President Biden’s first speech as commander-in-chief to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday was full of the high-minded internationalist sentiment that defines his rhetoric. If only those words reflected the reality of the world he and America will have to navigate over the next four years.

“We’ve ended 20 years of conflict in Afghanistan,” Biden averred. “And as we close this period of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy; of using the power of our development aid to invest in new ways of lifting people around the world, of renewing and defending democracy.”

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