1708134330 Harris and Blinken want to reaffirm America39s wounded leadership in

Harris and Blinken want to reaffirm America's wounded leadership in Munich | International

Harris and Blinken want to reaffirm America39s wounded leadership in

Joe Biden's government is facing serious crises in international politics; Congress has been blocking new aid money for Ukraine for months; with a blurred role in the Middle East crisis, where he pushed Benjamin Netanyahu's government to contain it, to no avail. Meanwhile, it continues to arm the Israeli armed forces while relations with its other superpower, China, remain tense and unstable. And at the same time, their allies are watching with concern the rise and isolationist approaches of Republican Donald Trump. At this point, Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have landed at the Munich Security Conference with a mandate to reassure allies and warn adversaries – who are watching the difficult future prospects with a magnifying glass – that, in their opinion, the leadership of the United States is in place and will continue to exist.

“The United States will continue to lead,” Harris said at the end of a speech Friday in the Bavarian city in which, without mentioning him by name, she attacked Trump and the isolationism he promotes. But there are no objective guarantees that this will be the case, neither for those who want it nor for those who hate it. So much so that, faced with crucial aid to Ukraine, Harris could do nothing but praise the latest package adopted by the EU and assure that she and President Biden are working overtime to achieve something similar.

“I know there are doubts about what the United States will do. Whether they will defend the rules that have brought peace and security, or whether they will allow them to be violated; whether he will fight for democracy or accept the rise of dictators,” Harris said, before arguing that the Biden administration is clear about these dilemmas. He did so by emphasizing that it was in the national “strategic interest” of the United States, and in some statements he clearly sought to defend an international policy proposal consistent with the growing nationalist sentiment in this country. Harris claimed the alternative vision promoted by Trump was “dangerous, destabilizing and short-sighted and would weaken the United States.”

No guarantees

But there are no guarantees that this vision will not be implemented and that the United States will retain its global leadership role, whatever the verdict, as Harris promised. That's in the hands of American voters and their ability to convince them of a candidate, Joe Biden, 81, who a special counsel just said suffers from noticeable memory lapses.

There are also no guarantees for current crises. The lack of pressure on Netanyahu's government has earned Biden the disapproval of public opinion in many countries. The paralysis of aid to Ukraine – although not the administration's responsibility – sends signals to the entire planet, which sees a well-placed group of Republican lawmakers under Trump's influence obstructing the House of Representatives in an attempt to paralyze the action largest power in the world in the most important war in decades.

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In a very telling episode in the situation, Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican with longstanding strong support of US global activism and a regular visitor to the Munich Forum, finally gave in to pressure from Trump by voting against the aid package. He also announced his presence at the security conference and replaced it with a trip to the southern border of the United States on the agenda.

Putin's message

Trump dropped a real bombshell a week ago when he said that, in his opinion, Russia “can do whatever it wants” with NATO allies that do not spend the mandatory 2% on defense – including countries like Germany, Italy or Spain.” ” From the outside, another Biden opponent, the Russian Vladimir Putin, seemed to want to send another message to those gathered in Munich by announcing the death of his opponent Alexei Navalni.

Harris and Blinken have scheduled numerous meetings in Munich with allies and key partners, including Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, to try to address concerns and advance projects. Everyone is watching.

The financial crisis of 2008, the failed (in this case also illegal) interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the reluctance to enforce the red lines marked in Syria, the dysfunction of its political system and other episodes of recent years have convinced many of the power the USA is clearly in decline.

But at the same time, the US economy recovered and now has a good pulse, continuing to be the cradle of technological excellence, while Washington has orchestrated a response to the invasion of Ukraine that Putin clearly did not expect, while strengthening ties with allies and expanded relations with other countries, such as the Philippines.

This balance of light and shadow is now at stake and at risk of complete failure if the United States cannot continue to support Ukraine or if it proves unwilling or unable to enforce what it says it will – containment – in Gaza and Pilot a kind of negotiated solution to this conflict. It is at these tables that the legacy of the Biden administration is playing out, and around them there is much diplomacy in the hallways of the Bayerischer Hof, the hotel that traditionally hosts the conference that celebrates its anniversary this year, and the surrounding area.

What comes next, perhaps Trump, is another question. Everyone is preparing, although perhaps not with the necessary intensity. This is the central debate among European heads of state and government.

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