On the second anniversary of US President Joe Biden’s assumption of office, his Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, appeared at a session organized by the Policy Institute at the University of “Chicago”, where he spoke about the outcomes of US foreign policy and the challenges it faces, and touched on the repercussions of the war in Ukraine and the growing competition between the great powers.
Despite the repercussions of the Russian war in Ukraine, which hit the global economy and jumped inflation rates to unprecedented levels, Blinken believes that America’s position globally today is better than it was before Biden took office, referring to the first directives he received from the president, which are to revitalize diplomacy and strengthen Alliances and partnerships, goals that the American diplomat considered necessary to find solutions to issues affecting the home and abroad that cannot be resolved without cooperation and coordination with other countries, whether it is a global pandemic, climate change, or drugs.
Blinken recalled President Biden’s directive to him that America should be present on the international stage, because when the United States is absent, the result is either that another country takes its place to promote interests incompatible with American interests, or that its position remains empty, at a time when the world cannot organize himself.
The US Secretary of State touched on the differences between the countries that support Ukraine, the impact of sanctions on the future of Russia, in addition to the reality of relations with China in light of its continuous threats to Taiwan’s sovereignty, and he also talked about the impact of domestic affairs on foreign policy. He said that his country’s strength at home is directly linked to its global standing, pointing to the Biden administration’s investments in infrastructure and semiconductors to continue leadership in this sensitive industry.
Does the world trust America?
And with the intensification of political polarization in the United States, countries are increasingly concerned about the radical change that afflicts American policies whenever a new resident comes to the White House, not to mention the imperfect image of American democracy, whose reputation was tarnished after the events of the storming of the “Capitol” in January (January) 2021. And in light of These conclusions, David Axelrod, the founding president of the Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, said when asked by the US Secretary of State that the leaders of other countries are reaching these unattractive scenes of our democracy, and they ask, “Can we count” on America?
Blinken, for his part, not only acknowledged these concerns, but rather evoked an example that supports their existence, noting that one of the presidents told President Biden at the beginning of his term, “I am very happy with America’s return, but for how long?” To put an end to these doubts, the US Secretary of State believes that the solution begins with “dealing with what is here and now, and what we can do within the limits of the available time,” pointing out that one of the advantages that distinguish his country is that when it faces a problem, it deals with it openly and transparently. Without hiding it or pretending it doesn’t exist, no matter how “painful” or “ugly” this transparency is. He added, “If we show through our policies and our approaches that we are achieving goals and achieving, and that we are in fact making life safer, more secure, more prosperous and healthier for our citizens, then they will continue to support this approach, and I will say the same things, to my colleagues around the world who are looking at how to cooperate with us.”
How strong is the coalition against Russia?
Blinken boasts that Washington, during the Biden era, has regained the strength of its alliances and its global position, especially after the Ukrainian crisis, which showed the unity of the West against Russia, which the current administration considered an example of the success and strength of its diplomatic approach, but the crisis itself was not devoid of scenes that reflected some differences, such as Germany’s refusal. Sending tanks to Ukraine, which prompted Axelrod to ask Blinken, “How long do you have before this alliance weakens?”
The Foreign Minister replies, “Since day one, we have seen many premature reports of the collapse of the alliance, but what happened is the opposite. The alliance not only held together, but continued to grow, and we saw dozens of countries unite to ensure that Ukraine gets what it needs to defend itself and resist Russian aggression and the restoration of the lands it seized.-
On the German position towards providing Kyiv with tanks, Blinken indicated that the provision of military support to Ukraine takes place after discussing various aspects with partners and allies, including those related to Ukraine’s military needs, and others related to training, maintenance and the ability to use weapons effectively. He added, “We have just sent to Ukraine a large number of light Bradley tanks, and so did France and Britain,” recalling that whether or not to provide military support is a “sovereign decision” that is up to each country, and that the support of countries of different degrees is ultimately positive for the strength of the Ukrainian front. .--
The US Secretary stressed the feasibility of military support to Ukraine and the impact of the sanctions imposed on Russia, noting that the Russian army suffers “horrific losses” every day, and that the sanctions will cause negative effects on Russia in the future, and will not only undermine its ability to continue the war, but also hinder its efforts to strengthen economics and energy extraction. “I wish it wasn’t. This is a tragedy caused by Vladimir Putin. The question one would like to ask the Russians, if we could speak to them directly and clearly, is: How has what Putin is doing in Ukraine changed your lives for the better?”
Why did Zelensky hide the truth?
However, the repercussions of the war were not limited to Russia and the price that it was forced to pay through Western sanctions, as the war, since its outbreak, last year, caused massive destruction to Ukraine, and because of it, Ukrainians suffer the scourge of bombing and displacement, which prompted some to criticize Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for not providing Sufficient concessions to push Russia towards negotiations and stop the war. In this context, the head of the Institute of Politics at the University of “Chicago” says that every attack and assault makes it difficult from a political point of view for President Zelensky to reach a negotiating formula that does not include the demand for Russia’s exit.
Although the US Secretary of State asserts that only Ukraine should decide how to end the war, he agrees with the statement of the US Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley, that every war ends by negotiation, adding that “Zelinsky, as a democratically elected president, must respond to opinion.” public and to represent its people.
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Blinken revealed that he shared intelligence about the possibility of a Russian attack on Ukraine directly with Zelensky, although the latter did not publicly acknowledge this and was minimizing the chances of the attack. The foreign minister clarified the position of the Ukrainian president, noting that Zelensky avoided publicly acknowledging the possibility of a conflict with Russia because he feared that people would flee the country and freeze investment in it, but in the meantime “he was making the necessary preparations, and that was embodied in Ukraine’s ability to help us repel the attack.” And by the way, Putin has failed to achieve his goal of erasing Ukraine’s identity, overthrowing Zelensky and Ukraine as an independent state.”
Our relationship with China is the most complex.
Blinken considered the relationship with China to be “the most complex”, as the two countries are no longer in the post-Cold War era, but there is competition to shape the features of the next stage. “China is a leading competitor in many ways, but its vision of what the world should be like and where it should go is not identical to our vision. However, competition is one thing, conflict is another, and we must avoid competition deviating into conflict,” he said.
And whether China has a deeper understanding of the position of the United States and the nature of its response towards any Chinese attack against Taiwan, Blinken said that the recent talks between Presidents Biden and Xi Jinping strengthened the understanding between the two countries, noting that his country made it clear to China that the interest of the United States and the world is the continued flow of imports through China. The Taiwan Strait, as any Chinese attack could disrupt the movement of 50 percent of the total container ships around the world that pass daily through the Taiwan Strait, and stop the manufacture of 70 percent or more of the computer chips in the world coming from Taiwan, which will lead to the suffering of the global economy. Therefore, the American diplomat emphasizes resolving differences peacefully, not through pressure, coercion, or the use of force.