Joe Biden has a rich experience in American politics and foreign policy. He remained in the politics for 43 years-35 years in senate and 8 years as the vice president during Obama’s tenure. He remained sincere with his country throughout his tenure. Although he held public office at the age of 29, he could not afford the expensive cancer treatment of his son. He decided to sell his house for the treatment, but Obama gave him loan from his personal savings. However, he could not save his son, who died afterwards. Thus, keeping in view his characters and experience, he was among the ablest candidates for the seat of presidency.
Joe Biden will either reject or continue the foreign policies of his predecessor based on the national interest of America. His policies will not be unpredictable like Trump. He will most probably follow the traditional approach and try to restore the glory of the US by making an alliance and working closely with all the democratic countries around the globe.
For the better understanding, what will US foreign policy under Joe Biden look like? his plan is divided into the following headings.
- Restoring the global leadership of America:
Joe Biden is against the Trump’s policy of “America First.” According to him, “Trump’s erratic policies have surrendered our position in the world, undermined our democratic alliances, weakened our ability to mobilize others to meet challenges from climate change to nuclear proliferation and threatened our security and our future.” Besides, during his elections campaign, he said that the “America First” policy had resulted in “America Alone” and he would seek to “restore America’s leadership.”
Trump was of an opinion that the global leadership was a source of trouble instead of benefit for the US and he, therefore, diverted his resources to set his own country in order first. However, Joe Biden is thinking in the opposite direction. Undoubtedly, the present glorious position and prestige of the US is because of its role in the global leadership. Giving up this crucial role will eventually decrease its influence in the World and undermine its position of being a super-power state. It is, therefore, Joe Biden will try to restore the global leadership of America by making closer alliances with its old allies and democratic countries to solve global challenges like climate change and maintain its status of the global leader.
- Revival of Iran Nuclear Deal:
Towards Iran as well, Joe Biden’s foreign policy will be in the contrast to his predecessor. He will try hard to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal, which was signed by Obama in 2015 when he was the vice president. He belongs to the democratic party and is staunch supporter of the deal. It was the presidential executive order because the Congress was already against it. As soon as Trump became the president, he withdrew from the agreement in 2018 in a hope of replacing it with a tougher deal.
In an interview with The New York Times, Biden said, “rejoining the landmark agreement is the best way to avoid a nuclear buildup in the region.”
The Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani also said “now, an opportunity has come up for the next U.S. administration to compensate for past mistakes and return to the path of complying with international agreements through respect of international norms,” and return to the course of commitment to international obligations.”
The victory of Biden is a blessing for Pakistan because the reversal of the deal will provide it a golden opportunity to purchase gas from Iran in exchange for wheat, which is already produced in surplus quantity, to address its energy crisis. However, the recent death of Iranian scientists that is tracked back to the US and staunch opposition from Israel, Saudi Arabia and American Congress will make this task more challenging for the new president.
- Continuation of Doha Peace Accord to solve Afghan issue:
Trump’s policy of withdrawing from Afghanistan by holding negotiation with Afghan Taliban was the best practical step to solve the issue. He signed Doha Peace Accord with Afghan Taliban under which Taliban agreed to share power with other ethnic groups and accepted the withdrawal of American forces in installments. It seems that Taliban have also tried of fighting and wanted to bring peace to spend quality of time with their families because they have been away from them since the start of “War on Terror.” it was a reason that The Taliban in Afghanistan urged US President-elect Joe Biden to stay committed to the Doha peace accord signed during the Donald Trump administration.
Joe Biden will most likely to continue the policy of Trump in Afghanistan. He will remain stick to the Doha Peace accord. His opposition to the military solution of Afghanistan can be deduced from his disagreement with Obama in 2009 when the latter ordered the military surge in the region.
Two changings are expected in Afghanistan by the newly elected president Joe Biden. Firstly, he will adopt friendly rhetoric towards Pakistan unlike Trump who went hard on Islamabad every time and raised the mantra of “Do More.” Owing to his practical approach and experience, he knows the importance of Pakistan to solve the issue of Afghanistan. It was the reason that he told Hamid Karzai in 2008, when the latter asked him to berate Pakistani leaders over the issue of Taliban’s sanctuaries there, “Mr. President, Pakistan is fifty times more important than Afghanistan for the United States.” Secondly, Obama kept India at bay in Afghanistan keeping in view Pakistan’s reservations. However, Trump involved New Delhi that annoyed Islamabad. It is more likely that Joe Biden follow Obama as far as Indian involvement in Afghanistan is concerned because he will need Pakistan’s friendly cooperation to bring the Taliban on the negotiation table.
- Berating Modi over his human rights violation in Kashmir
Unlike Trump, Joe Biden will not go easy on Modi over his grave human rights abuses in Kashmir and scraping of the special-status of the disputed region because he consider it against democracy. Trump gave Modi a free hand in Kashmir and remained silent throughout his tenure because he did not care about human rights and it was also his pressure tactic against Pakistan. However, Joe Biden will certainly alter the US policy towards Kashmir because he has already expressed his disappointment over the constitutional amendment that specifically targeted Muslims.
The policy paper, “entitled Agenda for Muslim American community,” which was published on Biden’s campaign website, expressed his ideas about his foreign policy once he is elected as a president of America. The paper says, “In Kashmir, the Indian government should take all necessary steps to restore rights for all the people of Kashmir. Restrictions on dissent, such as preventing peaceful protests or shutting or slowing down the Internet, weaken democracy,”
Besides, first lady Kamala Harris said in 2019, “We have to remind Kashmiris that they are not alone in the world,” and “There is a need to intervene if the situation demands.”
- Challenging policy towards china
The toughest job for Joe Biden will be how to deal with China. Adopting soft approach towards Beijing means giving it a free hand to create its economic and political influence in Asia, Africa and Europe through its Belt-Road-Initiative (BRI) and replace the US as a global leader. Keeping in view the best interest the US, Biden will probably follow the same policy of Trump like trade war, increasing tariffs and making good alliances with the countries of Indo-pacific regions.
Joe Biden may go beyond Trump as far as his policy towards China would be concerned. Trump indulged into one-to-one contest with China. However, Biden has already called for the restoration of American global leadership and making alliances with the democratic countries. It is, therefore, he might involve all the democratic countries in the cold war with china. He will convert bi-polar cold war into the multipolar war. He believes in democracy and will never cooperate with China. Instead, he will further intensify the on going conflicts between the US and China.
Thus, Joe Biden’s US foreign policy will be the combination of his new and continuation of Trump’s strategy. He will reject the policy of Trump towards Iran and Kashmir. He will try to restore the global leadership of America by enhancing cooperation with old allies of America like Europe, Australia, Japan and so on. Besides, he will make a alliance of democratic countries to promote democracy and downplay authoritarian rule. He will probably return to the Iran Nuclear Deal and berate Modi for his grave human rights abuses in Kashmir. Towards China and Afghanistan, there are more chances that he continues the policy of Trump.