An extensive new report published today on U.S. national security says it would be a mistake to ignore the outgoing administration’s foreign policy in the aftermath of last week’s riot in Washington D.C.
The report, by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said last week’s violence “will forever tarnish” Trump’s place in U.S. history, and it issued a set of recommendations for the incoming Biden administration that it says it should follow.
“On top of all the other outrages, large and small, associated with his tenure, there will no doubt be a powerful instinct among the incoming Biden administration to recoil from everything associated with the 45th president, including the entirety of his foreign policy,” the report states.
But that “would be a serious mistake,” according to the foundation.
The report does contain criticism of some of the Trump administration’s foreign policy, it also notes that its authors find instances in which Trump’s initiatives had merit in terms of advancing American interests and are “worthy of being maintained or built upon by the Biden administration.”
In part, it called for the further reining in of Beijing’s ambitions at the United Nations and other international organizations, where China has led successful campaigns to deepen its sphere of influence.
The foundation report, titled From Trump to Biden: The Way Forward for U.S. National Security, takes a deep dive into foreign policy failures and successes of the Trump administration and lists recommendations for the incoming administration.
Richard Goldberg a senior research fellow at the foundation and author of the chapter on international organizations, told Fox News that, “China’s campaign to exploit international organizations won’t be taking a break just because America is in a presidential transition.” He wrote that “this is one area where there is overwhelming bipartisan support, a clear U.S. national security interest and the opportunity for a Biden administration to work multilaterally with U.S. allies to counter China’s malign influence.”
Goldberg wrote that the Trump administration’s efforts to counter U.S. adversaries had mixed results at international organizations, which he said was due to a lack of a comprehensive strategy and a reliance on ad-hoc campaigns targeting international organizations of interest.
This lack of strategy was especially ineffective in 2017 during the election for director-general of the World Health Organization when Beijing’s candidate Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus beat out his British challenger, he wrote. After the WHO’s mishandling of the initial COVID-19 outbreak and the perceived influence Beijing had over Tedros, President Trump withdrew from the organization last year.
Goldberg stated that the administration learned from the 2017 WHO mistake and China’s racking up of victories at various U.N. bodies, including the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and at other U.N. specialized agencies and bodies. It moved a career diplomat from the State Department to the Bureau of International Organization Affairs to spearhead efforts to counter China’s malign influences at the U.N. in 2020.
The United States succeeded in successfully campaigning to defeat China’s candidate to lead the World Intellectual Property Organization last March and succeeded in getting the U.S.-backed candidate elected to run the International Atomic Energy Agency in late 2019.
Goldberg believes the Biden administration should work to implement a wide-ranging and comprehensive strategy to contain Beijing’s influence.
Those policies should include holding China accountable for its human rights abuses as part of a campaign Security Council and other U.N. organizations; pushing for Taiwan’s membership in U.N. agencies, increasing the number of Americans working in senior positions within United Nations agencies and a full review of the procurement of Chinese goods and services made by the U.N.
Goldberg writes that a Biden administration should appoint a special coordinator for upcoming elections at the international organizations, and that person should directly report to the Secretary of State.
A former senior U.S. government official told Fox News that he was not just hopeful, but was expecting the new administration “to act accordingly, and without hesitation when it comes to China.”
He said the Trump administration succeeded in stopping such exploitation by other states that were looking to seize upon leadership opportunities at the world body and called that policy a major victory. He cited the example of China not winning the intellectual property organizaion election as a huge win for the administration.
The former official said his advice to the Biden team is to build a coalition of like-minded countries at the U.N. that are defensive about authoritarian impulses and can take on China’s ambitions that include hijacking the U.N. brand itself.
Biden advised against dismissing all of Trump’s foreign policy achievements in China The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Fox News.