February 1, 2023 | FDD Tracker: January 1-31, 2023

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: February

February 1, 2023 | FDD Tracker: January 1-31, 2023

Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker: February

Trend Overview

By David Adesnik and John Hardie

Welcome back to the Biden Administration Foreign Policy Tracker. Once a month, we ask FDD’s experts and scholars to assess the administration’s foreign policy. They provide trendlines of very positive, positive, neutral, negative, or very negative for the areas they watch. This is our first monthly tracker since the special year-end edition we published before the holidays.

The big story in January was Berlin’s refusal to send Ukraine Leopard tanks or even to let other NATO members give their German-made Leopards to Kyiv. As the war reaches a pivotal phase, the impasse threatened to undermine what has thus far been impressive transatlantic unity. But the Biden administration persuaded Berlin to cooperate by pledging to provide Ukraine with Abrams tanks. Washington is also sending Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and Stryker armored personnel carriers for the first time. This is all good news, yet the White House still refuses to send Kyiv ATACMS missiles, which would maximize Ukraine’s chances of victory and help hasten the war’s conclusion.

Another difficult question for the administration is why its envoy for nuclear negotiations with Iran held unpublicized talks with Tehran, which a foreign media outlet later revealed. The White House says it will not push for a nuclear deal while Tehran is crushing protests at home, yet it seems unwilling to give its full support to demonstrators marching under the banner of “Woman, Life, Freedom.”

Check back with us next month to see if NATO remains united behind Ukraine and if the White House clarifies its priorities for U.S policy toward Iran.


The Chinese Communist Party began the new year consumed by the socio-economic fallout stemming from Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s decision to hastily jettison nearly all of China’s pandemic restrictions. Chinese authorities reported a 70 percent surge in hospitalizations and 60,000 COVID-related deaths in January. Across the country, crematoria and cemeteries were overwhelmed. Meanwhile, three years of Xi’s costly zero-COVID policies have left China’s finances in disarray, with Beijing posting a record $1.1 trillion budget deficit in 2022. Facing these and other domestic crises, Chinese officials have adopted a noticeably softer tone in their dealings with Washington. Beijing’s newly appointed foreign minister, Qin Gang, even wrote in The Washington Post that the “future of the entire planet” depends on “a healthy and stable” partnership between the two countries.

While China has sought to give the illusion of a diplomatic reset, Beijing has given no indication that it intends to alter its problematic behavior. That extends to China’s tacit support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Instead, Xi appears keen to secure a reprieve, however temporary, from Washington’s regulatory assault on China’s tech sector and to lay the groundwork to stimulate China’s economy after the current COVID wave subsides. The sincerity of China’s charm offensive will be put to the test next month when Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen travel separately to Beijing. In the interim, the Biden administration should resist the temptation to enter into negotiations with Beijing on key issues simply for the sake of “predictability” in the bilateral relationship.


The Biden administration faced increasing pressure to address data privacy, federal network cybersecurity, critical infrastructure security and resilience, and other cybersecurity issues in the new year.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published on January 11, President Biden urged Congress to work in a bipartisan way to hold Big Tech accountable on digital privacy and antitrust issues. In his article, Biden promoted a fundamental reform of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which would make tech companies liable for user-generated content, ending the nearly three-decade-long legal immunity social media platforms have enjoyed. The administration anticipates addressing various data privacy issues this year, with multiple states introducing their own comprehensive privacy bills.

The administration faced pressure to improve federal information technology networks after the Government Accountability Office published a report that emphasizes the need for a comprehensive federal strategy for national cybersecurity. The report highlighted shortcomings in the 2018 National Cyber Strategy, urging policymakers to address them in the forthcoming national cyber strategy by clearly explaining its goals, performance measures, and resources for federal departments.

This year, the administration will likely prioritize improving the resilience of critical infrastructure sectors, such as the aviation sector. The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) system outage in January, which caused thousands of travel disruptions, gave a glimpse of the aftereffects of a U.S. critical infrastructure system failure. While officials say there are no indications that the FAA suffered a cyberattack, air traffic systems face a range of malicious cyber threats and must be better prepared for outages.


