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a new era

Biden returning to an updated 'Sept. 10 mindset' when it comes to foreign policy, former adviser says

On the one hand, President Biden is attempting to lead a "fundamental shift in foreign policy and national security policy" two decades after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, his longtime friend and adviser Tom Donilon told Bloomberg. But the president may be turning the clock back in a sense, as well.

Bloomberg notes that on Sept. 10, 2001, Biden — who was then chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee — made remarks at a National Press Club event, during which he warned against the Bush administration's heavy focus, both in terms of time and money, on building a missile defense system. Biden, Bloomberg writes, thought at the time that zeroing in on one threat or adversary left the United States vulnerable. "The real threats come into this country in the hold of a ship, or the belly of a plane, or are smuggled into a city in the middle of the night in a vial of a backpack," Biden said at the time.

In other words, Biden wanted to forge a multifaceted foreign policy that allowed the U.S. to react to threats that most directly affect the country at a given time and adjust, rather than get bogged down on one venture. And he may be going back to that. "He's now back to an updated version of the Sept. 10 mindset, which I think is probably where everybody is," Jonah Blank, who advised Biden on South Asia policy at the time of the attacks in 2001, told Bloomberg. Read more at Bloomberg.