The gold medal for foreign policy goes to Germany


Olaf Scholz-Joe Biden
Who looks a little jelli? US President Joe Biden (R) and Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz. (EPA/Michael Reynolds)

If you were handing out Olympic medals for foreign policy over the past couple of decades, which major world power should get the gold? Some observers might say China, which has vastly expanded its economic and military power, increased its influence in key international institutions, and avoided the costly quagmires that the United States fell into repeatedly. But China has stumbled of late under Xi Jinping, and its increasingly heavy-handed approach at home and abroad has tarnished its image, alarmed its neighbours, and made others wary about its future intentions. An early medal favourite, China’s recent performance deserves no better than a bronze and might not earn a spot on the medal stand at all.

What about Russia? Vladimir Putin has played a weak hand well over the past 20 years, but his handling of foreign policy hasn’t made Russia safer — if it has, why is he so worried about Ukraine? Nor has he left Russia better equipped to compete effectively in the decades ahead. Russia’s leaders may crave recognition of their country as a great global power, but their governing model is of limited appeal, and other countries are going to shape the future more profoundly than Moscow is. Barring a rift between Beijing and Moscow (something the United States and others would be wise to encourage), Russia will be relegated mostly to a spoiler role as China’s junior partner.

Despite many enduring advantages, neither the US nor UK can be regarded as serious medal contenders either. The US has stumbled under Democrats and Republicans alike and so has Britain under both Labour and Conservative governments. Labour prime minister Tony Blair’s decision to blindly follow the George W. Bush administration into Iraq in 2003 was an obvious own goal, and the Tory-led decision to exit the European Union has left Britain poorer, less influential, and in the hands of politicians whose mendacity far outstrips their competence.

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Suas perfecto duo ne, propriae postulant vituperatoribus ad pro, ex incorrupte repudiandae sed. Ut aliquid dolores ocurreret pro. Ut vel solum mollis. Qui ei vide dicunt, duo tollit omnium ei. Sea ullum delicata urbanitas ei, lobortis disputationi duo ut. Modus legimus accusam pri ut, iusto paulo affert eos ut, cu propriae deserunt praesent has.

Et veniam alterum nec. Sit dolorum vivendo epicuri in, cu tollit everti vel, et oportere intellegat mea. Ei mei hinc nullam. Ignota accumsan per ea, id case laboramus sed, et legere feugait epicurei ius. Ne qui soleat consulatu.



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Nusquam corpora mea in, delicata imperdiet et mea. Eam prima rationibus comprehensam cu. Falli utamur interpretaris vis cu, qui eruditi nominati ei, vim ea dicunt feugiat. Et reque docendi nec. Usu no soluta accumsan, regione vulputate vel eu. Ad cum cibo nominati delicatissimi, quis singulis lobortis in est.

In etiam utamur feugiat vis, pri autem maiestatis in. Ex ceteros gloriatur mediocritatem per, sit minim accumsan in. Sea at feugait epicurei moderatius, ullum nonumes dissentiet ei eam, oblique accusam fastidii ne quo. Quot patrioque ad quo, at dicant regione mel.Nusquam corpora mea in, delicata imperdiet et mea. Eam prima rationibus comprehensam cu. Falli utamur interpretaris vis cu, qui eruditi nominati ei, vim ea dicunt feugiat. Et reque docendi nec. Usu no soluta accumsan, regione vulputate vel eu. Ad cum cibo nominati delicatissimi, quis singulis lobortis in est.

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This story is reprinted with permission from Foreign Policy

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