The United States and Israel conducted the Juniper Oak 23 multi-domain military exercise in late January. The Pentagon called it the “largest” and “most significant” bilateral U.S.-Israel exercise in history. The exercise “integrated U.S. and Israeli 5th generation fighter assets, the USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, command and control elements, [and] rescue and refueling aircraft during a long-range large force exercise that included a live fire exercise with more than 140 aircraft,” according to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). American B-52 bombers, escorted by U.S. and Israeli fighters, simulated long-range, large-volume strikes against an adversary.

The administration’s not-so-subtle message to Iran: The United States and Israel possess the military capability to destroy Tehran’s nuclear program if necessary. The exercise’s size, scope, and focus on offensive operations, as well as associated U.S. and Israeli messaging and the fact that the exercise was run by CENTCOM rather than U.S. European Command, make it noteworthy.

Meanwhile, Ukrainians remain resilient in defending their homes against invading Russian forces. Washington continues to commit large quantities and expanding types of security assistance to Kyiv, amounting to $27.8 billion since the beginning of the Biden administration. That investment has helped prevent Moscow from accomplishing many of its objectives in Ukraine, degraded the conventional military capability of one America’s main adversaries, and sent a valuable message to other autocrats considering aggression. Notably, after months of pressure from Kyiv, Biden announced on January 25 that the United States will (eventually) send 31 M1 Abrams main battle tanks to Ukraine.


The Biden administration demonstrated effective U.S. leadership in resolving a diplomatic deadlock that was preventing Ukraine from receiving much-needed German-made tanks. For months, Berlin had refused to send tanks itself or allow other countries to send Kyiv the German-made tanks in their arsenals. As international pressure mounted, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz insisted that Germany would not act alone. But a UK decision to send 14 Challenger 2 tanks failed to sway Berlin, as Kyiv and others hoped. Scholz insisted that Washington must also provide Ukraine with American-made Abrams tanks, something the Pentagon had resisted, noting they would be difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate, maintain, and supply.

To resolve the impasse, President Biden agreed to provide Kyiv with 31 Abrams tanks. While the Abrams will take many months to arrive on the battlefield, Biden secured a German commitment to send Ukraine Leopard 2 tanks and allow a host of NATO allies to do the same. Berlin said it will work with European allies to “quickly” provide Ukraine with two Leopard 2 battalions (88 tanks), sending an initial tranche of 14 tanks from Germany’s own stocks.

These tanks, along with other armored vehicles provided by the United States and its allies, can help Ukraine retake additional territory in a much-anticipated counteroffensive this year. They are coming not a moment too soon, as Kyiv is running low on ammunition and spare parts for its Soviet-made tanks. One only wishes the NATO allies had reached their decision sooner, before Germany’s obstructionism cost Ukraine months of valuable time.


The Biden administration has yet to offer a coherent policy on promoting further Israeli-Arab normalization. Meanwhile, the poor state of U.S.-Saudi relations is undermining Washington’s ability to push Riyadh to normalize ties with Israel.

During a trip to Israel, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed ways to expand the Abraham Accords, including through Israeli-Saudi normalization. Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart also met virtually with the Emirati and Bahraini national security advisors. This suggested the administration supports normalization irrespective of the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations. But in an interview published days later, the U.S. ambassador to Israel appeared to link the two issues.

To achieve Israeli-Saudi normalization, Washington must clearly articulate its unconditional support for peace between Jerusalem and Riyadh. The United States must also repair its own relationship with the kingdom. While the Saudis may say publicly that normalization “will only come through … giving the Palestinians a state,” Riyadh privately suggests it hinges not on Israeli-Palestinian relations but on what Saudi Arabia can get from Washington.

