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“America is back,” said President Joe Biden after he was elected, signaling a reversal of his predecessor’s supposedly isolationist approach. But as he sets out across the pond for a visit with European leaders, Biden’s pitch is likely to fall flat: The new president lacks a coherent plan to convince Europeans that America is still the most desirable ally on the world stage. Instead of focusing on China’s rise and the Islamist threat on the Continent — two central challenges facing the trans-Atlantic alliance — Biden is set to offer vague platitudes about climate change and a global corporate tax. “Can democracies come together to deliver real results for our people in a rapidly changing world?” Biden asked in an op-ed ahead of his visit. “I believe the answer is yes.” But do Europeans share this optimism? Some two-third of those polled recently by the European Council on Foreign Relations believe the US political system is broken, and a third believe that Americans are “more likely to be so consumed by internal problems and divisions” as to leave little room for foreign affairs.

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