Blinken, Austin op-ed: Alliances are 'force multipliers' for America

Blinken, Austin op-ed: Alliances are 'force multipliers' for America

Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Diplomats express 'frustration' to Blinken over Havana syndrome skepticism: report Biden's post-Afghanistan focus on China is mostly positive so far MORE and Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinSchumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Afghan evacuation still frustrates Diplomats express 'frustration' to Blinken over Havana syndrome skepticism: report MORE called international alliances “force multipliers” for the U.S. in a Sunday op-ed.

The secretaries wrote in The Washington Post that the U.S. is prioritizing reestablishing its relationships with other countries in the early months of President BidenJoe BidenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks GOP Rep. Cawthorn likens vaccine mandates to 'modern-day segregation' MORE’s term. 

The op-ed’s release comes as the first overseas Cabinet-level visits are scheduled for this week to Japan and South Korea, the secretaries noted, saying they wanted “to lay out why alliances are vital to our national security and how they deliver for the American people.”

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“Our alliances are what our military calls ‘force multipliers,’ ” Blinken and Austin wrote. “We’re able to achieve far more with them than we could without them.”

“No country on Earth has a network of alliances and partnerships like ours,” they continued. “It would be a huge strategic error to neglect these relationships. And it’s a wise use of our time and resources to adapt and renew them, to ensure they’re as strong and effective as they can be.”

Blinken and Austin wrote that the alliances with Japan and South Korea contribute to the U.S.’s and the world’s “security and prosperity,” including when it comes to determining the best response to threats from North Korea, global security issues, climate change, cybersecurity and health security. 

“As President Biden has said, the United States will lead with diplomacy, because it’s the most effective way to meet the challenges we face today, few of which can be solved by us acting alone,” the secretaries wrote.

“At the same time, we will maintain the world’s most powerful armed forces, because that’s a core source of our national — and collective — strength,” they added. “And we will work hard to renew our alliances and ensure they’re fit for purpose to address the threats and opportunities of our time.”

The key members of Biden’s Cabinet publicized their support for international alliances following former President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE’s time in office, during which the administration prioritized an “America first” and U.S.-centric agenda.

Under Trump, the U.S. pulled out of several international organizations and agreements including the Paris climate agreement, the Iran nuclear deal and the World Health Organization.