The Saudis have reportedly identified three expectations out of peace with Israel. They include a written agreement that defines America’s commitment to Saudi security; assured access to U.S. arms sales; and a U.S.-Saudi agreement on civil nuclear cooperation that allows Riyadh to enrich uranium for civilian purposes under U.S. supervision, similar to the UAE’s Barakah facility. Israeli-Saudi normalization would constitute a major coup for regional stability and U.S. global leadership — if Washington has the wisdom to seize it.


The Biden administration scored a major diplomatic victory as Japan announced plans to rapidly scale up its defense spending amid rising tensions with China and North Korea. Tokyo’s decision to increase its military budget by 57 percent, from approximately $215 billion to $324 billion over five years, followed months of behind-the-scenes outreach from senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The announcement supports U.S. efforts to rejuvenate America’s existing military alliances in the region while also deepening ties to countries, such as Vietnam, that are increasingly concerned about China’s maritime belligerence.

Nevertheless, Washington’s efforts to reduce Beijing’s regional economic influence have largely stalled. In 2022, China’s trade with all 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) nations rose by 71 percent. China’s trade with Quad-member India rose by 50 percent over the same period. These significant shifts occurred despite the Biden administration’s repeated admonishments to Indo-Pacific countries about the dangers of relying too heavily on Chinese supply chains.

The administration’s National Security Strategy asserts that the United States must “move beyond free trade agreements.” Yet that message appears to be backfiring in the Indo-Pacific, where countries have made clear their desire for enhanced U.S. market access and select tariff reductions. Absent changes in the administration’s trade policies, China appears well-positioned to deepen its economic integration across the region in 2023. Such a development would seriously undermine the administration’s broader policy goals in Indo-Pacific, even as it makes some headway in strengthening America’s military commitment to the region.

International Organizations

The Biden administration resumed negotiations with Russia, China, and other UN member states over a possible UN treaty on cybercrime despite ongoing concerns that the draft incorporates Russian and Chinese language hostile to U.S. interests. This month, in fact, Beijing proposed language to legitimize government-sponsored censorship in authoritarian regimes.

During an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council this month, the Biden administration failed to defend freedom of religion and access to holy places for Jews in Jerusalem. The council convened at the request of the United Arab Emirates and China to discuss a visit to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, by Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir. U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood expressed concern about “unilateral acts that exacerbate tensions” and urged all parties to “refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric,” implicitly questioning Jews’ right to visit the Temple Mount. At the same time, Wood cast growing terrorism-related activity in the West Bank as merely “heightened tensions.” Meanwhile, the administration is considering rejoining the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which has denied the historical connection between Jews and Jerusalem.

Finally, even after the Biden administration resumed funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the organization is already declaring a fiscal crisis. As of last summer, Washington had given more than $600 million to UNRWA, long plagued by waste, fraud, and abuse. At a minimum, the United States should investigate how UNRWA spends its money, but the administration is poised to simply continue its financial support.


As Tehran continues to repress protesters, support Russia’s war in Ukraine, and stockpile enriched uranium, a report by Iran International TV claimed U.S. Special Envoy Robert Malley secretly met with Iran’s UN ambassador at least three times in the last two months. The State Department did not deny the report but offered no details as to what Malley may have discussed. The administration remains averse to snapping back UN sanctions on Iran, while the EU foreign policy chief met with Iran’s foreign minister in December to discuss reviving nuclear talks. In that context, Malley’s alleged secret meetings raise questions regarding the truthfulness of the Biden administration’s claims that nuclear talks are no longer its focus. Despite a renewed political desire to crack down on illicit Iranian oil shipments to Beijing, Washington’s enforcement of Iranian oil sanctions has been sporadic and selective.

Separately, the U.S. Treasury Department issued two sets of sanctions designations against Iran in January. The first targeted Tehran’s drone program. The second, a joint action with the United Kingdom and European Union, targeted Iran’s security apparatus for human rights violations. The State Department also encouraged U.S. allies to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, a move the United Kingdom and European Union are considering. Meanwhile, the United States and Israel intensified their political dialogue on Iran with a visit to Israel by U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. Days later, the two allies held a large-scale bilateral military exercise intended to bolster deterrence of Tehran.


