At UN General Assembly, Biden presents an America that will forsake war in favour of ceaseless diplomacy

WASHINGTON: United States President Joe Biden presented before the United Nations on Tuesday an America that will forsake needless wars but would be strong on old and new alliances and partnerships to meet global challenges such as terrorism, climate change and pandemics.
In his first in-person address to the UN General Assembly, Biden acknowledged that the challenges before the world cannot be addressed by force of arms while pledging “an era of relentless diplomacy”.
“The United States will continue to defend itself and its allies against threats, including terrorism, but it would use military power only as a tool of last resort, not the first,” Biden said, asserting that the US military power should not be used “as an answer to every problem we see around the world”.
The US, he added, will be prepared to use force “if it is necessary to defend our vital US national interest, but the mission must be clear and achievable undertaking with informed consent of the American people”, a tacit acknowledgement of the US screw-up in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past two decades.
In rolling back what’s widely seen as Washington’s penchant for ceaseless wars, Biden talked his belief up in vigorous diplomacy, asserting that many of the greatest concerns of today cannot be solved or even addressed through the force of arms. “Bombs cannot defend against the Covid-19, or its future variants… we need a collective act of science and political will,” he said, while pledging to prioritise rebuilding alliances and revitalising partnerships, which he said are essential and central to America’s enduring security and prosperity.
In doing so, he reached out to Washington’s NATO and EU partners who feel undercut by America’s growing Indo-Pacific priorities, even as he spoke of having elevated the Quad partnership among Australia, India, Japan and the United States to take on challenges ranging from health security to climate to emerging technologies.
Biden’s 33-minute address essentially turned America to the pre-Trump days in so far as re-engaging the US on climate change, human rights, and global engagement, all of which the previous President had disdained.
Biden did not explicitly refer to China, but Beijing and its assertive expansionism and depredation were writ between the lines of his address. But even as he talked up Washington’s alliances and partnerships that are transparently aimed at China, Biden maintained that the US is not seeking a new Cold War or dividing the world divided into rigid blocks.
“United States is ready to work with any nation that steps up and pursues peaceful resolution to shared challenges, even if we have intense disagreements, and other areas, because we’ll all suffer the consequences of our failure,” he said.

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