Biden, the nominal president-elect, announced his selection of Blinken along with other members of his foreign-policy and national-security team, which is filled with such veteran Washington insiders as John Kerry, the new climate czar and formerly secretary of state in the Obama-Biden administration.
Blinken, a long-time adviser to Biden and deputy secretary of state under President Barack Obama, has been hailed by fellow Democrats and globalists, such as retired General Barry McCaffrey, as an experienced bureaucrat with “global contacts and respect.” Enrico Letta, dean of the Paris School of International Affairs, called Biden’s choice the “right step to relaunch transatlantic ties.”
Pres elect Biden to nominate Antony Blinken to be Sec State on Tuesday. Brilliant. Experienced. Global contacts and respect. Harvard then Columbia Law. Served as both Dep Sec State and Dep NSC. Senior Staff Dir Sen For Relations Cmte. Good news for America.
— Barry R McCaffrey (@mccaffreyr3) November 23, 2020
— Enrico Letta (@EnricoLetta) November 23, 2020
He was even praised for a 2016 appearance on the Sesame Street children’s television program, where he explained to the show’s ‘Grover’ character the benefits of accepting refugees.
Try to imagine Mike Pompeo or Stephen Miller ever doing anything as human or normal as this https://t.co/VADdy4TNn2
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) November 23, 2020
While some critics focused on how Blinken “got rich working for corporate clients” during President Donald Trump’s term in office, the new foreign-affairs chief’s neoconservative policy recommendations might be cause for greater concern. He advocated for the Iraq War and the bombings of such countries as Libya and Yemen.
Blinken is still arguing for a resurgence in Washington’s military intervention in Syria. He lamented in a May interview that the Obama-Biden administration hadn’t done enough to prevent a “horrific situation” in Syria, and he faulted Trump for squandering what remaining leverage the US had on the Bashar Assad regime by pulling troops out of the country.
“Our leverage is vastly even less than it was, but I think we do have points of leverage to try to effectuate some more positive developments,” Blinken said. For instance, US special forces in northeast Syria are located near Syrian oil fields. “The Syrian government would love to have dominion over those resources. We should not give that up for free.”
Blinken also sees Biden strengthening NATO, isolating Russia politically and “confronting Mr. [President Vladimir] Putin for his aggressions.”
As for China, Blinken has said Washington needs to look for ways to cooperate with Beijing. Reinvesting in international alliances that were weakened by Trump will help the Biden administration deal with China “from a position of strength” as it pushes back against the Chinese Communist Party’s human-rights abuses, he said.
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