Top U.S. officials coordinated with Israel’s new cabinet. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin both spoke with their Israeli counterparts in early January. Austin warned Israel not to enact policies that would enflame the West Bank. Israel’s minister of strategic affairs held meetings in Washington on January 9. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan later traveled to Israel, where he discussed expanding Israel’s normalization efforts with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then with his Israeli, Emirati, and Bahraini counterparts. Blinken visited Israel at the end of the month, expressing concerns over potential Israeli judicial reforms.

Meanwhile, Washington has been transferring weapons to Ukraine from a U.S. stockpile in Israel, complicating Israel’s policy of sending no weapons to Kyiv lest it offend Moscow. On January 23, the allies launched Juniper Oak 23, the “most significant” U.S.-Israel bilateral exercise in history, according to a senior Pentagon official. The exercise sent a strong deterrence message to Iran.

Following a January 26 Israeli raid on a Palestinian Islamic Jihad cell in Jenin, the State Department’s spokesman condemned “terrorist groups planning and carrying out attacks against civilians,” in line with Israel’s rationale for the raid. The following day, President Biden and other top administration officials condemned a Palestinian terrorist attack outside a Jerusalem synagogue that left seven Israelis dead. Amid the violence, a senior State Department official criticized the Palestinian Authority for severing security coordination with Israel and internationalizing the issue at the United Nations and International Criminal Court.


North Korea conducted an unprecedented number of provocations in 2022, test launching more than 70 missiles and rockets. Kim Jong Un concluded the year with a statement that he seeks an “exponential” increase in his nuclear arsenal. He also presented a 2023 “master plan” for economic development, but it does not describe any efforts to end the country’s severe food shortages.

As a result of the declining confidence of South Korea and other countries in the U.S. commitment to extended deterrence, President Yoon Suk Yeol called for reintroducing nuclear arms in the South, either South Korean-produced or a return of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons removed in 1991. Yoon has “dialed back” his statement on South Korean nuclear weapons, and the United States has made no statement on the reintroduction of nuclear weapons. However, despite the friction, the United States and South Korea will conduct nuclear-focused tabletop exercises to reinforce extended deterrence.

In Washington, the Otto Warmbier North Korea Censorship and Surveillance Act passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act in late December. It provides authorities and direction for influence operations against North Korea. The Biden administration also nominated Julie Turner to be the U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights, a position vacant since 2017. With the appointment of a South Korean ambassador to the same position in Seoul, the alliance may finally begin to implement a human rights upfront approach.

Latin America

Latin America was overwhelmed in January by growing protests, governmental instability, and a persistently confused American foreign policy that is unable to respond with speed and decisiveness.

Anti-government protests in Peru have expanded following the attempted coup by former President Pedro Castillo. Following his efforts to dissolve Congress unilaterally, Castillo was impeached and imprisoned. Protestors, who are largely his supporters, are calling for the ouster of current President Dina Boluarte and the Peruvian Congress. The State Department has called for “calm dialogue.”

In Brazil, radical right-wing protestors supporting former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the Brazilian seat of government, resulting in over 1,150 arrests.

Venezuela saw the official dissolution of the democratic interim government of Venezuela on January 5. While this provides a boon for strongman Nicholas Maduro, the Biden administration has wisely declined to re-recognize Maduro, maintaining a key American source of leverage. That said, the Biden administration has already relieved a range of sanctions on Caracas as inducements to negotiate; Maduro has continued to refuse to do so.

The administration missed a critical opportunity at the North American Leaders’ Summit to insist on stronger security cooperation with Mexican authorities to address a growing fentanyl epidemic emanating largely from Mexican cartels. Instead, the administration prioritized the climate and diversity, equity, and inclusion agendas, making no notable gains in security.

The only good news was the January 26 sanctions designation of Horacio Cartes, former president of Paraguay, and the current vice president of Paraguay, Hugo Velazquez, for corruption and alleged ties to Hezbollah.


