Biden signals US diplomatic shift with new team
WASHINGTON, Nov 24: President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced a foreign policy and national security team crammed with veterans from the Barack Obama years, signalling an end to the upheaval under President Donald Trump and a return to traditional US diplomacy.
Top of the list was former State Department number two Antony Blinken, tapped for secretary of state. Biden also named the first female head of intelligence, the first Latino chief of Homeland Security and a heavyweight pointman on climate issues -- Obama-era top diplomat John Kerry.
As Trump continued to make flailing attempts at overturning the results of the election three weeks ago, Biden's rollout of cabinet names was his biggest step yet signaling he is ready to change America's direction on January 20.
The list put out by Biden's team ahead of a formal announcement Tuesday demonstrated a push to bring back the US role of leader in multilateral alliances, in contrast to Trump's "America first" regime.
"They will rally the world to take on our challenges like no other -- challenges that no one nation can face alone," Biden tweeted. "It's time to restore American leadership."
Blinken, a longtime advisor to Biden, will spearhead a fast-paced dismantling of Trump's go-it-alone policies, including rejoining the Paris climate agreement and the World Health Organization and resurrecting the Obama-crafted Iran nuclear deal.
Biden named the first woman, Avril Haines, as director of national intelligence, and Cuban-born Alejandro Mayorkas to head the Department of Homeland Security, the agency whose policing of tough immigration restrictions under Trump was a frequent source of controversy.
Signalling the Democratic president-elect's campaign promise to raise the profile of global warming threats, he named Kerry as a new special envoy on climate issues. -AFP