Liberal groups ask Biden to support progressive foreign policy agenda

More than 50 liberal groups signed a letter that will be sent to former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday asking that he support measures aimed at “prioritizing diplomacy” over the “militarism” they say has been a feature of U.S. foreign policy in both parties.

The letter was organized by the group Demand Progress, and was signed by dozens of liberal super PACs, think tanks and outside groups, including, Our Revolution, Greenpeace and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

The letter warns that the coronavirus and climate change could ignite a “period of profound instability for the entire planet.” The groups argue that past U.S. focus on “confrontation with perceived adversaries” has left the country “woefully ill-prepared to confront the growing transnational threats to human security we face today that do not have military solutions.”

“The American people are looking for a leader who will turn the page on 9/11 policies that have resulted in an endless cycle of war, countless lives lost, increased global instability, large-scale refugee flows of the displaced, and the violation of Americans’ civil liberties and human rights,” the letter says.

During the 2020 primary, Biden was dogged by criticism from the left over his vote to authorize military action in Iraq. He has said it was a mistake to trust former President George W. Bush in the run-up to the war.

The liberal groups are now asking Biden to support 10 key measures they say will usher in a new progressive vision for U.S. foreign policy, including the repeal of the authorization for use military force that gave presidents new war powers after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The groups are asking Biden to reduce the Pentagon budget by $200 billion annually, and to commit to opposing an approach that prioritizes “regime change interventions and broad-based sanctions.”

The groups are asking Biden to reinstate the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, and to also engage in new diplomatic outreach to North Korea and Israel, where the groups are calling for a “combination of pressure and incentives” they say would lead to a “just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The liberals are asking Biden to admit at least 125,000 refugees in his first year in office, and to increase refugee numbers every year after. They want to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center, end support for governments that violate human rights, and avoid “militarizing our relations” with global powers such as Russia and China.

“It is time to end our endless wars and adopt a new approach to international relations, one in which the U.S. abides by international law, encourages others to do the same, and utilizes our military solely for the defense of the people of our country,” the letter states.

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