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It is diplomacy, stupid!

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By Yun Byung-se

Two years ago, Bill Burns, the then-president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and now the CIA director, criticized President Donald Trump for what he termed, "the demolition of U.S. diplomacy," in his article in Foreign Affairs magazine. This assessment seemed to reflect the thinking of not just the Biden camp but also of the mainstream of America.

It was no wonder that President Joe Biden, only two weeks after his inauguration, declared in his speech before State Department officials that "America is back. Diplomacy is back at the center of our foreign policy." The Biden administration chose diplomacy as the principal tool of U.S. foreign and national security policy, integrating all the other elements of national power. Under this approach, economic security is, in and of itself, national security and "foreign policy for the middle class" chimes in well as a compelling slogan.

Putting aside the evaluation of his performance thus far, it seems that President Biden has invested considerable energy in revitalizing U.S. diplomacy, placing the country back at the head of the table and working with its allies and partners on bilateral, regional and global issues.

His administration has put a particular emphasis on rehabilitating trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific alliances and partnerships, as well as on reestablishing the U.S. as the leader of global agendas, such as regarding climate change, the global pandemic, democracy and nuclear non-proliferation. It was not without friction, though, as in the case of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the invention of the Australia-U.K.-U.S. (AUKUS) partnership.

As strategic........

© The Korea Times

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