“Great Decisions” – 11/14/22

Biden’s Strategy & Midterms’ Fallout

“Great Decisions” will meet again at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, November 14, in the Walpole Town Library. The challenges facing President Biden may multiply, depending on the trajectory of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the results of the midterm elections. Even if the Democratic majority holds, the crises in international relations are daunting.

There is the escalating competition with China, exemplified by the new export controls on advanced chip-making technologies. Can we hope to collaborate on global warming with the world’s greatest polluter when we play offense in the semiconductor field?

Despite the crisis of climate change and global warming – the ultimate externality of industrial development – corporations (and voters) continue to focus on profits and growth. Can the United States become a global leader in clean energy and environmental protection?

The weakening of Western liberal democracies, with increasing economic inequality, political polarization, and the rise of autocratic regimes, gives further urgency to Biden’s agenda. The ambitious proposals for rebuilding infrastructure, reducing CO2 emissions, habitat restoration and clean energy investment in the Inflation Reduction Act have not gained bipartisan support nor united voters.

Looming over all is the nuclear devastation that Putin threatens as he is backed further into a corner with protracted conflict in a war he is unlikely to win. If the unthinkable happens, all bets are off.

The suggested reading is by G. John Ikenberry, “Biden’s Foreign Policy in the Age of Strategic Competition,” found in the “Great Decisions” briefing book which is available at the library or by request from Library Director Jane Malmberg: jmalmberg@walpoletownlibrary.org

Please join the discussion on Monday, November 14, either in person in the Hubbard Meeting Room at the Walpole Town Library or via Zoom. For the Zoom link, contact Jane Malmberg, Library Director, in advance of the 6:00 p.m. meeting: jmalmberg@walpoletownlibrary.org.

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