Blinken Will Have His Hands Full Overhauling Trump's Failed Foreign Policy
President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Antony Blinken as secretary of state and task him with overhauling Donald Trump's and Mike Pompeo's disastrous foreign policy. It's a plum job, certainly, but repairing America's reputation abroad will be a Herculean task. Still, for the first time since President Obama left office, America will have a secretary of state with notable experience in foreign relations.
Blinken, served as a staff member for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the Bush years, and then deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser under Obama. And, he worked closely with Joe Biden during his years in the White House, so they should be closely aligned from the outset on what needs to get done.
However, correcting the mistakes of the Trump years will be a daunting task for Blinken. Trump's very public campaign to disarm North Korea was an epic and predictable failure, his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal made the Middle East a more dangerous place, and his attempt to use tariffs to force China to abandon its neomercantilist policies harmed America's farmers and consumers without changing a thing in Beijing.
Moreover, the President Trump's precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan is a gift to the Taliban and ISIS, the renewed sanctions on Cuba simply punish the island's entrepreneurs, and our relationship with our closest allies in Europe is in ruins. And, in four short years, Trump undermined and defiled America's decades-long commitment to protect human rights, the rule of law, and the global environmental.
President-elect Biden and Secretary of State Blinken will start to undo the damage by rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization, and by reaching out to Iran to renegotiate the nuclear deal. Furthermore, they will work collaboratively with our allies to craft a new China policy and signal to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Russia, and a host of others that human rights will again be a priority. And, most importantly, they will quickly establish that America intends to reassume its leadership role in world affairs.
But, none of this will be easy. China and Russia filled part of the leadership vacuum that Trump created in Africa and the Middle East, radical nationalism remains a problem in many nations, and the world realizes that America is still deeply divided politically. Biden and Blinken will have to work quickly to reassert American leadership and American values.
By: Don Lam