Five things to know about Antony Blinken, Biden’s election

President Biden, elected this week, elected Antony Blinken, a longtime assistant and one of his closest foreign policy advisers, as secretary of state this week.

Blinken has an extensive background in foreign policy issues and, if confirmed, will face a number of emerging and enduring challenges, all amid a dangerous epidemic.

Here are five things to know about Blinken.

Blinken has been working with Bidend for years

Blinken and Biden’s relationship dates back decades.

When Biden was chairman and senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Blinken was a democratic personnel director for six years. He then followed Biden to the White House when the senator was elected vice president, who was Biden’s national security adviser.

Later, Blinken served in various departments of the Obama administration, including the assistant to the president. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein Obama: Obama: Republican members believe “white men fall victim” to a Texas warehouse where migrants in “cages” are locked up for humane renovation in North Carolina – still purple, but more and as the President’s Chief National Security Adviser.

He stood by Biden again after launching his presidential candidacy and was a key foreign policy adviser to the campaign.

In remarks Tuesday accepting his nomination, Blinken said his relationship with the president-elect was the highlight of his professional career.

“Mr.. The president-elect, the work done for you — and working as a mentor and friend — was the greatest privilege of my professional life,” Blinken said.

And Biden, when he elected Blinkent as its foreign policy chief, called him “one of his closest and most reliable advisers”.

Blinken focused on the Middle East

Blinken acknowledged that there was an overemphasis on Middle East foreign policy following the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

When Biden was in the Senate, Blinken helped him develop a plan to deal with the Iraqi division. He urged him to try to divide Iraqis according to their ethnic or sectarian identity in order to create three zones that would be able to govern themselves. However, the idea was widely rejected, including by the then Iraqi prime minister.

Nevertheless, Blinken shaped U.S. policy in the Middle East.

During the Obama administration, he was responsible for building a coalition of dozens of countries that fought against ISIS in the region. Blinken also chaired the administration’s efforts in foreign policy decision-making, which addressed issues such as the nuclear program in Afghanistan and Iran.

Blinken wants to raise State’s morale

During the Obama administration as Deputy Secretary of State, one of Blinken’s last – and more memorable moments depending on who you ask – came to the public at the agency’s celebratory party, where he picked up the guitar for the State Department ensemble to play. a riff on a Bob Dylan tune, with the lyrics changing the respect of the staff.

“He’s been playing with his government colleagues for a while,” said Halie Soifer, who served in the State Department under Blinken.

The band had Rep. Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiMalinowski tackles GOP challenge in New Jersey House Tournament Phil Murphy says no coronavirus outbreak in New Jersey in connection with Trump fundraiser Marjorie Taylor Greene with GOP legislator over QAnon, antifa MORE (DN.J.), who at the time worked as an assistant secretary to the Office of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Blinken, when he accepted Delaware’s appointment as secretary of state on Tuesday, thanked his “gangmates” along with his colleagues in the Obama and Clinton administration, the Senate and the State Department.

– It actually symbolized that. Not only was he a leader as deputy secretary in terms of decisions made at the summit, but he was a leader in supporting the entire building, ”Soifer said.

Lew Lukens, who was deputy head of mission at the U.S. Embassy in London until the Obama administration until 2018, described Blinken as “humble and restrained,” but said he brings deep understanding and appreciation to the State Department and rethinking Biden’s priorities.

“I find it clear that this will be a team that recognizes the importance of working with allies and partners to address global, transnational threats,” Lukens said. “They understand that the best way to tackle terrorism, epidemics, climate change and other threats is to work with like-minded nations instead of following an ‘American first / alone’ approach.”

Blinken is the stepson of the Holocaust survivor

Blinken acknowledged that his views on the United States were shaped by his father, who served in the Air Force during World War II and was an ambassador to Hungary, and his stepfather, a Holocaust survivor who is freedom and liberty in the United States.

He highlighted both of their stories in Tuesday’s remarks and accepted his nomination, calling his father Donald Blinkent his role model and hero.

Blinken also recounted how his stepfather, Samuel Pisar, got to America. Pisar, one of the few surviving members of his family, hid in the Polish forest to escape one of the last deaths at the end of World War II when he saw a tank painted with a white, five-pointed star. .

– He ran to the tank. The opening is open. An African American geographic identifier looked down at him. He fell to his knees and said the only three words he knew in English that his mother taught him, “God bless America”. The GI took him to the tank, to America, to freedom, ”Blinken said.

Dan Fried, a former U.S. ambassador and State Department veteran who has known Blinken for decades, says this story illustrates Blinken’s foreign policy views.

“I never told him that, but I suspect that his foreign policy mindset stems from a sense of identity as America as a country of values,” he said in an interview with the Atlantic Council, a country that could elevate its refugee. stepfather directly to America, and a country that knew that the advancement of its values ​​and interests was somehow related.

Blinken has two young children

Blinken enters demanding work when he and his wife have two young children at home, making him the first secretary of state in modern times to have young young children, including one-year-olds.

Blinken’s wife is Evan Maureen Ryan, who is also active in American politics. The two met during their time in the Clinton administration.

During his time in government, Blinken also showed an interest in early education. In September 2016, Blinken appeared on the famous Sesame Street children’s show to raise awareness about the fate of refugees and the work of the United Nations.

“It will be inspiring everywhere for working parents to see America’s leading diplomat act as she also helps raise two young children,” he tweeted. Samantha PowerSamantha Jane PowerBiden, Harris, national security experts briefed amid temporary hurdleshe was a former colleague who served as Obama’s UN ambassador. “Thanks to Tony and the incomparable Evan Ryan for the family sacrifice.”