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HomeVideoHow Ukraine, Afghanistan may shape Biden’s first State of the Union

How Ukraine, Afghanistan may shape Biden’s first State of the Union

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has overwhelmed headlines and has caused heightened international concern. The attacks, and how the U.S. will handle them, will surely be one of the key foreign policy items for President Joe Biden’s administration. Ahead of his first State of the Union address, PBS NewsHour Digital Anchor Nicole Ellis spoke with Wall Street Journal reporter Nancy Youssef, who covers national security, about the crisis in Ukraine and the other foreign policy matters the Biden administration has tackled in the first year in office.

Russia invading Ukraine happened just months after Biden put an end to America’s longest-ever war in Afghanistan. He also inherited a rocky relationship with China, which Youssef said has now been eclipsed by the worsening conflicts and ongoing, deadly global pandemic.

“Afghanistan, Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic, and the domestic issues the United States has faced has really made the scale of that shift not as large as I think the administration envisioned when it took office 13 months ago,” Youssef said in the conversation with Ellis.

Youssef said Afghanistan, prior to Ukraine, would have been the main foreign policy point in Biden’s first State of the Union. Now, she said, he will likely avoid rehashing how U.S. forces evacuated in what seemed to many as abrupt and ill prepared. He will likely focus on why his administration ended the war and not how it chose to do so.

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