino-US rivalry.
- To add fuel to the fire, Iran, Russia, and China had a joint military drill in the waters of the Indian Ocean.
All of this failed to grab any attention of the American audience, as Russia was adamant enough to deny the US an opportunity to do it.
Top-level strategic and diplomatic officials have been assigned only one job, i.e., to fend off any tensions between Russia and Ukraine to stop Russia’s possible invasion of its neighbor.
One Issue to Another: America is Crisscrossing Among Global Powers
Before this issue, China had global attention, and America moved promptly to sanction the Asian giant for human rights abuses, even refusing to send the diplomatic staff for the Beijing Olympics.
Just in recent days, CIA director William Burns visited Moscow, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is busy in Europe, the national security adviser, many US ambassadors, and the president himself are busy dialing their phones to ease the tensions.
Just recently, China built a bridge on the disputed border with India, which once again may spark a frenzy of war between the two rivals.
India and China came face to face in 2020 as well and had already fought a full-scale war in the region in 1962. But once again, with all resources directed toward Russia, America has no clue of what is happening in Asia.
Currently, Asian stakeholders are looking toward Biden for various issues. Biden is yet to release his Indo-Pacific economic strategy.
Many Asian countries have no ambassador of the United States at all, which is putting America out of the region completely.
Considering the fact that the US has been an active player in the Middle East, recalibrating its approach toward Asia is also a must-do task for the Biden administration.
This is a foreign policy emergency as these issues will otherwise start being neglected once America moves toward the midterm election due to the domestic chaos.
If Biden continues playing into the hands of Putin, it will be a drastic choice as he can defer the matter as much as he can.