1. Managing relations with China: Biden will face the challenge of maintaining US-China relations in addition to pushing back against human rights abuses and Beijing’s policies of economic coercion. Stimulating economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, while also addressing the current market access and trade disputes, will also be key.
2. Responding to challenges from Russia: Biden is likely to prioritize working with NATO and the European Union to counter Russian aggression in Europe and Central Asia. Biden will also need to address the tensions in the South Caucasus, and manage potential cyber threats and interference from Moscow in US and European democracy.
3. War in the Middle East: Biden will need to address the ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, which have been exacerbated by the deaths of Qasem Soleimani and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Negotiating a lasting peace process in Afghanistan is key, as well as providing humanitarian assistance and safeguarding refugees and internally displaced people in the region. Tackling the Iranian nuclear program and responding to human rights violations throughout the Middle East will also remain key policy priorities.