The president of United States is embodiment of a world order himself. Admittedly, he is the most powerful person on earth and his choices and policy disposition will have far-reaching consequences. In fact, a president of United States can take the world into the brink of war while he can also broker peace. Therefore, an analysis of Biden’s foreign policy biases is required.
Unlike President Donald Trump, Biden is not a newbie in foreign policy realm. It is safe to say that Biden was the most competent vice-president in the US recent history. Even as president, there is few that have know-how and background that president Biden has. He served as Senate Foreign Relations Committee for three terms.Biden foreign policy dexterity is well-documented. Criticisms against Biden is also not exiguous. Critics argue Biden was not always been successful on foreign policy. Critics contention is that he aggravated America’s post Iraq efforts worse.
The state of world Biden will face is only matched by what president Harry Truman faced in the wake of second world order. In a world where Covid-19 still rages, where wayward china is rising with unabated agility, where democratic institutions in the United states & in the world is in the wane, where climate change poses an existential threat, where confidence on multilateralism hit new low in the history of last century, the challenges for Biden is daunting to say the least.
Climate change is a very grave issue facing humanity. Unlike president Trump, Biden considers climate change a very serious threat which requires collective action. We had seen how president Trump was cynical about climate change and called it a “hoax” and never wanted to jeopardize the industries of USA. He unilaterally withdrew USA from Paris Climate Agreement.
Biden, however, categorically articulated in his plans that he will recommit United States to the agreement and will adhered to the requirements of pact diligently. Biden can also reverse the Trump decision of withdrawing from World Health Organization (WHO) which he arraigned for mismanaging the pandemic only to deflect attention from his personal ineptitude.
Unlike Trump, Biden is a staunch champion of multilateralism. Trump often grumbles that the world is taking advantage of United states. Infect, Trumps’ presidency marks a watershed moment in united states foreign policy history. Since world war two U.S. had always engaged with its allies. However,in the name of anachronistic notion of national sovereignty, Trump had disengaged with its allies. On the contrary, Biden likes to engage with the world. He stated that he will engage will American allies to reaffirm faith in democratic ideals and will fight the autocratic regimes likes China. Moreover, Biden is likely to restore American legacy of “liberal international order”. Moreover, Biden’s approach will be more multi-lateral vis-�-vis trump.
The state of bilateral relations between US & the regional stakeholder also need to be examined. For United States,the foremost region will remain the “Middle East”. United States relies heavily of the oil imports from Middle East for both domestic consumption and industrial input. Therefore, a semblance of stability is required for safeguarding US interest in the region. Besides, another key goal of US foreign policy is to protect its ally Israel. Extirpating terrorist activities also tops the list of US foreign policy perspective.
Undoubtedly, Iran and Sudi Arabia is the key players in the Middle East. With regards to both ,Biden’s foreign policy will be a departure from his predecessor’s. Trump was hand in globes with Saudi Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. In fact, the relationship between Saudi and US was at its pinnacle under president Trump’s administration. However, Biden’s foreign policy might be markedly different from trump. His history as vice president also testifies to his “hawkish” posture towards Saudi Arabia. Biden articulated that he wants a “re-assessment” of US support for Saudi Arabia in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khasoggi and domestic human rights violation. He also signalled the cessation of arms sales to the Kingdom. Moreover, there is tough time ahead for US-UAE relations should Biden elect as president.
With regards to Iran, Trump was rather stern. Biden calls Iran a “destabilizing” force in the region and must never be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. He calls trumps’ approach has failed to desist Tehran from advancing its nuclear program. Biden pledges to rejoin the agreement if Iran returns to compliance.
Regarding Israel, Biden articulated that American commitment to Israel will be “Ironclad” during his administration. However, if one follow developments of past few years, he would know that democrats are very critical of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his cosiness with trump and also lambasted desire to further infringe on rights of Palestinians. Therefore, how the foreign policy with regards to Israel evolve will be a very important thing to follow.
After Middle East, the region which tops the priority of US policy makes is undoubtedly East Asia. This region features both American most loyalist allies likes of Japan, South Korea &Taiwan. Besides ,there is also resurgent China and cumbersome North Korea which poses a direct threat to United States national security.
Taming this rivals as well as deepening co-operation with allies will be leitmotif of Biden’s foreign policy here. Biden want to engage with the allies to fight autocratic regimes like China and US. Biden wants to marshal a coalition of countries to counter troublesome China.
With regards to North Korea, Biden is keen on to take more stern approach in contrast to president Trump’s personal diplomacy with president Kim. He is of the opinion that Trump’s talks with Kim-Jong-Un have been futile and counter-productive and in turn legitimized the dictators. He articulated that any continued negotiation with Kim will hinge on concrete steps toward dismantling his nuclear program.
Being arch-rival of United States, Russia also will be important in a likely Biden’s presidency. Biden cautioned Russia under Vladimir Putin is assaulting the foundations of “western democracy”. He, therefore, will concentrate his efforts in deterring Russian plots of disrupting a democratic world order. However, despite his distrust Biden is likely to pursue new arm control arrangement with Moscow, beginning with the extension of new START treaty to reduce stockpile.
In essence, Biden’s foreign policy is in stark contrast to president Trump. While president trumps’ overarching goal was to “Make America Great Again”, Biden is a quintessential globalist and keen on making America back again to take responsibility of the world and engage with allies to face the global challenges which president Trump renounced.