February 20, 2021


One Biden doctrine emerges - always work with allies (Agence France-Presse, February 20, 2021)

After one month in the White House, it may be too soon to speak of a "Biden doctrine" but he has quickly carried out a sharp reversal of the brash "America First" philosophy of his predecessor Donald Trump, who delighted in needling friendly leaders.

In his first international address, Biden vowed Friday before the virtual Munich Security Conference that he will be "in lockstep with our allies and partners."

"Let me erase any lingering doubt: The United States will work closely with our European Union partners and the capitals across the continent -- from Rome to Riga -- to meet the range of shared challenges we face," he said.

Biden has already rejoined the Paris climate accord and stopped the US exit from the World Health Organization, seeing global cooperation as crucial to his top priorities of fighting Covid-19 and climate change.

For his administration's long-awaited first move to jumpstart diplomacy with Iran, the State Department worked off a proposal by the European Union which offered to convene an informal meeting on a 2015 nuclear accord that is on the brink of collapse after Trump's withdrawal.

After Myanmar's coup, Secretary of State Antony Blinken similarly sought a joint front with partners, India and Japan, that have better relationships with the nation the United States wants to persuade.

Biden has also dumped Trump's plan to pull troops out of ally Germany, moved to resolve a payment rift with South Korea over US base support and opened joint consultations with Japan and South Korea, allies with tensions between them, to chart the way forward on North Korea.

On confronting a rising China and Venezuela's leftist leader Nicolas Maduro, the Biden policy is less a change from Trump than a promise to secure more international support.

"President Biden's major criticism of the Trump strategy here was not that he wasn't getting tough on China on trade but that he was doing so alone, while also fighting our allies and partners," one senior US official said after Biden spoke by phone with President Xi Jinping.

Posted by at February 20, 2021 8:05 AM