Violence tests Biden’s pullback from Middle East hotspots

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Surges in violence and scenes of civilian suffering are testing President Joe Biden’s resolve to wrench America’s foreign policy focus and troops away from the hotspots of the Middle East and Afghanistan. They are also giving ammunition to Biden’s political rivals at home. Biden and his supporters say that by shifting the U.S. military and diplomatic focus from bogged-down conflicts, he’s bringing an overdue end to failed policies that often only prolonged strife. They say the stepped-back U.S. engagement already is encouraging countries to resolve disputes on their own. But fighting has flared recently in some of the areas affected by Biden’s pivot.

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