Born in 1942, Joseph Biden graduated from the University of Delaware in 1965. After a brief stint as a public defender, he began his political career in the Senate in 1973 representing Delaware, serving until 2009. During this time he served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations from 2001 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2009. He was nominated as Barack Obama's running mate in 2008 and served as Vice President of the United States from 2009 until 2017.
Arms Trade Treaty
Biden is expected to support ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty. Although we have not found an explicit statement during the election cycle, the Obama administration in which he was Vice President supported and signed the treaty.
Arms Sales to Saudi Coalition
Biden explicitly opposes ending arms sales and military support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. Although recognizing the strategic role of Saudi Arabia, he has favored withdrawing military aid to the kingdom while the Yemen conflict continues. The Obama administration in which he served as Vice President approved many arms sales to Saudi Arabia, although his personal views on them during this time are unclear. As chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations during the George H. W. Bush administration, he was cautious about sales to the Kingdom.
Submission to Council on Foreign Policy, August 1, 2019
"I would end U.S. support for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen and order a reassessment of our relationship with Saudi Arabia. It is past time to restore a sense of balance, perspective, and fidelity to our values in our relationships in the Middle East. President Trump has issued Saudi Arabia a dangerous blank check. Saudi Arabia has used it to extend a war in Yemen that has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, pursue reckless foreign policy fights, and repress its own people. Among the most shameful moments of this presidency came after the brutal Saudi murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as Trump defended not the slain U.S. resident but his killers. America’s priorities in the Middle East should be set in Washington, not Riyadh.
President Trump’s first overseas trip was to Saudi Arabia. As President, I will rally the world’s democracies and our allies in the Free World. We will make clear that America will never again check its principles at the door just to buy oil or sell weapons. We should recognize the value of cooperation on counterterrorism and deterring Iran. But America needs to insist on responsible Saudi actions and impose consequences for reckless ones. I would want to hear how Saudi Arabia intends to change its approach to work with a more responsible U.S. administration."
Firearms Export Reclassification
Biden explicitly supports retention of State Department oversight of firearms exports. His gun violence prevention plan specifically mentions overturning any attempt to change this.
The Biden Plan to End Our Gun Violence Epidemic, released October 2, 2019.
"Biden will ensure that the authority for firearms exports stays with the State Department, and if needed reverse a proposed rule by President Trump."