The Biden administration delivered Huey II helicopters, valued at over $24 million, to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) two days after Hezbollah partisans killed an Irish UNIFIL soldier. The U.S. embassy’s statement on the attack urged the Lebanese authorities to facilitate UNIFIL’s movement, inadvertently underscoring LAF obstruction of the peacekeepers’ mission.

A day earlier, the embassy lauded the U.S. “partnership” with the LAF on border security. This unwarranted praise serves to justify the administration’s plan to send the LAF an “additional” $60 million for border security expenses — one of the Biden team’s “creative ways” to underwrite LAF salaries. In 2016, Congress authorized the executive branch to reimburse allies for border security operations. In 2021, the administration began using this provision to circumvent the statutory prohibition on paying foreign troops’ salaries with aid money, sending $60 million to the LAF. The dollar amount of these alleged expenses has remained remarkably constant and matches the amount the LAF requested for salaries. Reportedly, coaching by the U.S. ambassador explains the congruence.

In late January, the administration finally rolled out its scheme to disburse — via the UN Development Programme — $72 million in cash stipends to some 100,000 unvettable LAF and Internal Security Forces personnel over six months. Congressional challenges to the scheme’s legality as well as a UN corruption scandal forced the administration hold back its plan for several months. The move also sets another precedent for circumventing the prohibition on paying foreign troops’ salaries.

Nonproliferation and Biodefense

South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol said publicly on January 11 that Seoul might consider developing atomic weapons to counter North Korea’s growing nuclear threat and possesses the technical capabilities to do so quickly. A few days later, Yoon walked back his comments, reiterating South Korea’s commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and expressing confidence in the U.S. extended nuclear deterrent. Yoon likely intended for his remarks to pressure Washington to reiterate its commitment to defend Seoul in the event of a nuclear attack from Pyongyang.

Meanwhile, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, said he would seek a visit to Tehran in February. The visit would come ahead of a March IAEA Board of Governors meeting where member states may censure Iran for failing to comply with a four-year agency investigation into Tehran’s nuclear activities. The IAEA is also planning to dispatch inspectors to each of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants in order to observe conditions and deter Russian attacks on sensitive infrastructure, which could result in a radiological disaster.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister confirmed at a mining conference this month that Riyadh plans to develop uranium enrichment capabilities as part of its acquisition of nuclear energy infrastructure. The kingdom is likely also eyeing uranium enrichment as a potential means to fuel its own atomic weapons should Iran cross the nuclear threshold. The Saudi foreign minister stated bluntly of Riyadh’s nonproliferation posture last month, “If Iran gets an operational nuclear weapon, all bets are off.”


As Russia’s war in Ukraine enters a critical phase, the Biden administration pledged almost $6 billion in military aid for Ukraine, most of it drawn from existing U.S. stocks to expedite delivery. Washington also pledged $682 million in Foreign Military Financing to “incentivize and backfill” European donations to Kyiv. For the first time, Washington committed to provide Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and Stryker armored personnel carriers, while various allies likewise pledged armored vehicles and other materiel. The administration also struck a deal with Berlin that will enable Ukraine to receive German-made Leopard 2 tanks and eventually U.S.-supplied Abrams tanks.

Kyiv intends to use its Western aid to equip additional forces and launch a counteroffensive this year. To help, the United States is also conducting combined-arms training for Ukrainian troops in Germany. General Mark Milley visited the program shortly after its launch, then attended a U.S.-Ukrainian planning session in Frankfurt. He and his Ukrainian counterpart subsequently held their first in-person meeting in Poland.

Meanwhile, several top U.S. officials traveled to Ukraine, where they reportedly urged Kyiv to de-prioritize the battle around Bakhmut to focus on its coming counteroffensive. More broadly, the administration hopes Ukraine will shift toward a style of warfare that emphasizes maneuver rather than the artillery-centric attritional warfare that has dominated the conflict thus far, which Washington fears is unsustainable. At the same time, the administration is reportedly warming to arguments that Ukraine must be able to threaten Russia’s hold on Crimea, although President Biden remains opposed to giving Kyiv munitions that can strike targets on the peninsula.

