What to expect from Joe Biden presidency?
Biden is contemplated worldwide to reset four years of isolationist policies under a new tagline, “restoring American leadership”, in an attempt to repair strained diplomatic relations.
As we all know, elections bids are to a large extent referendums on the incumbent president who normally had the advantage to a 50/50 chance to be re-elected, yet, this highly politized covid-19 pandemic management that ravaged America’s economy and a systematic opposition from the house helped by a ferocious mainstream media against any of Trump’s policies, followed by countrywide civil unrest unseen since the 60s gave the democrats many silver bullets to use, and so they've done.
Arguably, Biden is not an inspiring candidate in the way that Barak Obama was or even in the way that Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren engage with sympathisers, but, he does have a sort of wide appeal that makes him acceptable to the broadest possible range of voters and one of the things that are extraordinary about him is that he always sat directly at the ideological center of his party, this latter has shifted left and so did Biden consequently.
Except for a major twist following the legal battle that Trump’s teams are waging to recount doubtful votes, de facto, Biden won the 2020 elections, therefore, this paper will focus on predictable leadership manoeuvers based on multiple sources corroborated by Biden’s known soft-looking aggressive disguised approach.
Did this highly politicised Covid-19 pandemic served its purpose?
We can forecast Biden to dispatch back Jhon Brennan (Head of CIA), Andrew McCabe (deputy director of the FBI) and Alexander Vindman (National security council aide) to the white house to run his administration’s national security apparatus distancing him from Trump’s decision to discard them because of major strategy vision disagreements.
It won’t be surprising to see a renewed come back on stage of James Comey, Robert Muller, Dan Coats and H.R. McMaster; the actual head of the CIA (the first woman to head the spy agency) enjoys a good reputation in protecting presidents form manipulative intelligence reports, but, because of the animosity between the two parties she could be invited to resign.
While Biden is perceived to fit the classic US leadership image globally, yet, many challenges are waiting for him to be addressed to bring back a coherent American foreign policy to its former glory, Biden is contemplated worldwide to reset four years of isolationist policies under a new tagline, “restoring American leadership”, in an attempt to repair strained diplomatic relations.
Biden alligned promplty with his party's shift to the left.
Mr Biden declared repeatedly that his administration would reverse Mr Trump’s stamp foreign policy decisions, therefore, we will see the US rejoining The Paris climate accord, Unesco, The World Health Organization and sponsoring, rejoining the Iran nuclear deal if Tehran complies with what was agreed upon, last but not least boost diplomatic support for NATO and apply less pressure on NATO budget contributions for member states, it is highly probable to see the US extending New Start nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, due to expire on Feb 5, 2021.
Bloomberg reported last month, “analysts expect that a victory for Biden would increase tensions between Washington and Moscow, and would raise the probability of new sanctions on Russia.”
The Democratic party platform called for countering China “without resorting to self-defeating, unilateral tariff wars or falling into the trap of a new Cold War,” but Beijing’s aggressive influence operations, and its threats to Taiwan, may prompt Joe Biden into taking more assertive action. Continuing or even extending sanctions on Chinese officials and firms is one likely weapon of Biden presidency, even as he drops Trump’s tit-for-tat tariff wars.
Observers failed to acknowledge Trump’s efforts to develop alliance structures outside of Europe, such as with the “Quad” of Australia, India, Japan and the US, which aims to counter China’s influence.
I predict as well less support for the Indian far-right government which is increasingly destabilising its nuclear-armed neighbours prompting fears among regional allies; president Biden will soothe European capitals fears about the danger of liberal international order and its rules-based multilateralism of collapsing, this said many European leaders discard the “naïve” approach that everything will return to the way it was before.
