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Although the Biden administration has taken a confident, assertive approach to domestic politics, it behaves surprisingly differently in foreign policy – hesitantly and reluctantly, only to avoid criticism from Republicans, says the political scientist. He gives an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program as an example.
Since previous US President Donald Trump terminated the deal, Biden and his advisers have made it clear that he has made a serious mistake that dramatically undermines Washington’s credibility in the world and deepens the dangers in the Middle East, Zakaria said. He recalls that the agreement tied Iran’s options and imposed clear restrictions on its nuclear program, without which Tehran moved significantly towards nuclear weapons.
“You would assume that once it came to power, the Biden administration would look for a quick way to return to an agreement“He notes that this has not happened and that Biden ‘s foreign minister and secret service chief are now reiterating that the time to renew the treaty is long gone, insisting that Iran must first start following its spirit again, which is basically a silent effort to avoid resolving the issue.
Diplomats could find a way for Iran and the United States to resume compliance with the treaty at the same time, and many of Biden’s associates helped negotiate the original agreement, arguing that it was the best Washington could achieve, Zakaria said. He asks if they have changed their minds.
Also in the case of China, the Biden administration is trying to prove its toughness, the political scientist declares. Published U.S. reports of phone calls by Biden to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and foreign ministers Antony Blinken to Yang Jieqi are seen as an output for domestic audiences rather than diplomatic documents, as they are teeming with words like “coercion” and “unfairness” and outline intent to “hold Beijing accountable” for its efforts to “threaten stability”.
In the election campaign, Biden described Trump’s trade war with China as a total disaster that cost Americans money and jobs, Zakaria said. He mentions in August Biden’s negative answer to the question of journalists whether he would keep in force the duties imposed by Trump, which the then presidential candidate supplemented with extensive criticism of Trump’s policy towards Beijing. “But none of this has been revised. Everything is ‘evaluated’, “adds the author of the comment.
Biden also attacked Trump’s policy toward Cuba in the campaign, promising to return to efforts to ease the Obama-era embargo and co-operation with Havana, arguing that such a move could affect the island more effectively than the long-standing policy of isolation and sanctions. . He states that even in this case nothing has changed and again only “evaluates” everything.
Democrats must not show weakness
“One would think that Biden and his advisers had already spent the previous 4 years carefully evaluating Trump’s policy, publicly calling it a disaster., “Zakaria continues. Biden’s foreign policy team suspects that it is trying to please the domestic audience and hopes to prevent Republican criticism of the allegedly soft approach to American enemies.
According to the author of the comment, this will not work, because the Republicans have already felt a weakness, are campaigning against the renewal of the agreement with Iran and may see a great victory in this direction, according to the political scientist. He recalls that in the case of China, Trump’s former colleague Cliff Sims claimed that a published transcript of Biden’s conversation with Xi Jinping was false and that the White House chief was in fact offering trade agreements to the Chinese Communists.
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Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also accused Democrats of trying to hand over American taxpayers’ money to the Chinese Communist Party and questioned their patriotism, Zakaria points out. He expects that no matter how aggressive Biden will be in his foreign policy, Republicans will always accuse him of appeasement.
“Democrats should keep in mind that they will never win if they pursue a frightened foreign policy“He recalls that President Lyndon Johnson sent half a million troops to Vietnam fearing that Republicans would not accuse him of being soft on the Communists; after September 11, 2001, Democrats again eagerly voted for a so-called patriotic law and invasion of Iraq. , as was their presidential candidate, the war hero John Kerry, whose Republicans nevertheless ridiculed as a coward lying about his military service.
President Barack Obama has achieved his foreign policy success – the Paris Climate Agreement, the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program, opening up to Cuba and the Trans-Pacific Partnership – by being an extraordinary figure willing to question political thinking, risk and, above all, not lead Republican foreign policy. way, declares the political scientist. He therefore raises the question of whether Biden’s experienced and intelligent officials, who often helped Obama achieve his success, now do not believe in their own success.
Source: EuroZprávy.cz by eurozpravy.cz.
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