The defense industry celebrated Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, with contractors saying they expected their companies to continue flourishing under his administration as they have under Donald Trump. But while Biden is no peacenik — waging wars has long been an area of bipartisan consensus in Washington — he has already signaled that he’ll take a radically different approach from Trump — particularly when it comes to making overseas arms sales.
Foreign policy was not a top campaign issue during the presidential election, especially as the news cycle was dominated by the health and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, nationwide demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice, and Trump’s efforts to sow doubt in the legitimacy of U.S. voting systems. But within a week of the election, Trump pushed through a $23 billion weapons deal with the United Arab Emirates. It was the latest manifestation of Trump’s cozy relationships with Gulf dictatorships that have become anathema to U.S. progressives.