Crisis Ignored, Assistance Revived
In this edition: A brief edition this week. (1) Afghanistan withdrawal “unconditional.” (2) Biden flips on immigration, and then flops. (3) Biden’s budget request re-ups on foreign aid. (4) Secretary
In this edition: A brief edition this week. (1) Afghanistan withdrawal “unconditional.” (2) Biden flips on immigration and then flops. (3) Biden’s budget request re-ups on foreign aid. (4) Secretary Blinken argues for the U.S. to embrace a “leadership” role on climate.
The big foreign policy news of the week is that President Biden said the U.S. troops will withdraw by Sept 11th, a historically meaningful date. This surprised me given that the Congressional reports had recommended remaining until an exit option that wouldn’t undo the gains in female empowerment and other humanitarian goals, especially since the Taliban has not (*surprise) lived up to its end of the Doha agreement. And the early indicators were that Biden favored remaining. Biden, who was an early supporter of the Afghanistan war, is making a bid for a progressive legacy on foreign policy. It’s unpopular with the press, especially outlets like Foreign Policy and the WSJ.
Some other items:
As the world teeters into insecurity and the historic numbers of forced migrants poise to rise, the U.S. still can’t seem to come to an ethical, sustainable policy on immigration. The Democratic party is unprepared to handle it. The Biden administration, for instance, had said it would keep the Trump-era 15,000 cap on refugees, before immediately reverting. James Traub, in the pages of Foreign Policy, explained that Biden’s border policy has pandered to nativism instead of tackling the political crisis on America’s southern border. We need to decide, Traub said, how to “reconcile moral obligation with political reality;” he argues for satellite visa and asylum offices in Mexico.
Biden’s FY22 budget proposal request included significant increases to foreign aid.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken gave a speech before the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to make the case for America to embrace a “leadership” role in climate. From the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Accords, the U.S. has trailed behind other countries. As a top producer of natural gas, the country is one that needs to take a role in advocating for the dismantling of the fossil fuel global infrastructure, among other things, instead of propping it up. COVID-19 led to an unprecedented drop in emissions, but it won’t last unless active steps are taken to encourage green infrastructure.