Declaring “America is back,” US President-elect Joe Biden introduced selections for his national security team on Tuesday, his first offering of how he’ll shift from the Trump administration’s “America First” policies.
During a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said that his team would “embody my core believes that America is strongest when it works with its allies.”
In rolling out his national security picks, including tops posts for State Department and Department of Homeland Security, Biden said the nominees show “experience and leadership, fresh thinking and perspective and an unrelenting believe in the promise of America.”
The president-elect’s team includes Antony Blinken, a veteran foreign policy hand well-regarded on Capitol Hill whose ties to Biden go back some 20 years, for secretary of state; lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security secretary; veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and Obama White House alumnus Jake Sullivan as national security adviser.
If confirmed, Avril Haines would be the first female director of national intelligence and Alejandro Mayorkas the first Latino homeland security boss.
The president-elect highlighted the need to rebuild alliances, as well as tackling coronavirus and climate change. The cabinet choices he had named reflect “the fact that America is back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it”, suggesting a move away from the “America First” narrative of Donald Trump.
“We cannot meet these challenges with old thinking and unchanged habits,” he said.
Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, herself making history as the first woman in the role, appeared to refer to the previous administration when saying Biden would be “guided by facts and expect our team to tell the truth no matter what”.
Many of the choices are Biden’s colleagues from the Barack Obama administrations.
He urged the Senate to give his nominees who require confirmation by the chamber “a prompt hearing” and expressed hope he could work with Republicans “in good faith to move forward for the country.”
Rita Osakwe/Agency Reports