President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will need to “play the long game” by strengthening ties with the rest of the world, including the continent of Africa, William Harry McRaven, a retired United States Navy four-star admiral, said on Sunday.
Speaking on “ABC This Week”, Admiral McRaven, who last served as the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command from August 8, 2011, to August 28, 2014, under President Barack Obama, said “President Donald Trump has been playing a short game” by weakening alliances with the rest of the world, including with the African Union.
According to him, the rest of the world has moved past President Trump and “is just looking for a Biden administration to come in.”
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“The concern that the international community has had for quite some time is that President Trump is not a coalition builder, he doesn’t believe in alliances, and frankly, if we’re going to move forward with this new national security team, they’re going to need strong alliances, they’re going to need a strong NATO, they’re going to need strong partnerships with the ASEAN nations (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations), with the African Union, and President Trump has not been inclined to do that,” he said.
“President Trump has been playing a short game, I will offer. I hope President Biden would come in, strengthen these alliances, strengthen these coalitions, get back into some of these organizations, as imperfect as they might be, and begin to play the long game,” Admiral McRaven added, referring to organizations and partnerships such as the World Health Organizations, the Paris Climate Accord, the Opens Skies Agreement and Transpacific Partnership Agreement.
“The problem is if we don’t abide by our own treaties, if we don’t recognize and support our own treaties, then, who in the international community is going to want to partner with us in the future?” he asked.
Admiral McRaven praised the Biden national security team, saying it was “incredibly experienced”, “incredibly talented”, and has committed to telling President-elect Biden what he needs to hear, and not what he wants to hear.
“This new group of national security professionals coming in are incredibly experienced, incredibly talented, and they know each other, and that’s an important factor when it comes to working together,” he said.
He added that they are going to be coalition builders, rebuild and strengthen alliances with the rest of the world.
On Afghanistan and Iraq, the retired Navy four-star admiral warned against “rushing to failure” before Biden is sworn into office on January 20, 2021.
He urged the Trump administration to be methodical.