President-elect Joe Biden is expected to select Antony Blinken, his longtime foreign affairs advisor, as Secretary of State, making Blinken a key figure in the future administration.
It comes as no surprise that Biden plans to enlist Blinken as head of the country’s premier foreign affairs agency. This news was first reported by Bloomberg News and confirmed by other outlets. The 58-year-old has been with Biden since 2002 and was appointed Chief of Staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden chaired it. Blinken then served as Vice President Biden’s national security advisor, transferring to the State Department in President Obama’s second term to become the agency’s number two.
While some have assumed Biden would select Blinken as his national security advisor, it seems the new president would prefer his trusted associate to represent the administration and the country overseas.
Biden and Blinken have a strong mind-amalgamation, except on one key subject
The choice of Blinken, a former New Republic writer, is likely to upset some on both left and right. Progressives may not like him for praising President Donald Trump’s bombing of Syria in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons against civilians, or for calling for the US to arm Ukraine against the invasion of Russia. Conservatives will not like the fact that he was a strong advocate of the Iranian nuclear deal.
But Biden would always entrust Blinken with a substantial foreign policy position in his administration, regardless of what critics say. “He has the judgment, the raw material knowledge and the ability to get in touch with executives to do any job his country could ever ask of him,” Biden told Politico von Blinken in 2013.
During the 2020 campaign, Blinken was Biden’s deputy and foreign policy spokesman. He gave interview after interview to explain how Biden would handle global affairs as president.
“Joe Biden would reaffirm American leadership and lead with our diplomacy. We’d actually keep popping up day after day, ”he told CBS News’s Michael Morell on his September podcast. The new president would prepare for a world of rising powers, new actors overwhelmed by technology and information that we need to bring with us if we want to make progress.
Blinken and Biden differ, however, in one crucial aspect: humanitarian intervention. Blinken, a descendant of Holocaust survivors, has repeatedly made it clear that he believes the US should intervene militarily to keep innocent people safe from harm.
“We haven’t been able to prevent a terrible loss of life. We didn’t manage to prevent massive displacement of people internally in Syria and of course externally as refugees, “he told CBS News in May 2019.” And I’ll take that with me for the rest of my days. It is something that I feel very strongly. You know, what has unfortunately happened since then is that a terrible situation must have gotten worse. “
Biden has shied away from humanitarian interventions in recent years. For example, he rejected the Obama administration’s move into Libya to oust Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. “It was not about core interests,” a senior White House official told foreign policy the following year. “It was nothing [Biden] Thoughts were necessary to do. “Blinken was also against the decision in Libya, but it is clear that he still has a streak of liberal intervention.
That could conflict the men if they find themselves in a similar situation in the next four years. But most of the time, Biden and Blinken are probably where they normally were: on the same page.
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