President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday began naming his cabinet officials and advisors for six important posts to serve his government for the next four years.
With his pick of nominees for Secretary of State, National Intelligence Director, Homeland Security secretary, National Security Advisor and envoys for Climate Change and the United Nations, Biden declared that "America is back."
The candidates appear to reflect the diversity, strength of experience and diplomacy that will undo four years of President Trump and America First.
We discuss today how these key figures would lead the country's foreign policy.
I'm joined by Charles Zelden, Professor of History and Political Science at Nova Southeastern University.
We also connect with Brendon O'Connor, Associate Professor of American Politics at the University of Sydney.
Dr. Zelden: How do Biden's pick of cabinet nominees set the tone for the incoming administration's foreign policy, compared to the Trump administration? How does Biden's pick for Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, in particular, compare to Trump's first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson?
2. Dr. O'Connor: How do Biden's candidates set the tone for the incoming administration's foreign policy, compared to the Trump adminstration?
Dr. Zelden: Joe Biden tweeted that "America is back". But to what extent will America be back, (especially when it's planning to pull troops out of Afghanistan)? How will his cabinet address conflicts, human rights abuses, and the unsettling rise of autocratic leaders in the world?
4. Dr. O'Connor: Do you think Blinken as secretary of state would be more inclined to prioritize Trans-Atlantic issues, over the Indo-Pacific region? How important is it for America to cooperate more with its allies in the Indo-Pacific region, and what are the key areas you think they should focus on?
To both: Would having seasoned officials like John Kerry, who served as Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017, help deescalate tensions with China although he was of course chosen to be Biden's top envoy for the climate agenda?
Dr. Zelden: With the Trump administration, we saw conflicting messages from the National Security Advisor and the State Department on North Korea policy. Will things be more stable with the Biden administration, having Jake Sullivan who is knowledgeable about the Korean Peninsula as National Security Advisor?
Dr. O'Connor: How do you think Blinken and Jake Sullivan would approach the North Korea crisis, and a denuclearization deal? How willing are they to resume talks and what would the process look like, compared to the Trump administration?
Dr. Zelden: It looks like Biden's filling his cabinet with experienced moderates. Is he playing it safe in case the Senate races in Georgia lead to a Republican majority?
That was Charles Zelden, Professor of History and Political Science at Nova Southeastern University and Brendon O'Connor, Associate Professor of American Politics at the University of Sydney.