Earlier this year, former Vice-President Joseph Biden spelled out his plan for America’s foreign policy in an essay in Foreign Affairs. Biden offered a vision of global leadership rooted in principles and objectives that would be familiar to veterans of past Democratic administrations, such as the importance of alliances and partnerships in confronting shared challenges; the moral imperative to defend democracy and human rights; the pursuit of an international economic system that works for the American middle class; and a preference for diplomacy and negotiation over military force.
But alongside these familiar themes, Biden’s essay exhibited a more novel preoccupation: corruption. In describing how he would advance American values and interests abroad, the vice president repeatedly linked the defense of democracy with the fight against graft. Corruption, Biden wrote, is an “insidious pandemic” that is “fueling oppression” and “equipping authoritarian leaders with a powerful tool.” The presumptive Democratic nominee promised to issue a presidential directive during his first year in office “that establishes combating corruption as a core national security interest and democratic responsibility.”
The above excerpt was originally published in Washington Monthly.
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