President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris present their nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign policy positions at The Queen Theater, Tuesday, November 24, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.
Carolyn Castor | AP
Washington – “Diplomacy is back,” and America will be “a country of welcome”.
These were just two of the policy changes that members of President-elect Joe Biden’s national security team vowed to enact on Tuesday in a program introducing Biden’s choice for top cabinet positions.
Biden said that his representatives would “restore America, its global leadership and its moral leadership globally, and ensure that our service members, diplomats and intelligence professionals can free their work from politics.”
Along with Biden on the stage in Willington, Delaware, and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, were Antony Blinken, Biden’s pick for secretary of state; Alejandro Mayorkas, his choice to head the Department of Homeland Security; Avril Haines, his nominee for National Intelligence Director; Jake Sullivan, incoming National Security Advisor; Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who was tapped to serve as ambassador to the United Nations, and former Secretary of State John Kerry, who will play a newly created role as special envoy for climate change.
The event gave millions of Americans the first opportunity to hear directly from Biden’s nominees, who have decades of experience in foreign policy, but not necessarily household names.
Together, his remarks previewed an approach to foreign policy, which is contrary to what President Donald Trump has been following for the past four years.
there There was no talk of “America First” and there was no sign of action on immigration or refugees. There were no corporate CEOs or career military officers for higher positions and there was no suggestion that US foreign policy needed to serve economic interests through trade deals and bilateral trade agreements.
Instead, the nominees spoke of reestablishing America’s moral leadership, championing human rights, and strengthening multilateral relations with allies and democracies around the world.
While some Republicans doubted the raw merit of Biden’s nominees, the GOP’s senators were already upset Tuesday by the GOP’s new approach. Biden would need the votes of at least a few Republicans to confirm his candidates for his post.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Tweeted on Tuesday, “Biden’s cabinet picks went to Ivy League schools, have strong resumes, attend all the right conferences and will be humble and orderly stewards of America’s downfall.” “I support American greatness and I have no interest in returning to the” normal “that left us dependent on China.”
Yet given Biden’s previous statements on China, his incoming administration is prepared to take a tight line with America’s top economic adviser, which President Barack Obama did.
Below are some of the nominees’ highlights:
Blinken: “We have to move forward with equal measures of humility and trust. Humility because the President-Elect said, we cannot solve all the problems of the world alone. We need to work with other countries, we need their cooperation. Need and we need their participation. But at the same time confident, because America still has more capacity than any other country on earth to bring others together to face the challenges of our time. Could. “
Mayurakas: “The Homeland Security Department has a great mission to help keep us safe, and to advance our proud history as a welcoming country … My father and mother helped me to avoid communism Brought into this country. He nurtured our democracy. Was extremely proud to be a citizen of the United States, as I was. ”
Thomas-Greenfield: “My fellow career diplomats and public servants around the world, I want to say to you: America is back. Multilateralism is back. Diplomacy is back.”
Haines: “Mr. President-Elect, you know that I never hesitate to speak the truth to power, and it will be my job as Director of National Intelligence … You would never want me to do otherwise, and you would value. Is the vision of the intelligence community, [and] This will happen even if what I have to say may be inconvenient or difficult. And I assure you, there will be times like this. “
Sullivan: Mr. President-Elect, “You have also done the work of putting people at the center of our foreign policy. You have told us that we rebuild the alliances, the institutions we lead, the agreements we sign Let them all be judged. From a fundamental question – will this make life better, easier, safer for families across the country? “
Carey: “The road ahead is exciting. It means the creation of millions of middle-class jobs, it means less pollution in our air and our oceans, it means making life healthier for citizens around the world , And this means that we will strengthen security ”every country in the world. Addressing the climate crisis, President-Elect Joe Biden is now determined to seize the future and leave a healing planet for future generations. “