Biden administration has 'actually walked the walk' on transformative foreign policy: columnist

Biden administration has 'actually walked the walk' on transformative foreign policy: columnist
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 9: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends a ceremony for the Secretary of State's Award for Global Anti-Racism at the U.S. Department of State August 9, 2023 in Washington, DC. This is the inaugural year for the Secretary of State's Award for Global Anti-Racism Champions, which honors civil society leaders from around the world who have demonstrated courage and leadership in the advancement of human rights in marginalized communities. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images).

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a compelling case for President Joe Biden's foreign policy successes in a speech at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, The Daily Beast's David Rothkopf explains in an editorial on Wednesday.

Blinken, Rothkopf writes, "asserted America had embarked on an entirely new era in foreign policy during the Biden years. He argued that the current period is 'now is more than a test of the Post-Cold War order. It is the end of it.' He described it as 'a hinge moment in history' or, citing the president, 'an inflection point' when 'one era is ending and a new one is beginning.'"

Blinken, Rothkopf recalls, then "laid out how the US is strengthening its alliances and its relations—even with nations with which we have substantial differences—in order to remain strong in the face of competition from China and Russia and looming technological and economic challenges."

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Rothkopf explains, "It is not unusual for secretaries of state to give such speeches. All seek to frame the work of the administrations in which they serve as consequential. Most suffer from 'doctrine envy,' the deep desire of foreign policy policymakers and presidents to define a moment in history with their ideas and even their names. But when it comes to concrete actions, or to actually successfully addressing the difficult moments faced by all administrations most come up short—or worse, they oversee the kind of disastrous mistakes that have marked so much of US foreign policy history, from Vietnam to Iraq, from the secret war in Cambodia to [former President Donald] Trump's decisions to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal or to canoodle with Vladimir Putin."

Unlike his twice-impeached quadruply criminally indicted predecessor, Rothkopf continues, the Biden administration has "actually walked the walk. They have actually done the difficult, often invisible work of remaking not just our foreign policy but our role in the world, our alliances, our priorities, even the ways in which we link our foreign policy to our domestic concerns—or to our investments in and approaches to critical technologies, from the manufacture of chips to AI."

Rothkopf notes that "had Blinken's speech come at a different time, perhaps it would not have as effectively resonated as a statement of what has been done and is being worked on. It might have seemed as abstract and disposable as the largely rhetorical exercises of so many of his recent predecessors. But it comes just as President Biden has returned from an ambitious, active, and successful round-the-world trip and Vice President Kamala Harris has returned from playing a central role in the ASEAN Summit in Indonesia. It comes as US and allied support in Ukraine is producing meaningful progress in that war, and as historic Biden administration investments in green energy seem more critical in the face of a deepening climate crisis."

Blinken's address, Rothkopf adds, "therefore was as notable for the concrete accomplishments it enumerated as it was for the intellectual framework for this new era in US foreign policy that it described."

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Rothkopf's full commentary is available at this link(subscription required).

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