Melvin Goodman |
Published: 00:00, Jan 07,2022
| Updated: 21:39, January 06, 2022
NOT since Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidency has the United States elected a chief executive with a wealth of experience in international security policy. President Joe Biden has decades of foreign policy experience in the White House and Senate, which is extremely unusual in American presidential policy. Hence, it should be kept to a high standard; So far, his performance has been poor.
Biden first took care of the low-hanging fruit left by the broken presidency of Donald Trump. Biden returned the United States to the World Health Organization, the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations Relief Agency, which once again enabled the United States to serve deplorable Palestinian communities across the Middle East. Biden is trying to re-establish relations with our traditional European allies as well as the member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The nuclear submarine deal with Australia, which enraged France, suggests a diplomatic hearing.
It remains to be seen whether it can actually end the « eternal wars », but at least the use of drone wars is, responsible for an unreasonable number of civilian deaths decreased. If the White House hadn’t been on the sidelines while Congress passed a record-breaking defense bill, we might even think that the Biden administration was ready to reverse the militarism of the past two decades. And if the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency didn’t use drones in Syria, Somalia, and the Horn of Africa, we might believe there have been real efforts to end, if not end, the « eternal wars » and Saudi Arabia the continued transport to the Israeli government does not suggest any real change in policy towards the Middle East, which is marked by several « eternal wars. » Unfortunately, the overall picture for national security policy in terms of personnel, policies and procedures is bleak without suggesting that Biden’s foreign policy team has grown together on essential issues or that a real process has been developed to address the international aspects of arms control and disarmament, climate change and pandemic prevention. Biden must acknowledge that the nation essentially went nuts after the 9/11 attacks and that it was wrong to wage « eternal wars » in Iraq and Afghanistan when the real solution could be found through international diplomacy and international cooperation / p> Biden’s personnel situation is particularly disappointing in terms of the caliber of the people themselves and the deadlocked process of « groupthink ». Long-standing democratic employee, does not seem up to the task of conceiving and implementing foreign policy. The teams dealing with Russia and China are cut from the fabric of the Cold War past, which explains the lack of movement with both Moscow and Beijing as they forge a quasi-alliance ready to reunite the United To challenge states on numerous fronts.
Key members of the team have recently been implicated in the mistaken use of military force. Foreign Minister Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and the Director of the Agency for International Development Samantha Power were instrumental in the disastrous decision to implement regime change in Libya 10 years ago. These people also advocate providing additional military aid to Ukraine when it is evident that only a diplomatic solution can stabilize the Russian-Ukrainian border. Biden’s assurances to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj that the United States would react “decisively” to Russian violence was particularly unwise.
At the State Department, Assistant Secretary Wendy Sherman and Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland utter the usual cold slogans War. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands on Ukraine are by no means unreasonable, and it is now up to the United States to make the diplomatic corrections that followed the rejection of our commitment to the Soviets in 1990 regarding restrictions on US forces required in Central and Eastern Europe are Europe. Confidence-building measures are required; an unbundling zone on the Russian-Ukrainian border would be a good place to start.
The United States must recognize that the enlargement of NATO was a terrible strategic mistake. In addition, we expanded NATO in the worst possible way that only ensured future friction with Russia. We wrongly expected that our cooperation with Boris Yeltsin’s Russia in the 1990s would be permanent, and we totally underestimated Putin’s willingness to break bilateral ties with the United States because of our militarization on Russia’s borders. As long as Biden denies the mistakes of his predecessors, we will be hostage to his dependence on a military alliance based on Cold War thinking. So far, Biden has chosen a solution that makes the problem worse.
The China team is arguably the best example of ideological rigidity. It is led by NSC Director Sullivan, Deputy Kurt Campbell, Rush Doshi and Eli Ratner, who has been named Assistant Secretary of Defense to train Secretary Austin, who has little depth on Asian security issues. The China team is the best example of « groupthink »; the whole team has adopted the China containment policy. The team appears to believe that containment worked against the Soviet Union 40 years ago and will produce positive results against China. If Biden’s team really believes that China is reminiscent of the warring Soviet Union decades ago, then there is little chance of resolving the bilateral dilemmas regarding China and Russia. Again, Biden has chosen a solution that will make the problem worse.
My own view is that « containment » had little or nothing to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union collapsed like a house of cards just because it was a house of cards. The intangible element that was never discussed during the collapse of the Soviet Union is the destructive role played by Russian cynicism, which resulted in its leaders no longer being able to lead. The United States is on a similar path on massive cynicism, but I do not predict a US collapse, we find the United States almost ungovernable.
The Biden administration needs to do a serious strategic review. The President gave the Pentagon such a task when he took office, but any request for a Pentagon review will certainly lead to an argument in favor of higher military spending. The Pentagon will ask for more hammers, and any potential problem will appear like a nail. The strategic review should be carried out by the National Security Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with significant outside participation and review. The Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, which has been « absent without a leave of absence » for 20 years, should conduct its own review.
In the first year, we learned from Trump that his trust in the border wall and the Muslim travel ban are ultimately the cornerstones of one failed national security policy. It would be similarly unfortunate if Biden’s confidence in the defense of NATO enlargement and belief in the containment of China became the cornerstone of its national security policy.
CounterPunch.org, Jan 5th. Melvin A Goodman, a former CIA analyst, is a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy and Professor of Government at Johns Hopkins University.
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