Sunni Jihadism

The U.S. military continues to target the Islamic State’s and al-Qaeda’s networks in Iraq, Syria, and Somalia. However, both terror groups continue to persist and, in the case of Africa, are expanding their operations and threatening several governments.

In Syria and Iraq, U.S. Central Command claimed it killed over 684 Islamic State operatives and captured 374 more during 313 operations in 2022. In late December, U.S. troops captured six Islamic State operatives, including a provincial governor, in eastern Syria. In mid-January, the U.S. military captured a provincial media and security operative in eastern Syria.

The U.S. government and military have also upped the pressure on al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda’s branch in Somalia. U.S. Africa Command, which describes al-Shabaab as “the largest and most deadly al-Qaeda network in the world,” targeted the group in two airstrikes in central Somalia in mid-January as the Somali National Army attempts to retake territory from al-Shabaab. Meanwhile, Washington raised its bounties on two senior al-Shabaab leaders to $10 million. The organization now has five leaders with bounties of $10 million — four more than any other Sunni jihadist group. Additionally, the U.S. military killed Bilal al-Sudani, an important Islamic State leader in Somalia and a key facilitator across much of eastern, central, and southern Africa.

The security situation in Mali has deteriorated since the French military withdrew last year. Al-Qaeda’s branch in Mali is launching attacks around the capital, while clans in the north have sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda’s regional leader. In neighboring Burkina Faso, jihadists control 40 percent of the country.


The bipartisan Captagon Act became law as part of the annual defense authorization bill that President Joe Biden signed in late December. Named for an amphetamine-type drug that the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad traffics in massive quantities, the act gives the administration 180 days to formulate an interagency strategy to disrupt the operations of the Damascus-led drug cartel. The administration displayed negligible interest in the act’s passage after its initial introduction in 2021. Last year, in response to a statutory requirement to report to Congress on the Assad family’s wealth, the administration submitted a superficial and flawed assessment that failed to mention Captagon. The White House may take a similar approach to the Captagon Act, producing a vague set of objectives rather than a genuine strategy. Congress should clarify now that this would be unacceptable.

Meanwhile, Assad’s diplomatic rehabilitation moved forward when Turkey agreed to a meeting of the two countries’ defense ministers in Moscow while signaling interest in a potential summit between Assad and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As usual, the Biden administration said it does not support normalization with Assad but made no substantive effort to oppose it. Regardless, the Turkish initiative may stall out on its own, since Ankara is unlikely to end either its occupation of northwestern Syria or its partnership with Syrian Islamist rebels. Rather, the apparent purpose of Erdogan’s outreach is to bolster his re-election bid by making some effort to facilitate the return of 4 million Syrian refugees whose presence Turkish voters increasingly resent.


The Biden administration informally notified Congress of its intention to sell Turkey 40 new F-16 fighter jets along with 79 upgrade kits to modernize the Turkish Air Force’s existing F-16 fleet. Some congressional leaders have objected strongly to the sale, citing Ankara’s human rights violations, intimidation of its neighbors — especially Greece — and obstruction of Sweden and Finland’s applications to join NATO.

The administration likely will not formally request that Congress allow the sale to proceed. To do so would put the White House at odds with many members of Congress. Members such as Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) vociferously oppose the sale, citing Ankara’s numerous shortcomings.

Until Turkey’s upcoming presidential election is over (likely May 14), Ankara is unlikely to change its policies on key issues of interest to the Biden administration and Congress. This is particularly relevant regarding NATO enlargement, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to have placed an indefinite hold on Swedish accession. In late January, a far-right political activist burned a Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm. Although the Swedish government condemned the act, which Turkey’s foreign minister called a hate crime, the perpetrator faced no repercussions, thanks to Sweden’s laws protecting freedom of expression. Erdogan responded by declaring that “those who allowed such vileness to take place in front of our embassy can no longer expect any charity from us regarding their NATO membership application.”


The analyses above do not necessarily represent the institutional views of FDD.