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The Trump trap: Biden’s own rhetoric has cornered him into carrying on Trump’s foreign policy

16 12 20

If one listens to Joe Biden and his closest national security advisors, all it will take to undo four years of Trump-era foreign policy is a few dozen strokes of the pen. According to the plan, the presumptive president-elect will sign off on a series of executive orders which reverse the course charted by Trump, returning America back to the path of greatness derived from undisputed global leadership that had been the trademark of the Obama years, when Biden reigned as vice president and Barack’s right-hand man.

Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, the Iran nuclear agreement and the World Health Organization are all actions Biden can take as soon as he takes office. Reversing Trump’s troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and halting the redeployment of US forces from Germany are also high on Biden’s ‘to do’ list. However, simply reversing a decision made over the course of the past four years does not reset the clock; for example, the world has moved on regarding climate change, with nations like China taking the lead in promulgating plans for reaching a “carbon zero” posture by 2060. Biden claims he can do this by 2050, but American domestic political reality, shaped by an economy fine-tuned by Trump and inherently resistant to the kind of economic change that would need to occur to make the Biden climate change plan viable, may have something to say about that timetable.

The Iran nuclear deal finds Biden trapped by his own hardline rhetoric, setting conditions that are as unrealistic as they are unobtainable (for instance, requiring Iran to renegotiate key aspects of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as a pre-condition for the US rejoining that pact). Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, recognizing the bad position Biden’s mouth has placed its owner in, has wisely noted that Iran can return to its JCPOA commitments simply by Biden signing an executive order cancelling the Trump sanctions. This is one executive order Biden likely will not sign, because it requires him to certify the JCPOA as being good as written, something he has already articulated against.

One of the first decisions Biden will be compelled to make upon assuming the presidency is how to proceed on the........

© RT.com

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