Biden fills key posts, India's "friend" named Secretary of State
Weeks after winning US elections, President-elect Joe Biden filled key positions in the cabinet, naming Antony Blinken as his Secretary of State. Blinken is a long-time foreign policy adviser and is seen in India's diplomatic corridors as a friend. John Kerry, former Secretary of State, was named as a special climate envoy. Cuba-born lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas will lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Blinken's experience will turn out to be Biden's boon
Blinken held the staff director position when Biden was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He contributed immensely in shaping Biden's views about the Middle East, China, Europe, Iran, and India. He also played a key role in the India-US nuclear deal. The deal was inked bulldozing the apprehensions raised by the far left. President Barack Obama also had doubts, initially.
He is not a fan of Chinese aggression
Recently, Blinken spoke strongly about China's aggression along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). His statement also hinted that he would support India's bid for a permanent seat at the powerful United Nations Security Council. "In a Biden administration, we would be an advocate for India to play a leading role in international institutions and that includes helping India get a seat on UNSC," he said in August.
Meanwhile, Kerry's appointment shows Biden's seriousness toward climate change
Kerry, who signed the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, has been given the top job for all things linked to climate change. The US withdrew from the Paris accord in 2017 because outgoing President Donald Trump felt the country was being mistreated. When he was Obama's Secretary of State, Kerry called climate change "the world's most fearsome weapon of mass destruction."
Jake Sullivan named NSA
The other enviable post, that of National Security Adviser, will be filled by Jake Sullivan. He was former Vice President Biden's national security adviser in the second Obama term. Similarly, Mayorkas served as the director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services and was also the DHS deputy secretary in the Obama regime. The former federal prosecutor will now oversee all things immigration-related.
Avril Haines became the first female director Of National Intelligence
Biden also named Avril Haines as the director of national intelligence, the first woman to hold this position. She was the White House deputy NSA and was also the deputy director of the CIA. Former CIA Director John Brennan praised her saying she is "respected among intelligence professionals, and her superior intellect, humility and legendary work ethic are deeply admired," reports NPR.
No time to waste, said Biden, praising experienced individuals
Meanwhile, Biden also announced that Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a long-time diplomat, will serve as the ambassador to the United Nations. She will have the status of a cabinet member. Biden said there is no time to waste, in matters of national security and foreign policy. "These individuals are equally as experienced and crisis-tested as they are innovative and imaginative," he went on.