Former Vice President Joe Biden has picked several candidates for his potential administration. Among the names circulated by the US mainstream media are Antony Blinken, Alejandro Mayorkas, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, John Kerry, and Jake Sullivan, who previously served in various capacities in the Barack Obama administration. All of them will require Senate confirmation, with a few exceptions.
Blinken, who has reportedly been tapped for the role of a secretary of state, was also a member of Bill Clinton’s White House staff in the 1990s. Yet another former Clinton official, Michele Flournoy, is rumoured to be Joe Biden's potential nominee for secretary of defence.
Biden's New Picks: Foreign Affairs is Now Top Priority
"Biden is selecting individuals who have a tremendous amount of experience and proven records of leadership so he can effectively impact policy immediately upon taking office", says Laura Wilson, political analyst and political science professor at the University of Indianapolis, adding that Biden values careertists unlike Trump, "which does signify a major change of course compared to the previous administration".
She believes that Team Biden is looking to "reinvigorate relationships that were not prioritised in the previous administration and reenter international agreements that President Trump chose to leave", such as the Paris Climate Agreement or the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.
Progressives should be prepared to be disappointed in Biden’s foreign policy. Early picks for the nat sec cabinet suggest he’s taking a centrist path. https://t.co/ay4h3LV6O3— Eli Lake (@EliLake) November 24, 2020
The political analyst suggests that the composition of the Biden administration and rumours of likely appointments in addition to those already named "have made it clear that focusing on a diplomatic relationship for foreign affairs is a top priority". Thus, Biden has rushed to fill the future positions of secretary of state (Antony Blinken), US ambassador to the United Nations (Linda Thomas-Greenfield), and special presidential envoy for climate (John Kerry).
Biden’s focus on international and foreign policy-related cabinet selections, notes Quardricos Driskell, a federal lobbyist and professor of politics with George Washington University, indicates his attempt to make the US “a global world leader".
"Even John Kerry, as the new 'Climate Czar', illustrates that his experience on the world stage as former secretary of state will play well in the global efforts to combat the climate crisis – rejoining the Paris Accord will be the first step to change the way we do business", Driskell says.
What's Behind "America is Back!" Slogan
When one hear shrill calls from the Biden camp exclaiming that "America is back!" it does not necessarily mean that the rest of the world is as amused as the US Democratic Party and their NATO allies, notes Patrick Henningsen, a UK-based political commentator, journalist and founder of the 21stCenturyWire.com website. Furthermore, "it should be worrying to any vulnerable developing countries around the world", according to the commentator.
"What they really mean is that after a brief respite during the Trump presidency, Democrat-led neoliberal military and covert interventionism is back", he says. "Regime change operations are back. Colour revolutions are back. Knowing what we all know about the Obama-Clinton foreign policy program, it's incredible that anyone would delude themselves to think it would be any different with a Biden regime."
The potential occupants of the White House are "the exact same operatives and architects of one of the darkest periods in geopolitics, which dismembered three countries – Libya, Ukraine, and Yemen – and if not for aid to Damascus from its allies in Russia and Iran, the Obama-Clinton machine would have broken apart Syria as well", Henningsen highlights.
"America is back," "restoring global leadership," etc. are cliches intended to celebrate the renewed ability for the US to impose its will around the world without being held back by the annoying inconvenience of the current president's temperamental eccentricities— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) November 24, 2020
Anthony Blinken, as well as ex-UN ambassadors Samantha Power and Susan Rice – who are also regarded as Biden's potential nominees – are "the very same people who presided over the biggest and most protracted foreign policy failures of our generation", according to the journalist. One should expect that the Middle East, Asia and Africa are likely to be further destablised, he warns, recalling that the NATO-led wars and covert operations in the region eventually resulted in the 2015 European refugee crisis.
"When Joe Biden says ‘America is back’ he means America will ‘reset’ to the previous globalist, international order of free trade, open borders, collective diplomacy, and military intervention", echoes William Stroock, a US author and political analyst.
Divide is Growing Between US MSM and American People
The American mainstream media's enthusiasm over the reset of "the globalist international order" is quite understandable given that the MSM capitalises on being a "vital part" of it, according to Stroock.
Yet another peculiarity of this excitement is that it is "purely partisan", notes Henningsen. The US conservative media outlets have been focused on growing concerns over the alleged voter fraud. As a Vox survey has recently found out, over 44% of all likely voters in the US suspect that the election was rigged.
It does not prevent "hundreds of beltway pundits and ex-spooks who were literally wrong about everything over past two decades" from being excited "to be landing lucrative new gigs and positions within the ever-expanding coterie that is the neolib-neocon foreign policy blob in Washington", according to the UK-based journalist.
However, while the media is touting Biden's picks, "everyone else in America is getting ready for Thanksgiving", remarks William Stroock, adding that "nothing reflects the divide between the media and Americans better than that".