T2B17: Xiden 4


Now that Biden has won, ‘Green New Deal’ talk has started throughout the world, India being no exception. My friend and colleague Harini Nagendra has an op-ed in the Indian Express about a ‘New Green Deal’:

Liberal and Confucian Expansionism

Biden is packing his team with ‘sure hands’ - John Kerry, Ron Klain, Antony Blinken etc - Obama people for the most part. All of which points to a renewed emphasis on liberal internationalism (or liberal expansionism if you haven’t drunk the Koolaid). The headline below should give you a sense for the ‘Hail Mary’ nature of this effort:

For the non-Americans reading this, ‘Hail Mary’ is a term used in American Football to describe a last second play to save the game. Watch Doug Flutie win it for BC:

We have a planetary Hail Mary situation with climate change. Kerry’s appointment as climate czar and adding that position to the National Security Council is interesting:

The appointment of Mr. Kerry not only as a roving diplomat but also as a sitting member of Mr. Biden’s National Security Council elevates the issue of climate change to the highest echelons of government, and indicates that the incoming administration intends to treat “the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat that it is,” Mr. Kerry said in a statement.

It’s great the CC is getting the recognition is deserves. The bad news is that CC has become a national security threat and we know what happens when anything becomes a national security threat.

But it’s hard to give up on making the world liberal again; we have the NYT saying:

It boils down to whether Mr. Biden should pursue the kind of foreign policy one might have expected in an Obama “third term” — one marked by caution, repairing alliances and an avoidance of talk of new Cold Wars — or one that pursues new, more confrontational paths in recognition of how much global competition has changed over the past four years, starting with China.

Note the emphatic nature of the last line - ‘starting with China.’ No chance Biden can back away from this fight. He has some good news from unexpected quarters - even though Trump spent the last four years dissing the Atlantic and Pacific partnerships, the Chinese scored a self-goal with COVID.

There’s enormous anger against China in Europe and Asia - especially because China is seen as recovering nicely, unlike them - and Biden can use that anger to revive ailing partnerships. Not that MLGA has an easy path ahead or if it’s viable - the strategy of hiring the best and the brightest may backfire. Criticism has already started and expect the issue to become a 2024 campaign topic if Biden falters.

Let’s see what happens.

Confucian expansionism is also in full swing with the One Belt One Road Initiative - OBOR. I know next to nothing about OBOR besides flashy stories (pro as well as con); the commitment to writing about it gives me some incentive to understand its structure.

First update tomorrow.