Joe Biden’s administration published the first National Security Manual. This is a collection of theses, based on which the team of the new US president is going to implement the foreign policy program. Basically, the “Guide” contained general words about the value of democracy and diplomacy, but there were also important revelations related to Russia and China.
Much has already been saying about the priority role of foreign policy in Biden’s rule, and for good reason. During his tenure as a senator, the current American president headed the committee on international relations and certainly has a very rich foreign policy experience.
The inaugural president is known to have paid his first visit to the Department of State, and shortly thereafter continued to focus on foreign policy: his administration published the National Security Manual, which reflects the priority values and dangers of the United States.
The document named American democracy as the “main fundamental advantage” of the United States. It is emphasized by Joe Biden, emphasizing its priority in the preface.
“There are those who argue that autocracy is the best way forward. And there are those who understand that democracy is necessary to solve all the problems of our changing world. We must prove that our model is not a relic of history. And if we work together with our democratic partners, with strength and confidence, we will meet every challenge and outstrip every challenger,” wrote the US President.
In addition to the passage about the key role of democracy, the document says a lot about abstract things.
“Military force should be the last resort, not the first”, “it is necessary to use military potential wisely”, “diplomacy is a first-use tool” – these are all beautiful phrases behind which nothing is hidden. There are most of them in the document, but it also contains interesting statements about specific problems.
First, the issue of the military presence in the Middle East became a key theme in the national security strategy.
On this issue, Joe Biden, at least in words, fully agrees with Donald Trump. He declares the need to “end endless wars”, and also almost literally repeats one of the theses of his predecessor: “economic security is national security.” This thesis was the main one for all four years of Trump’s presidency and remained in the document after the change of power.
Second, nuclear deterrence is recognized as a national priority for the United States. Trump’s activities led to the fact that of all the treaties between the United States and Russia, only START III remained, which was due to expire soon. Biden has pledged to “end the costly arms race and restore the US as a leader in arms control.” In this direction, one can expect the conclusion of new agreements, including with the participation of China.
Third, countering cyberattacks will become one of the most important areas in American defensive strategy. The document calls cybersecurity nothing more than an “imperative of the entire government” and promises to “create a safe and reliable Internet environment for all Americans.” Who the Democrats consider the main threat in this direction, after the hysteria about the “Russian hackers”, perhaps, there is no need to explain.
Fourth, the document clearly shows the reform of the military budget. According to the Homeland Security Guidelines, the United States will “shift the focus from unnecessary legacy weapons systems to freeing up resources for investment in advanced technology.” In fact, this means that the United States suspects that some of its adversaries may have a technological advantage, and this situation cannot be allowed.
By the way, about the opponents. The National Security Manual is very clear about the threats to the United States of America from other actors in international politics.
China is recognized as the main enemy in the international arena. The Biden government believes that the Celestial Empire “is capable of throwing a serious challenge to a stable and open international system.”
Apart from China, special attention is paid to Russia. Our country is also viewed as a foreign policy adversary that invests a lot of resources in containing US influence on the world stage. Most likely, warming in relations should not be expected, but one can hope for stability: Biden will try to create a new stable system of agreements to replace the one that Trump actually destroyed.
Iran and North Korea are among the lesser threats. In relation to these countries, Trump applied a policy of “maximum pressure”, trying to get them to accept US demands. Joe Biden promised to abandon this practice: America will again build a dialogue with its opponents. In this respect, diplomacy can really come to the fore.