- GS-2: Policies and politics of developed and developing countries
Foreign Policy Doctrine of Biden
Context: The Afghanistan war has formally ended. Its end has led to a new foreign policy doctrine for the US. In his recent speech US President Biden laid out the principal components of the doctrine.
What are the criticisms of Biden Afghan Policy?
- When Biden decided to withdraw US military from Afghanistan, he did it abruptly without providing preparing the Afghan Military and Afghan Government.
- The frustration was about how the military withdrawal was executed, not about the withdrawal per se.
- Critics argue that US had the option of keeping a small force in Afghanistan and maintaining air support for the Afghan National Army. It would have at least kept the stand-off going, and not handed a victory to the Taliban.
- Also, the Afghanistan intervention was a NATO-supported military enterprise. It is not clear that Biden consulted European allies before deciding to withdraw. Biden’s unilateral withdrawal doesn’t sit well with his support for multilateralism.
- Thousands of Afghan allies were left behind in a situation all too vulnerable to the Taliban’s aggression. This is bound to create great uneasiness in Taiwan and Japan.
- Taiwan’s security functions under an American umbrella. Given the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and its tiredness with war, there are doubts in Taiwan whether US will provide firm support to it in the face of Chinese aggression.
What are the key Components of the new Doctrine?
- Containing China and Russia will be the focus of US foreign policy under him.
- Cyber security is a new mode of warfare and must be given prime attention.
- America’s counter-terrorism project will not be pursued via soldiers on the ground. Instead, “over the horizon” capabilities, meaning satellites and unmanned drones, will be the predominant instruments.
- External military deployment will not have the purpose of Nation-making or democracy-building. It at all it is deployed, it will have clear and achievable goals strictly limited to security, not extending to larger politics.
- Security will not include counter-insurgency, meaning long-term military involvement in a civil war.
- Democracy and human rights will continue to be key drivers of foreign policy, but economic tools and diplomacy will be the main methods for achieving such goals. Countries cannot be forced to be free & democratic via military means.
How is the doctrine different from that of previous President Donal Trump?
- For Donald Trump, bringing the US military back home, withdrawal from alliances and unilateralism were important goals.
- The Present President Biden would strengthen alliances, but bring the armed force back from areas where they have ceased to serve “vital national interest”.
- This implies that American military deployment in Japan and South Korea will continue, for these are aimed at balancing China.
Connecting the dots: