Hope waxes eternal. And so it is, for the United States and the rest of the world, with the swearing in of Joe Biden on 20th January as the 46th POTUS. P
Even as a Panglossian optimist, Joe Biden is one man, albeit a powerful man. Despite his surfeit of empathy, compassion and collaborative bent, he retains the political, economic and military might of the U.S. at his beck and call. His global world view, honed on years of political exposure is as cogent as his empathy. His use of hard power and soft power will come in equal doses, and as strategic circumstances warrant.
Yet the World that has embraced Biden, will not be far different from the World of yesteryears under Donald Trump. The extant global challenges will persist. America will need to fix its homegrown challenges before looking outwardly. It must grapple with the universality of global terrorism, knowing that the enemy within is far more dangerous. The only difference, is that past alliances built on trust are bound to return to the familiar trajectory. Biden will not underline Pax Americana – but he cannot gloss over it.
The Joe Biden understands pecking orders and priorities. He has enunciated his ranking of such challenges and the so-called “cascading crises” as he saw them: the Covid 19 virus, climate change, growing inequality, racism, America’s global standing and an attack on truth and democracy. Biden will tackle these crises in their cascading order of priority. These American challenges are inextricably linked to a multiplicity of global challenges. Perhaps, as in the past, if Washington sneezes, the world will catch a cold – and for good reasons.
What the world owes the Biden-Harris administration is time and patience. Time to settle down; and patience to pull back derailed and derailing global structures especially those pertaining to collective security. Biden will also need ample patience to restore the trust deficit that Trump so easily amassed globally.
The world according to Biden, will not be to far removed from the globalized world which Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barrack Obama confronted and Trump fractured unapologetically. U. S. friends and foes can count on doing serious business with Biden. However, those who might try to “mess” with Biden and the U.S., will be accorded the “shock and awe” that is the resolve skillset of U.S. as a global superpower.
Meanwhile, Biden’s inaugural speech was measured, uplifting and a salve on many wounded and hurt global mindset. He successfully reassured the world that of his resolve to repudiate the grueling and agonizing four years of mistrust foisted on the world by his predecessor. -OHO
Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.
Selonnes Consult Ltd. is a Strategic Policy, Good Governance and Management Consulting Firm, founded by Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze who served as Secretary to Anambra State Government from 2012-2015; a United Nations official from 1991-2012 and a Nigerian Foreign Service Officer from 1982-1991.