Mr Biden’s decades of experience of foreign policy as vice-president and chair of the senate foreign relations committee will be the pro-Atlanticist president by excellence and he will restore stronger ties with the GCC oil-rich middle eastern countries, Biden’s team has outlined support for a diplomatic approach to de-escalate tensions between Iran and the GCC states. Biden could create momentum to pursue a regional security dialogue, including Saudi-Iran talks, something that the Europeans have long supported, particularly as it relates to Yemen and Iraq. European states should quickly look to forge a shared understanding with a Biden administration to advance this process; the US and European efforts will need to secure buy-in from regional states traditionally opposed to diplomacy with Iran, especially Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). From the perspective of these countries, this will require keeping Riyadh and Abu Dhabi informed about new nuclear talks, but also consolidating the message that diplomacy with Tehran will strengthen rather than undermine their wider security interests.
The Yemen conflict may offer a particular opportunity for progress. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are already, albeit unsuccessfully, pursuing a diplomatic solution to the conflict. Biden has made it clear that he will stop US support for the war. Europeans should work with the US to throw their combined weight behind a diplomatic process that can finally deliver much-needed peace to the country and potentially unlock a wider regional security dialogue.
Based on FP report: “There are quite a lot of issues where Biden isn’t going to be that different from Trump,” said a European diplomat, noting that the former Democratic challenger is not planning to reverse one of the president’s most controversial decisions: moving the country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the same anonymous diplomat also predicted that Biden administration might not align closely with Europe on relations with Russia or Iran.
Biden said frequently that he will overturn all President Trump’s foreign policies exempting Trump’s Middle East achievement where he brokered a deal to normalise ties between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, in this rare occasion, Biden didn’t hesitate to praise Trump for this accomplishment; I wouldn’t be surprised to see other countries normalizing ties with Israel in a win-win situation, Europe, North African and the Middle East are expecting Biden to row back the most negative consequences of the Trump era, such as by renewing US aid to the Palestinians, re-opening the Palestinian mission in Washington– all of which the EU and Morocco see as requisites for any diplomatic track.
When it comes to Syria and ISIS threat, Biden appears likely to share with Trump a similar approach: keeping a small military presence in north-eastern Syria offering greater support for the Kurdish-dominated SDF forces, which Trump abandoned amid Turkish growing concerns of such as forces at its southern border, supporting the UN political process; and maintaining sanctions on Syria. Europeans will broadly agree with this approach but should nonetheless press for shared reflection about a more effective policy given Assad’s continued hold on power, the country’s deepening socio-economic collapse, and the mounting suffering of its people. Biden is unlikely to spearhead any diplomatic push, a track that will also be complicated by Democrat party anger with Russia. Nor should Biden be expected to support a more assertive US position given widening calls in the US for disengagement from the Middle East.
Ankara has two main concerns about future ties with the new administration. The first is the fear that Biden will reintroduce a democracy and human rights promotion discourse into the bilateral relationship. Secondly, Ankara worries that Biden will try to constrain a resurgent Turkey, backing policies to contain Turkey in Libya, the eastern Mediterranean, and Syria, we might witness first Biden imposing CAATSA sanctions on Turkey’s acquisition of S-400s from Russia, Biden administration will likely have the same concerns as the Trump administration, that imposing sanctions on Turkey will alienate a still important NATO ally.
Trump notoriously called the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi “my favourite dictator”.
Democrat foreign policy circles believe that Egypt is decreasingly important as a US partner.
Trump notoriously called the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi “my favourite dictator”, Biden criticised Egypt’s human rights violations and will take a tougher line by a growing sense in Democrat foreign policy circles that Egypt is decreasingly important as a US partner. The US is heavily focused on counter-terrorism in its regional policy, and some Biden advisers believe that Sisi’s heavy-handed approach is counter-productive because it encourages radicalisation. Egypt’s importance as a regional power has indeed diminished.
Biden is likely to adopt the same priorities towards Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, but unless the situation in these countries deteriorates, they are unlikely to be a major focus of his presidency; it is valid to note that Morocco stands as top US ally in the region with two US military bases on its territory, we can expect higher US support to Morocco’s claims over the Sahara region against Algerian backed Polisario separatist group; Biden entertains strong personal relationship with Morocco’s King Mohamed the VI, which could lead to a breakthrough if the middle east peace process finds consensus. @mundiario