Biden’s goals share a common theme that disintegrates sharply with President Donald Trump’s isolationist approach: rebuilding alliances, a strategy aimed at rebuilding torn U.S. international ties, and reflecting his belief that America’s worst challenges, including the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, require international cooperation and coordination.
“Trump’s America First” was “America alone,” said Brian McKeon, a Biden foreign policy adviser and former White House and Pentagon adviser to the Obama administration. “On his first day in the office, [Biden] he will contact key allies by phone and say that America is back and America has its back. “
Return to the table with allies
Trump “put a finger in the eyes of all our friends and allies and he embraced every autocrat in the world … we lost all our friends,”
Biden’s advisers say he believes US national security is stronger and more influential when approached in partnership with treaty allies. “We have a network of alliances that the Chinese don’t have, the Russians don’t, and we are stronger when we work with those allies,” McKeon said.
Trump has publicly questioned and underestimated the value of the longest-running alliances in the United States, including with NATO, Germany, South Korea and Japan. He also attracted the United States from the nuclear deal with Iran, the Paris Climate Agreement, the World Health Organization and many other UN agencies.
The Democratic candidate told CNN City Hall last year that he would ask the parties to the agreement to increase their commitments, “because we’ve learned so much about science in the last three years, about what needs to happen faster.” Biden has also pledged to sign a “series of new executive orders” that go beyond the Obama-Biden administration’s climate ambitions, and to develop tools to combat China’s coal use and carbon sequestration.
“If Tehran returns to compliance, I would rejoin the agreement and work with our allies to strengthen and prolong it, while more effectively repelling Iran’s other destabilizing activities,” Biden said during the meeting. foreign policy speech last year.
Last year, Iran announced that it would no longer limit itself to the restrictions contained in the deal in response to the Trump administration’s campaign for maximum pressure.
Covid and WHO
Biden’s advisers say he will work to reform the WHO and focus on ensuring that China adheres to international protocols on pandemic protection. Biden will also reverse Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. health scientists from China, where they worked to detect and monitor a pandemic.
The exact plan for how the Biden administration will re-enter the WHO and hold it accountable will be determined during the transition, his advisers say.
They add that at home, Biden’s focus will be on vaccinating every American. The advisers say Biden’s Covid response team will bring together local and foreign experts.
US-China relations are perhaps the most consistent and complex relationship that any modern American president has to deal with.
The last remaining nuclear proliferation pact, the new START treaty, expires shortly after the election. Biden aides say that if the Trump administration fails to renew it, he will make extending the agreement a top priority.
It is unclear whether Biden will give his team the green light to link directly to the Taliban, as the Trump administration has.
Biden’s advisers stress that during the Obama administration, Biden opposed both the increase in Afghanistan in 2009 and the intervention in Libya in 2011. “I would not say he is in a hurry to support military intervention unless he did not see that this was justified on the basis of national security interests and that we could achieve our goals, “McKeon said.
Former President Barack Obama recently said Biden was “probably the man who was most restrained in his use of military force” among his foreign policy advisers, saying Biden had learned from his vote in support of the war in Iraq, which has been criticized for.
During the last presidential debate, Biden said that in order to meet with Kim, the North Korean leader would have to agree to reduce his nuclear capacity. Setting the bar so high – given that Kim is unlikely to make that commitment – made South Korea, which favors the engagement, nervous.
Israel and the Palestinians
Biden aides are signaling some changes in Trump’s approach. The president has taken several controversial moves in Israel’s favor, including relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem and declaring the city the capital of Israel, but these steps will be difficult to reverse.
Biden said he would not relocate the US embassy to Tel Aviv, but would renew his commitment to the Palestinians, which Trump had severed, reopen the US consulate in East Jerusalem, which was to serve the Palestinian population, restore aid to the Palestinians and the UN agency that supports them and helps open the Palestinian Liberation Organization mission in the United States, which was closed by Trump.
Restoration of the State Department
Biden has committed to rebuilding the State Department’s diplomatic corps.
Obama said Trump was “systematically trying to destroy our entire foreign policy infrastructure,” in an interview earlier this month. He added that Biden would rely on the experience of career diplomats and restore the State Department.
Former diplomats who left the department because of the way the Trump administration treated career diplomats have warned that if nothing is done, the damage could be irreversible.
“The damage could be from a generation,” wrote Michael McKinley, a widely respected four-time ambassador who testified during the impeachment and resigned last year, in an essay on the Atlantic last week. He talks about how politicized the Trump administration is.