IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 7th Nov 2020

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see.” – Confucius

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020-21.

EDITORIAL HUNT #230 :“The “New normal” after the Trumpian era | UPSC

The “New normal” after the Trumpian era | UPSC

SUHASINI.H
The “New normal” after the Trumpian era | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Biden, India and comfort in the old normal

      CENTRAL THEME:

In general, India could still be in a sweet spot if there is political change and a new administration in the U.S.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : IR

      MAINS QUESTION:

India will be a safe spot for the new administration of U.S. in terms of socio-economic-political engagements . Discuss -(GS 2)

      LEARNING: 

  • Recollecting History
  • Roots of Obama-Biden Era
  • Friction Areas
  • International Outlook

      INTRODUCTION: 

  • THE TRIUMPH : With U.S. Democratic candidate and former Vice-President Joe Biden seizing the lead in the presidential elections that puts him at the cusp of victory,
  • ALL FOCUS IN : The attention in India turns to what kind of foreign policy changes he will bring to India-U.S. relations.

      BODY: 

RECOLLECTING HISTORY

VICE-PRESIDENT : JOSEPH BIDEN

  • HISTORY HOLD SOME CLUES : In September 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama had tasked his Vice-President, Joseph Biden, with building an alternative plan to Afghanistan.

U.S. Generals who were pushing for the “surge” or an influx of up to 400,000 troops to win the war in Afghanistan.

  • PEACE AND DIPLOMACY IN MIND : Mr. Biden fought long and hard, building on multiple visits to the region, and suggested that the U.S. did not need more troops.
  • BIDEN’s ROLL OUT PLAN : Instead it needed to pull out, and focus on a five-point agenda for what he called “Counter-terrorism Plus”.
  • OBAMA’S WARS : It included a full focus on al-Qaeda, exiting other counterinsurgency missions and dropping the Bush era “nation-building” theme.

This reducing U.S. bases to just two or three, and fighting the Taliban with a view to bringing them to the table for reconciliation.
 

  • PAKISTAN’S HIGHEST CIVILIAN HONOURS : On Pakistan, a country that gave Biden one of its highest civilian honours, the Hilal-e-Pakistan, Mr. Biden favoured a policy of engagement in order to deal with the Taliban.
  • OBAMA’S EXECUTION : Eventually, Mr. Obama did not go with the Biden plan, and ended up with following the military’s plan for a surge of about 33,000 extra troops instead.
  • A DECADE LATER : It was President Donald Trump who picked up ideas similar to the Biden plan.

He ordered a large-scale pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan to build a reconciliation process with the Taliban.

ROOTS IN THE OBAMA-BIDEN ERA

  • ERA OF STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP : For India, this would mean some comfort in the continuity a Biden administration will show over the U.S. policy with India, strategic and otherwise.
  • INDIA-U.S. VISION STATEMENT : While Mr. Trump owned the Indo-Pacific policy , the policy owes its origins to the Obama-Biden administration that first focused on “Asia-Pacific” in order to counter Chinese inroads in the region.
  • MILITARY PUSH : It is also likely that Mr. Biden will build on the military foundational agreements with India, strengthen military cooperation and push the sale of U.S. military hardware.
  • TRADE : Mr. Biden can dial back many of the measures that Mr. Trump has put into motion.

EXAMPLE
Restoring India’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) status for exporters.

  • VISA ARRANGEMENTS : Mr. Biden has an in-house understanding of the value of Indian immigrants to the U.S., and the importance of India’s outsourcing industry to the U.S., through his running mate Kamala Harris.

FRICTION AREAS

  • A PENDING REVIEW : India’s pending review by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom ; Democratic Party is in leadership.
  • VOCAL ON KASHMIR ISSUE : Ms. Harris, Mark Warner, Pramila Jayapal, have been particularly vocal: Jammu-Kashmir, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, communal and caste-based violence, actions against non-governmental organisations and media freedoms.

These are areas Mr. Trump ignored for most part, but are areas where Mr. Biden once said the U.S. “admired” India the most.

      IASbhai Windup: 

INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK

  • PEACE AND POLICING : Mr.Biden will be watched for what concrete measures he takes in order to strengthen the rules-based international order.
  • FOREIGN POLICY STAND : Above all, Mr. Biden’s foreign policy will be watched for just how much he reverses Mr. Trump’s pullout from the multilateral world order.

This will include :

  • World Health Organisation
  • UNESCO
  • Human Rights Council
  • Agreements such as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,
  • The Iran nuclear deal
  • The Paris Climate Accord
  • Traditional trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific alliances.

MR. BIDEN SPEECH IN 2013 AT MUMBAI

“We admire the way you’ve melded ethnicities, faiths and tongues into a single, proud nation; the way entrepreneurship seems almost hard-wired into Indian society, from rickshaw-wallas to web programmers; and maybe most of all, we admire your democracy and the message that your democracy sends to people everywhere in the world.”

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | The “New normal” after the Trumpian era | UPSC

 

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