The diplomatic pump fake is one of the most effective tools a Nation can use. It either works, or your bluff is called. Actions decided after may have implications. Iran, whose bluffs were embarrassed by Trump comes to mind.
They say Biden's presidency is the #1 geopolitical risk in 2021. With such a divided country, one should expect more diplomatic pump fakes than usual. Whether it's trade with China, Negotiations in Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Turkey, or Saudi Arabia. It seems the U.S will be under immense pressure.
North Korea has pulled the ultimate diplomatic pump fake in recent times. Flying missiles over Japan was an act of war. It unleashed a series of definite threats from the U.S.
Now it seems North Korea is preparing for the second barrage of pump fakes. What they end up doing will be closely watched. I don't think any administration can tolerate paranoia over North Korea anymore. I don't see why they would do anything threatening at this point.
It seems most of the trade wars surrounding China are pump fakes that had to be defended. Many times it was them that set the trap. They don't seem to mind, and it has become another effective tool China uses to disrupt world trade and gain influence.
Biden wants to work with the E.U to counter China. That may not work out so smoothly. American influence has been waning. For Europe to be secure they have to forge a new path with China, Iran, Turkey, and Russia. With Angela Merkel on the way out the door, the U.S has lost a strong ally.
Furthermore, U.S relations with the U.K makes this an area of tricky diplomacy. As Brexit was certified, and the Hong Kong situation is still souring for the U.K.
Biden would like to conciliate in any way he can. Starting with reentering several deals Trump has left. However, he doesn't want to seem weak or ineffective compared to Trump. How he responds to diplomatic pump fakes will decide the shape his presidency takes. His cabinet will have the task of having him stay the course.
It does seem the world is closer to war, but I think it's competition induced by globalization. Everyone is looking after their security, economic prosperity, and sustainability.