Biden and Upcoming US Challenges
Many international leaders, and especially the heads of US allies, must have watched with surprise and dismay the events that took place on Capitol Hill in the United States a few days ago.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg was among the first to respond when he wrote on Twitter: 'Amazing scenes in Washington DC. The results of these democratic elections must be respected. Who would have thought that this comment from a top NATO official would be about a key ally? Generally you expect Secretary General Stoltenberg to say such things about Belarus or Venezuela. But the incident reveals the position of the United States in the world four years after Donald Trump's presidency and the United States has lost both its power and its influence. It has abandoned the nuclear deal with Iran and pulled out of a major environmental deal. The United States has focused on reducing its military presence abroad, but has offered no diplomatic alternative. Countries such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have reduced their dependence on the United States for their security, knowing that the US president is not capable of paying attention for long. At the same time, Donald Trump values dictatorial leaders more than allies where democratic values are upheld.
The qualities of the United States that made it an example of democracy around the world have faded, and the rift in the country is obvious. Analyst Karen Bremer says: "Of all the developed democracies in the world, the United States is the most politically inactive and divided country." And that fact is significant because in recent years, the global system has suffered greatly from President Trump's "America First" policy. The dictatorial rulers have got the upper hand. China and Russia feel that their influence has grown worldwide in these four years. Liberal institutions such as the United Nations, NATO, etc. are facing many crises.
Cyber attacks and "gray zone operations" are now becoming commonplace. The world is going through a severe epidemic crisis and at the same time the challenge of climate change is on the head, but under the presidency of Donald Trump, the United States had shirked its responsibilities. It is important to clarify one thing here. This article does not call for the United States to establish a monopoly on the world. The fact is that many of America's policies to expand its monopoly solve problems as well as distort them.
But US defense and security policy is currently in a very bad state. Anti-proliferation policies that have been in place since the end of the Cold War are crumbling. The last attempt to uphold the New Start Treaty between Russia and the United States on nuclear weapons will be one of the highlights of the next US President Joe Biden's agenda. Weapons proliferation is becoming more important, especially at a time when more destructive missiles such as hyper-sonic missiles are being developed, and the growing reaction in space must be taken into account.
The West has to deal with a trustworthy China, as well as an aggressive Russia. The presence of the United States in these matters, even if it is in a leadership role, is essential for resolving these issues.And all of this could be a big problem for President-elect Biden. The enemies of America will be happy with the attack on Capitol Hill.
The new president will take the oath of office at a time when China's economy is recovering from the epidemic and the United States is failing miserably, with the highest number of deaths in the world. And the spread of the vaccine is not as effective. And, of course, after losing the presidential election, President Trump has completely ignored the Corona virus epidemic.
So it is not surprising that Chinese President Xi Jinping believes that overcoming the epidemic crisis means that the Chinese system is better. Russia, on the other hand, is not a seemingly antagonist to the United States, but a troubling factor. Russia's spread of misleading news and hacking operations are new but very effective ways to influence the United States. Joe Biden will take the lead at a time when many US administration agencies are using computers accessed by Russian hackers. No one still knows how deep Russian hacking is and how long it will last. Even with America's friendly countries, relations with the new US administration will not be easy. There is no doubt that the new US President will be warmly welcomed by the leaders of the Allies, especially in the European Union and the G7.
But on the other hand, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are aligning their policies with the new US administration in order to establish relations with Biden's team. But the honeymoon will not last long for the new US administration under Joe Biden. Problems with NATO allies may soon be resolved. But Joe Biden will put the same pressure on his European counterparts as President Trump did. They will have the same demands for increased defense spending and tougher policies against China, Russia and Iran. But this new policy alliance will not be as easy as it may seem at first glance. For example, there is the recent investment agreement between the European Union and China, which the Biden administration wished would not have been signed so soon. He says a trade deal with China is the right move at a time when China is undermining democracy in Hong Kong, oppressing the Uighurs and blackmailing Australia economically. So this is not a good start. Different policies, trade relations and Europe's desire for its own sovereignty can make relations with the United States difficult. But there is more to it than meets the eye.
It is certainly gratifying that the Biden administration sees improving relations with its allies as an important part of its foreign policy, but many allies do not feel that "Trumpism" is gone forever. It's not just about attacking Capitol Hill. On the contrary, these allies think that Joe Biden may only be president once and four years later a new form of "Trumpism" will return to power.
This is a stage where US foreign policy is very much dependent on US domestic policy. You could even say that every Joe Biden policy is now an internal matter of the United States. This points to two important points. Improving American democracy and American society and making it more just is essential to enhancing the prestige of the 'Brand America' abroad.
If American allies and their enemies are convinced that the United States has indeed changed course, they may have confidence in the American leadership for the future. But this dual role can also be detrimental to domestic policy. If Biden is to succeed in foreign affairs, he will desperately need support for his foreign policy in his divided country.
Now take the example of China. Biden wants to compete with China, but also to cooperate with China as much as possible. In this regard, strategic policy is perhaps more important than trade policy, such as warships and defense bases abroad. A successful trade policy with China can only be one that the US considers successful and beneficial, which will increase employment in the country and increase the US share in international trade. So it seems that in order to succeed in foreign policy, the most important thing for newly elected US President Joe Biden will be to re-establish and improve the US state internally.