Joe Biden wraps 2021 with optimism, but what's next for US in 2022 after tumultuous year?

Written By: Srishti Singh Sisodia WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 01, 2022, 01:43 PM(IST)

(File photo) US President Joe Biden Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The Biden administration faced questions over a range of issues in 2021. It will be interesting to see how will they tackle the challenges in 2022?

Joe Biden wrapped up 2021 on an optimistic note, with analysts describing it as the "strongest first-year economic track record" of any US president in the last 50 years. 

But without a doubt, 2021 was one of the most tumultuous years in the political history of the United States. It was most definitely a significant year for the country in more than one way, and mostly negative. 

In 2021, the US has seen it all: a change of administration in the first month of the year to insurrection, impeachment, infrastructure bill chaos, jeopardised diplomatic ties with some countries, not to forget innumerable crises driven by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

When the US president was busy promoting and pushing the $1.75 trillion 'Build Back Better' plans forward, the world criticised the Biden administration for issues of greater significance. 

There's is no denying the fact that the BBB plan, which promises lower cost of child care and prescription drugs, support for the purchasing power of households, investing in the transition to clean energy, is crucial for the country. But the world might have missed the underlying powers of the Superpower. 

The Biden administration faced questions during the botched evacuation process of troops from Afghanistan, experts had varied opinions on the US ties with China and other countries like Russia and France, hate crimes against Asians, gun violence, etc. 

ALSO READ | The larger dimensions of the Russia–US standoff over Ukraine

After coming into power, the Biden administration faced first massive backlash over the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country. 

At least 123,000 diplomats, foreigners and Afghans were flown out in a chaotic evacuation. The last remaining troops pullout on August 30, marking the dramatic end of the United States' longest war. 

Then, the US was put on a pedestal when there were calls to boycott the upcoming Winter Olympics scheduled to take place in Beijing. The voices were raised due to China's reported human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang. 

However, in early December, the US announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The decision was followed by Canada, Australia and Britain also. But will it send any message to China? The Games will happen as planned. What does diplomatic boycott even mean? Has it helped in sending a strong message? 

Amid Ukraine stand-off, the US president warned Russian Vladimir Putin in December that Moscow will face unprecedented economic sanctions, should the tens of thousands of Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border launch an attack. But have sanctions helped? 

Joe Biden's health issues and Vice President Kamala Harris' diminishing popularity are also major concerns for the administration.  

Issues related to curbing the record-setting levels of illegal immigration as hundreds of thousands entered the country through the southern border with Mexico. 

Politics within the party as Biden's BBB plans were derailed as the opposition came from members of his own party. Legislation for building up the nation's infrastructure was ended after Dem Sen Joe Manchin of West Virginia said that he could not support it. 

COVID-19, vaccination and the pandemic-related economic issues persist. The virus cases in the country continued to rise with new variants like Delta and Omicron making the situation even worse for the health sector. 

What's next?

The socio-economic and other mentioned issues pose bigger challenges for the Biden administration in 2022 and it will be interesting to see how it will cope with them in the coming days. 

What's next when the Taliban will ask the US for formal recognition? What will be the step towards US-China relations? How can the US lead the world amid extreme climate events? 

What should the country do to control inflation? It surged 6.8 per cent in November, the largest annual jump in 39 years. 

These are just some of the issues in the immediate future of not just US, but also has implications for the whole world. 

(Disclaimer: The views of the writer do not represent the views of WION or ZMCL. Nor does WION or ZMCL endorse the views of the writer.)

Srishti Singh Sisodia

Srishti Singh Sisodia is digital journalist at WION. She has been a college-level football and cricket player. When not working or playing matches, she watches movies.

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