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Blinken underscores commitment to cooperation in US foreign policy.

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined the Brookings Institute to discuss the Biden administration’s foreign policy vision and the role of U.S. leadership on Monday.

As international leaders prepare to gather for the 75th NATO summit on July 9 in Washington, DC, the world faces ongoing wars in Europe and the Middle East, intense strategic competition with China, and numerous threats to global stability and democracy.

Blinken pointed to significant strides in economic and infrastructure investments domestically, positioning the U.S. as a leading economy among major democracies. Substantial foreign direct investment in the US are exceeding historical records, according to Blinken.

Blinken made clear the effectiveness of multilateral cooperation in defending and promoting the interests of the United States.

According to Blinken, Ukraine’s success in the conflict has been heavily influenced by cooperation between the US and its allies.

The US has now given over $100 billion to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

The UK has committed an additional £500 million to its initial pledge of £2.5 billion in military aid for Ukraine in 2024. In February, the European Union secured a €50 billion aid package for Ukraine.

Russia’s goal “to end its future as an independent country has not happened and will not happen,” Blinken said.

The US arms supplied to Ukraine were recently authorized to strike inside Russia, a major shift in the battlefield.

“The end result is a successful country that, as it stands on its own [militarily, economically and democratically], is the strongest possible rebuke to Vladimir Putin.”

On the relationship with China, Blinken further underscored the need for an approach which embraces both diplomacy and competition.

“Whether it’s China, whether it’s any of these other challenges, we’re going to approach it from a position of strength,” Blinken said. “We’re going to approach it having made investments in ourselves that put us in a much stronger position in dealing with some of the challenges that China proposes.”

International cooperation is a cornerstone of the Biden administration’s foreign policy, according to Blinken .

“We know we’re so much more effective in dealing with these challenges if we’re doing it with others,” Blinken said.

Throughout the discussion, Blinken contrasted the approaches from the Biden administration and the Trump administration.

“We’re at a place now that we were not at four years ago,” Blinken said. “We can approach this with tremendous confidence, acknowledging the difficulties, acknowledging the challenges, but knowing that we’ve made the right investments in ourselves, in allies and partners in Europe and Asia.”

The NATO summit next week will include New Zealand, Japan and South Korea, none of which are members of the alliance.

“This is one manifestation and recognition of something that is new,” Blinken said. “Partners in Europe see challenges in Asia as being relevant to them, just as partners in Asia see challenges in Europe as relevant to them.”

The increasing international interdependence has Secretary Blinken optimistic in dealing with challenges from adversaries such as China.

Blinken points to the fentanyl crisis which, Blinken claims, is beginning to affect parts of Asia, Europe and Latin America. Fentanyl ingredients are notoriously sourced from China, who export them to places like Mexico.

“You’re going to have more and more countries insisting that you engage responsibly with this challenge,” Blinken said. “So whether you want to do something with us or for us, almost doesn’t matter.”

Blinken also reinforced the administration’s commitment to defending Israel, while continuing to engage with Palestinians in obtaining a ceasefire.

“When this conflict ends, it cannot end with a vacuum in Gaza,” Blinken said. “It has to end in a way that makes sure there are clear, coherent, achievable plans for Gaza’s governance, for its security and to help people rebuild their lives.”

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