It took days for Biden to be declared the winner of the presidential election because the race was tight in key battleground states, but still he won, and as commander in chief he has broad latitude to put forward his own foreign policy and national security agenda.
Here’s who Biden should select for the key posts:
There was no “blue wave” that some had predicted and Republicans may well retain control of the Senate, so Biden will have to pick his confirmation battles carefully as he selects his cabinet.
Biden should advance Flournoy’s nomination to be secretary of defense as soon as is feasible.
This national security team would signal to the world that Biden wants to restore America’s place in the world as the first among equals in a rules-based international order that has served American interests so well since World War II.
(Disclosure: I have reported on national security issues in Washington DC for more than two-and-half decades, so I know many of the current and former officials mentioned in this story; some well and others only slightly.)
Here’s what policies Biden should pursue:
Biden’s national security team should also bring badly needed regular order to American national security decisions that are now often made by presidential tweet rather than by the deliberations of the National Security Council.
What is the strategic benefit of all this geopolitical trumpery to the United States? It has never been clear, although it’s certainly long been a key aim of Russian President Vladimir Putin to weaken the NATO alliance.
At the same time, Biden should make it clear to Putin that the Russian leader’s bromance with Trump was an aberration in US foreign policy and that the US will take a strong stand on any interference in American electoral processes–including by indicting and sanctioning any of Putin’s allies who are involved in these activities.
Above all, Biden should be, as he has promised, the leader of all Americans, not just the ones who voted for him.