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Biden Administration's 'New' Foreign Policy Is The 'More Of The Same' Old One

Published: January 20, 2021
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Source: Moon of Alabama

Today a new U.S. administration will come in. On foreign policy issues it will be just as disappointing as the leaving one. U.S. foreign policy is dictated by ingrained interests. The mechanisms of policy making in Washington DC guarantee that it is always a continuity and that any changes to it are slow and will only be minor.

Donald Trump and his administration were hated by the woke 'libruls' and the media for their style, not for what they were or were not doing. While Joe Biden, who has been warmongering in the Senate for decades, is now being sold as fresh bread, he is bringing no change to the menu. His foreign policy marketing team will only change the package color of the same old product the Trump team has sold.

The confirmation hearing of Biden's incoming Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and of the incoming Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines give some hints towards these 'new' policies.

The Iranian parliament has ordered the government to end some IAEA inspections and to increase the enrichment level of Uranium starting in mid February unless the Biden administration immediately removes the sanctions on Iran and returns to the nuclear deal.

The Biden administration is likely to ignore this opportunity:

President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, pledged to consult with Israel, Gulf allies and Congress when seeking "a longer and stronger" agreement to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions. During his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday, Blinken said the incoming administration would “engage on the takeoff, not just the landing” with allies and partners before taking steps to rejoin the landmark nuclear agreement.
"President-elect Biden is committed to the proposition that Iran will not acquire a nuclear weapon,” Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Iran with a nuclear weapon or the threshold capacity to build one is an Iran that would act with potentially greater impunity than it already is.”
If Iran returns to strict compliance under the nuclear pact, Biden has said he will reenter the multilateral pact as a starting point for follow-on negotiations to “tighten and lengthen Iran’s nuclear constraints” and address Iran's missile program. Blinken said Tuesday that “we are a long way from there," adding that the administration would need to first ensure Iran is making good on its obligations.

Iran does not want nuclear weapons. It wants its rights and respect. It is the U.S. which has broken the deal. Iran has responded to that by expanding its capabilities beyond some of the limits of the deal. This is reversible but only if the U.S. acts first and at a reasonable speed. Lengthy talks with allies and Congress will prevent that from happening.

The incoming DNI Haines seems to share that analysis:

Republicans questioned Haines on her views about China and Iran, including the Obama administration's Iran nuclear deal that Trump pulled back from. Haines said that while the incoming Biden administration has indicated that it would come back to the table with Iran if Tehran came back into compliance, she noted that "frankly, we're a long ways from that."

This summer the people of Iran will elect a new government, likely a conservative one. It will be even less willing to make additional concessions to the U.S. than the current Rouhani government. The conflict will thus fester.

There will also be no policy changes towards Tehran's allies. The Biden administration will not rescind but only 'review' the terrorist designation of the Houthi in Yemen even as it is causing a famine:

Blinken’s testimony came the same day controversial terrorism designations against the Houthi movement in Yemen took effect. The United Nations and humanitarian organizations have warned that the rebels’ blacklisting, which was first announced by outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, could hamper much-needed aid operations in the war-ravaged country.

Blinken said he is concerned that the labeling won’t bring the Houthis to the negotiating table as intended, adding that the Biden administration will review the terrorism designation “immediately” upon taking office.

While Trump tried but failed to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan the Biden administration is likely to end his peace deal with the Taliban and to reengage in the futile attempt to keep the 'western' aligned proxy government in Kabul in office. This will require more U.S. troops and a further extension of that war.

On Syria, Turkey and Iraq Joe Biden's policy will continue to be regime change and is likely to intensify. Biden has hired Brett McGurk who had left the Trump administration in protest when Trump ordered the withdrawal of troops from Syria:

US President-elect Joe Biden nominated Brett McGurk, an outspoken advocate of American military presence in Syria and staunch detractor of the Turkish government, as Middle East coordinator on the National Security Council.

McGurk, a veteran of the national security establishment who served in various capacities under successive Democratic and Republican administrations, has frequently criticised the Turkish government over its role in Syria and broader regional policies.

McGurk quit his role as the US envoy to the international coalition to combat the Islamic State (IS) group late in 2018 over President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw American troops from northern Syria.

There will be absolutely no change in policy towards Israel:

The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden will keep the US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem, his nominee for secretary of state affirmed at his Senate confirmation hearing.

Do you agree that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and do you commit that the United States will keep our embassy in Jerusalem?” asked Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

“Yes and Yes,” said Antony Blinken in testimony on Tuesday.
...
“The only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state and to give the Palestinians a state to which they are entitled is through the so-called two-state solution,” Blinken said.

“I think realistically, it’s hard to see near-term prospects for moving forward on that. What would be important is to make sure that neither party takes steps that make the already difficult process even more challenging,” he added.

U.S policy towards Europe will also not change. The Biden administration will press for more weapon sales to NATO members in Europe. While it may return to the NewStart  treaty with Russia it will otherwise uphold the hostility against that country. It will also continue the pressure against German energy policies:

The administration of US President-elect Joe Biden will use every persuasive tool to stop the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and will work to convince European partners not to move forward with it, Secretary of State Nominee Antony Blinken told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that held a confirmation hearing on Tuesday.

He said Joe Biden’s strong conviction was that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a "bad idea" and that the administration would use "every persuasive tool" to convince partners, including Germany, to discard the project.

Hostility against China will likewise persist:

Mr. Blinken gave the Trump administration credit for several pillars of its foreign policy, including taking a more aggressive approach to China, which he agreed had misled the world on the spread of the coronavirus and committed genocide against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities.
...
“China is a challenge to our security, to our prosperity, to our values across a range of issues and I do support an aggressive stance,” Ms. Haines said. “That is the place we are now and one that is more assertive than where we had been in the Obama-Biden administration.”

Biden will double down on Trump's failed Venezuela policy:

President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will continue to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country’s president, Anthony Blinken, Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, said on Tuesday.

Blinken told members of the U.S. Senate that Biden would seek to “more effectively target” sanctions on the country, which aim to oust President Nicolas Maduro - who retains control of the country. Blinken said the new administration would look at more humanitarian assistance to the country.

The policies towards other 'bad' states, Cuba, Bolivia and North Korea, will also continue to be hostile.

The anti-Trump media will sell the foreign policies of the Biden administration as outlined above as fresh and rational approaches even when the do not differ at all from the foreign policies the Trump administration has persued.

While Trump had continued the wars the U.S. waged when he came into office he did not start any new ones. Since Joe Biden first entered the Senate 47 years ago he has cheered on every war the U.S. has since waged. It would be astonishing to find four years from now that he did not start any new ones.

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