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Understanding Biden’s First Foreign-Policy Speech

A line-by-line analysis of the president’s remarks at the State Department.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy at the State Department in Washington on Feb. 4.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy at the State Department in Washington on Feb. 4. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

On Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden gave his first foreign-policy speech as president. His remarks signaled a dramatic shift in tone from his predecessor, Donald Trump, vowing to work with allies, check advancing authoritarianism, and combat climate change. The biggest news to come from the speech was the announcement that the United States would end its support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. 

Foreign Policy reporters Amy Mackinnon, Robbie Gramer, and Jack Detsch have combed through the president’s remarks to add context and highlight what’s new and what was left unsaid. 

On Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden gave his first foreign-policy speech as president. His remarks signaled a dramatic shift in tone from his predecessor, Donald Trump, vowing to work with allies, check advancing authoritarianism, and combat climate change. The biggest news to come from the speech was the announcement that the United States would end its support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. 

Foreign Policy reporters Amy Mackinnon, Robbie Gramer, and Jack Detsch have combed through the president’s remarks to add context and highlight what’s new and what was left unsaid. 

Amy Mackinnon is a national security and intelligence reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @ak_mack

Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @RobbieGramer

Jack Detsch is Foreign Policy’s Pentagon and national security reporter. Twitter: @JackDetsch

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