May 16, 2021


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Blinken disavows ‘costly military interventions’ to promote democracy

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The Biden administration will seek to change course from “costly military interventions” and policies aimed at regime change in other countries, according to a speech by America’s top diplomat.

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, said in his first major speech on Wednesday since taking office that past US interventions have given “democracy promotion” a bad name and lost the trust of the American people. .

“We will do things differently,” he said in a speech by the US State Department.

“We will not promote democracy through costly military interventions or attempting to overthrow authoritarian regimes by force. We have tried these tactics in the past. As well-intentioned as they are, they didn’t work, ”he added.

The confessions support the Biden administration’s efforts to shape a new foreign policy that breaks with Donald Trump’s “America First” isolationism while seeking to avoid long-standing criticism that Washington is a global policeman in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The United States still has troops in Afghanistan, the scene of its longest war, and maintains troops at more than 500 sites overseas, including Japan, Germany and Bahrain. Biden ordered the first military action of his presidency last week, launching deadly airstrikes on the Shiite militias in Syria.

While Blinken said there was no doubt that American democracy was “fragile,” he also argued that the United States was “only able to bring countries together to solve problems that no country can solve. alone”.

Biden’s team seeks to restore the role of American world leadership in the face of what Washington sees as the threat posed by a rising China modeled on an authoritarian system.

“The world is not organizing,” Blinken said, arguing that the US’s absence from the world stage has led to chaos or alternative leadership that undermines US interests and values.

China was the only country that could “seriously challenge the stable and open international system,” he said, adding, “Where we have withdrawn, China has filled up.

Blinken pledged to stand up for human rights in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, warning, “If we don’t, China will act with even greater impunity.”

Blinken adopted a Taking stock of the Trump era that the treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang region constitutes “genocide,” and has led global efforts to impose punishments on the leaders of the coup in Myanmar.

But the Biden administration is already facing criticism that it has failed to take sufficient punitive action despite promises to put human rights first.

Biden refused to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last week after the release of a U.S. intelligence report that the crown prince had approved an operation to capture or kill a Saudi journalist overseas.

Biden too arrested before sanctioning Russian oligarchs following the alleged poisoning and imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

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