Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Biden & those multiple Trump sanctions: what now?

The wokerati seem to have invested a lot in Biden, and maybe with good reason as regards domestic policy; but is he going to turn out to be a Hillary-style hawk abroad?

Of particular interest to me is whatever is going to be the successor to Trump's fairly determined policy on blocking Nord Stream 2, the substantial Russian / Gazprom gas pipeline project designed strategically to outflank comprehensively their own former Ukrainian export route.  Germany of course is the intended landfall, and Germany has long stuck doggedly to its own wholly self-interested Russia policy, in the face of widespread unease and often downright condemnation elsewhere.  And yet Germany is exceptionally keen to cozy up to Biden, hoping he'll be both friendly and not overly concerned to make them step up to the plate as regards NATO contributions.

Then there's China ... and Iran ... was there a single global hotspot at which Trump wasn't throwing America's considerable sanction-clout around?  However much bravado the three target-countries muster, they do all suffer under sanctions to a greater (Iran) or lesser (China) extent.  If you've ever done any business where a sanctions-related issue arises, you'll know how paranoid mainstream western companies are about "transgressing" unilateral US diktats.  And of course most other western nations have broadly similar top-level policy goals as the USA in these matters anyway, even if no intention (or ability) to pursue them with as much (or any) vigour.

What will be the successor-policies under the new US regime?  Hillary Clinton's reputation in many quarters is that of an outright warmonger, so being a Democrat isn't per se much of an indication.  And then there are the Biden family's, ahem, *wider interests* ...

ND

16 comments:

Thud said...

Amongst the chaos and the non stop attacks Trump did some good work and Biden has to decide how to row back sanctions etc without appearing weak or bought....good luck with that slow Joe.The statement from Pompeo last night declaring China a racist or whatever state also leaves a big stinking pile for Joe to fix....does he apologise?

Unknown said...

I fear that Biden's foreign policy will be as disastrous as Carter's and Obama's. The next four years will be depressing.

Don Cox

dearieme said...

" Hillary Clinton's reputation in many quarters is that of an outright warmonger, so being a Democrat isn't per se much of an indication."

I don't see what you mean. Until W broke the pattern it was the Dems who were the war party (just as they had been the party of slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation).

Anomalous Cowshed said...

Well, I guess Biden and the Democrats won't do anything much - except to maintain the status quo achieved under Trump. Although there's one hell of a temptation to roll-back to the state under Obama.

Best guess : the Republicans have a tendency to primarily measure success in terms of foreign policy (Reagan : the Fall of the Berlin Wall, collapse of the Soviet Union; Bush I : ousting Iraq from Kuwait; Bush II :the War on Terror, Afghanistan and Gulf War v2.0), and domestic policy is secondary. The Democrats are the reverse - domestic policy success is primary, foreign secondary.

So, sod all will happen.


Graeme said...

Looking back at Obama and Clinton, it's hard to see what they did right domestically. Making health insurance available to all but much more expensive for most was only great for the insurance companies. What did Clinton do?

dearieme said...

"What did Clinton do?"

It all depends on what you do mean by "do".

Anonymous said...

And "who" (or "whom").

Elby the Beserk said...

dearieme said...
" Hillary Clinton's reputation in many quarters is that of an outright warmonger, so being a Democrat isn't per se much of an indication."

I don't see what you mean. Until W broke the pattern it was the Dems who were the war party (just as they had been the party of slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation).

4:04 pm
======================================================

That was Democrats 1.0.

This is Democrats 2.0

And Hillary Clinton is unspeakable. And clearly above the law. Good luck America. The notion that Biden can heal (if he doesn't forget where the key to the medicine cabinet is) America is laughable. The split is now to deep and wide, after the election shenanigans. I'm a dreadful forecaster, but I can only see things getting worse. Antifa must be jubilant

Anonymous said...

Antifa jubilant? And China too!

Which brings us back to the original question.

andrew said...

I imagine biden will be nice to iran in the hope they make mischief that is not pointed at russia.

I do not think it is in the us interest to break russia as they did with the ussr, but if they carry on like this someone will push back.

Anonymous said...

Is EU energy policy going to be dictated by a poll-fixing autocrat supported by rich oligarchs?

Or are they just going to continue with Putin and Nord Stream 2.

CityUnslicker said...

Antifa were busy attacking the Democrat HQ in Portland yesterday.

"where is my seat at the table now I have done all the looting and burning for you?"

jim said...

A couple of thoughts. Will the US continue to put a crimp in China's tech ambitions? Thinking of blocks on semiconductor products and software tools to develop semiconductors. One theory is that the US is so far ahead China can never catch up - possibly. Reverse engineering is very quick. The US stays ahead because it is a successful rich country, but as Covid shows the US is weak in mass healthcare and social cohesion is poor. Vulnerable to pandemics.

Anyway back to economics, is it such a smart idea to force China into developing a fully competitive semicon industry? That holds the risk of overtaking especially if China can advance in AI-on-a-chip.

Then we have Iran. A country without anything anyone wants. So what if it gets a nuke, a nuke is a useless expensive toy that imposes a big burden on its owner. To say nothing of Israel and Saudi getting more than a bit jumpy. Perhaps Iran should look to N Korea, snuggle up to a big powerful friend and make sure you can (possibly) knock off NYK or Seattle whenever it chooses. That way you get left in peace.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it Biden is just a figure head President - his job will be to read the words written for him on the teleprompter and sign the documents that are put in front of him.

Who's going to be in control and making the real decisions - I assume Susan Rice will be a key player. I suspect the next 4 years will really just be Obama's unofficial third term.

Given Biden's Defence Secretary nominee - Lloyd Austin - is on the board of Raytheon gives a clue to as the direction things may go.

Anyone want to guess where the first invasion will occur and what the unintended consequences will be? Caliphate 2.0 maybe?

Anonymous said...

"One theory is that the US is so far ahead China can never catch up"

China - average IQ 105, nearly a billion people
US - 98 and falling as they import people from lower-IQ countries

https://brainstats.com/average-iq-by-country.html

"US ... social cohesion is poor"

And getting poorer at a fair rate of knots.

The UK isn't in any position to point fingers, mind. Demography is destiny.

Anonymous said...

The main priority for the Democrats is getting re-elected. Biden plans to give US citizenship (and hence voting rights) to an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.

That means 11 million new Democrat voters. They won't even have to rig the elections next time. The covered-up fraud in the "swing states" got them over the line and into power. From now on, it is all plain sailing.