Progressives Slam Biden’s Foreign Policy Team

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Joe Biden

As Joe Biden gets his presidential campaign against Donald Trump in full swing, concerns grow within the progressive wing of the Democratic Party that the foreign policy and political outreach teams he has assembled are nowhere near reflecting the change – and reducing military spending – they hope, after the elections seen in November.

The unrest is mounting, as is Senator Bernie Sanders, whom many of the dissidents support express privately Doubts about the direction of the Biden campaign and calls on the former Vice President to reach more to the left. But Sanders has said little about foreign policy or national security since Biden received the nomination and left the floor to Democratic activists.

They are particularly concerned about the influence of people like Antony Blink, the senior foreign policy advisor to the Biden campaign. He was Biden’s best adviser when, in 2002, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, he approved the use of force in Iraq.

“We don’t want the same people who led us into the Iraq war to be the administrators of our foreign policy,” he says Marcy Winograd, a longtime Santa Barbara antiwar activist who was elected as a Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention in an interview in August. “Why would Biden want these people to advise him? You think he wants to keep as much distance as possible between himself and people who have steered him in the wrong direction in the past. ”

Voices like hers are a sizeable presence within the party. Over 400 delegates signed during the online congress an open letter to Biden Ask him to “hire new foreign policy advisors” and ensure that they “have a track record of advocating and implementing diplomatic solutions rather than catastrophic military interventions involving invasions, occupations, torture and drone strikes.”

Meanwhile, a group of Muslim-Americans, including many supporters of Sanders, have come out with criticism Farooq Mitha, a former Pentagon official who is Bidens senior advisor on Muslim-American engagement. His high profile presence in the campaign, along with other former defense officials, has Splits the Muslim community and distracts from the need to draw the military budget into technologies to combat climate change, said Nadia Ahmad, a Sanders trailer from Florida. “This is our biggest national security challenge,” said Ahmad, professor of environmental law in Orlando The nation. Mitha declined to comment.

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