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Si Biden at ang mga hamon sa patakarang panlabas ay naghihintay sa kanyang administrasyon

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Despite electoral challenges and unprecedented obstruction by the losing side, the US has elected its new president. The upcoming Biden presidency promises a return to traditional foreign policy, after four years of ‘America first’ and ever-so-cold transatlantic relations, sumulat si Cameron Munter, dating embahador ng US sa Pakistan at kay Serbia at dating CEO at pangulo ng EastWest Institute.

“America is back” Biden recently tweeted; a call that almost immediately echoed throughout Brussels, European Ministries and across US democratic strongholds. To make facts meet rhetoric, however, will undoubtedly take more time.

Ang pagkapangulo ng Trump ay minarkahan ng isang lantad na pagtanggi sa multilateralism, na pinakamahusay na naipakita ng patuloy na pagpuna nito sa UN, kung saan paulit-ulit nitong binantaan, at ginawa, pinutol ang pondo, at ang pag-atras ng US mula sa parehong kasunduan sa Paris at kasunduan sa Iran.

This distancing led to a reshuffle in internal relations, with Chancellor Merkel even declaring that Europe could no longer rely on the US for “protection”, in a clear break from the post-War, Marshall Plan fuelled, entanglement of the US with the Old Continent.

The Biden administration’s first port of call will be to ensure this divide was only temporary. Efforts are already under way, with the President-Elect’s first official calls having been to key European leaders.

Gayunpaman, kung ano ang maaaring patunayan na mas mahirap na ayusin, ay ang power vacuum na naiwan ng huling administrasyon. Isang power vacuum na pinagsamantalahan ng ibang mga manlalaro ng internasyonal, walang hihigit sa Russia.

Sa katunayan, ang Panguluhan ng Trump ay minarkahan ng isang paglayo mula sa komprontasyon, Cold-War-namana na relasyon sa Moscow, upang gumawa ng paraan para sa palaging naisip na isang malamang na hindi pagpapares. Karamihan sa mga Amerikano ay maaalala ang panonood ng kanilang Pangulo, sa Moscow, na tinatanggihan ang mga konklusyon mula sa kanyang sariling pamayanan sa intelihensiya upang maipalabas ang Russia sa anumang pagkagambala ng eleksyon.

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But Trump’s America was not so much an ally to Putin’s Russia as it was a weak opponent. This perceived weakness emboldened Moscow’s stances both towards NATO and in the various regional conflicts that plague the former Soviet sphere.

The Biden administration’s greatest challenge will be to re-establish a power dynamic, both with Moscow and the international community, that helps curtail Russia’s expansionist policy.

While Moscow’s destabilization of Ukraine was met with sanctions and US troops in Kiev; Washington has not been consistent in its other responses. The situation in Belarus was left to escalate, with the US gingerly trying to nudge the former Soviet state toward new elections without provoking Moscow. Most recently, the U.S was left to play second fiddle in Nagorno-Karabakh, assisting Russia’s role as an intermediary whilst taking shots at a NATO ally, Turkey, who has arguably also been emboldened by Trump’s leniency.

Gayunpaman, ang halagang binayaran para sa isang mahina sa US sa buong mundo ay marahil pinakamahusay na naipakita hindi ng isang salungatan, ngunit ng mga nagdaang pag-unlad sa Georgia, sa loob ng maraming taon ang sinta ng Caucasus. Isang dating bansa ng Sobiyet sa isang matatag na landas sa demokratikong reporma na kamakailan ay nagpasa ng isang resolusyon na nagpapatunay sa mga hangarin sa pagiging miyembro ng NATO at EU, ngunit ang pag-unlad ay mabilis na mababawi.

Recent elections have seen the ruling party, Georgian Dream, re-elected under controversial circumstances. Georgians have taken the streets to protest voter intimidation, vote buying, and other distortions to the democratic process, which international observers have also called out. Georgian Dream ignores these accusations, comforted in its stance by Pompeo’s recent visit, during which the Secretary of State unironically recognized their victory and announced a strengthening of US-Georgia cooperation.

Ang totoo, sa US na wala pang kasalukuyan, ang Georgia ay nagtutulak palayo sa demokratikong landas nito. Ang Georgian Dream ay nagpasyang gawing normal at palakasin ang mga relasyon sa Moscow, sa laganap na pag-aliw sa mga taga-Georgia. Ang mga lokal na NGO ay nagpasiya ng isang pag-urong ng mga kalayaan sa sibil, sa hangarin ng gobyerno na palawakin ang impluwensya nito sa mga channel ng komunikasyon, impormasyon, at data ng mamamayan.

The government has even gone as far as expropriating one of the country’s leading internet providers, Caucasus Online, from foreign investors that planned to build a fiber-optic pipeline connecting Asia and Europe. This project could turn Georgia into a digital hub for the region, improving internet access for millions of people. But it would also offer an alternative to what are currently exclusively Russian connectivity assets and, after government interference, it is now at risk.

Nariyan ang kahalagahan ng isang malakas na US na nakikibahagi, at nakatuon sa, multilateral order ng mundo.

The Trump administration failed to recognize that America’s greatness lies in its global positive influence as much as in its domestic affairs. The Biden presidency’s biggest challenge will consist in reversing the trend, and re-establishing a multilateral dynamic that keeps Russia, and the democratic drifts it fuels, in check.

Cameron Munter ay ang dating embahador ng US sa Pakistan at kay Serbia at dating CEO at pangulo ng EastWest Institute.

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