Biden administration to take “calibrated, practical approach” to North Korea

The Guardian

‘We’re not afraid of the tweet anymore’: Biden takes us back to world stage in first 100 days

The president personally decided to mend the partnerships, posing as anti-Trump, but some fear compromises looked like business as usual Joe Biden in the White House on March 11. Photograph: Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images The most striking aspect of Joe Biden’s first 100 days of foreign policy is the change of style. With an emphasis on consulting allies and partners, he presents himself on the world stage as the anti-Trump. This is what the president intends to convey with the slogan of his first weeks: “America is back”. With a wave of first steps, the new administration overturned the ‘America First’ exceptionalism of its predecessor, strongly joining the World Health Organization, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Human Rights Council. UN man, while renewing the New Start arms control treaty with Russia. and the resumption of talks aimed at relaunching the nuclear deal with Iran. Biden has personally moved to mend East-West partnerships, welcoming Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga as the first foreign leader to visit him in the Oval Office, and making the UK the destination of his first trip abroad, to attend the G7 summit in June. in Cornwall. “No nation can cope with all the crises of our time alone – from terrorism and nuclear proliferation to mass migration, cybersecurity, climate change – and as we are experiencing now, pandemics,” said Biden in his speech to Congress on Wednesday. Jenna Ben-Yehuda, chair of the Truman National Security Project and former State Department official, said diplomacy’s return to the forefront of US foreign policy has also been reflected in the appointment of senior veterans of the United States. past multilateral negotiations in senior positions in the State Department and National Security Council. “I think it calms the nerves,” Ben-Yehuda said. “I think ‘America is back’ also means consultation. We no longer have to fear the tweet, and the erraticism under Trump, which had been fairly widespread, has been replaced by a consultation. Joe Biden and Yoshihide Suga, the Japanese Prime Minister, in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 16. Photograph: Getty Images Biden’s emerging foreign policy shows some signs of moving beyond a simple Obama restoration – notably in a clear decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, in stark contrast to the reluctant and abortive wave Obama. This weekend, Biden took another step that Obama had avoided, with the formal declaration that the massive slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman troops constituted an act of genocide. The fury of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who had inhibited his predecessors, did not stop Biden, who without hesitation applied the same label to the persecution and mass incarceration of Muslim Uyghurs in China. “No responsible US president can remain silent when basic human rights are violated,” Biden said Wednesday evening. “A president must represent the essence of our country.” With Turkey and China, as with Russia, the Biden administration has sought to prioritize a clear position on human rights while compartmentalizing that position from areas of common interest. It’s a balancing act that many past administrations have tried with varying degrees of success – and one that the Trump administration has hardly attempted. Biden emphasized his assertive approach to China, trade, and a military presence in the Indo-Pacific, as part of a foreign policy that benefits the American class. But he stressed the common interest of the United States and China in dealing with the climate crisis and invited Vladimir Putin to a summit in Europe to talk about strategic stability, while sanctioning Russia for the SolarWinds cyber attack. and the attempted murder and imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Supporters of the administration cite this approach as proof that the United States must not sacrifice its values ​​for its national interests in its dealings with major rivals and adversaries. But some, including progressive Democrats, fear that some compromises have looked too much like the status quo. The administration declassified an intelligence assessment implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder of dissident Jamal Khashoggi, but failed to sanction the Saudi crown prince. Arms sales have been maintained partially to Saudi Arabia and entirely to the UAE, despite the UAE’s human rights record in Yemen. The administration has also hesitated on refugees, initially signaling that it would maintain Trump’s 15,000 admissions cap, then backtracking in the face of widespread outrage over failure to keep the promise of ‘admit 62500. “I think the zigzag on immigration and Russia – agree that Putin is a’ killer ‘, punish top Russian leaders in retaliation for cyber attacks, warn the Kremlin for his overly large accumulations on the Russian border, but then inviting Putin to the climate conference and inviting him to a summit – has been surprising, given the extremely fluid and professional deployment of other policies, ”said Constanze Stelzenmüller, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “I guess that’s what happens when politics is assailed by reality – but it also suggests that the politics are far from being fully fleshed out.” There are also rumors within the State Department that the promise to return to full-fledged diplomacy has not come with a commitment to career diplomats, who have so far felt left out. ambassadorial posts. “Career diplomats I’ve spoken to are starting to think the slogan ‘Diplomacy is back’ has little substance. Unless of course that means professional diplomats will be at the back of the pack for top jobs, ”said Brett Bruen, director of global engagement at the Obama White House. “It’s certainly not what President Biden promised when he came to the State Department saying the experience would be enhanced and improved. Instead, it looks like we’re going back to business as usual, where Ambassadors are handed out as party favors to the well-to-do and well-connected. “There is no doubt that US foreign policy is back on more familiar ground after Trump’s four years, but following the exact same before Trump is no longer an option. The global landscape has changed, both Russia and the United States. China is more confrontational, the United States weaker in comparison and the climate crisis has become an emergency, for Biden it will be a rise.

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