Republicans Likely to Back Biden’s National Security Picks

Republicans Likely to Back Biden’s National Security Picks

Several foreign policy experts are calling Joe Biden’s picks for his national security team a “return of the Washington establishment,” the Washington Examiner reports.

According to the outlet, his selections will likely annoy progressives and be supported by Republicans. On Monday, Biden began announcing who he would like to serve on his national security team. Many are familiar faces who experts say have “centrist” approaches.

“This the return of the Washington establishment,” retired Marine Corps Col. Mark Cancian, a senior adviser at the Center for Security and International Studies and self-identified Republican, told the outlet of Biden’s choices.

Cancian said he doesn’t foresee Biden’s nominees having “significant numbers of Republicans voting against them.”

Biden has indicated, if he becomes president, he would choose former Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken to replace Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. His choice for White House national security adviser is former Hillary Clinton adviser Jake Sullivan.

“Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan are thoughtful, experienced, open-minded, and honorable patriots,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Vice President Toby Dershowitz told the Washington Examiner in an email. “I have no doubt they are mindful of and ready to address the many national security challenges and opportunities in front of them.”

Dershowitz said she was confident in how Blinken and Sullivan would approach Iran.

“I am certain they don’t underestimate one of these challenges — an Iran that may assume things will pick up exactly where they left off in the prior administration,” she said. “In the ensuing years, Iran had the opportunity to reverse its abysmal human rights practices, adhere to nuclear caps required under multilateral agreements and use its finite resources to support its population rather than engage in destabilizing malign activities beyond its own borders. Iran’s failure to change its behavior will surely not be lost on the new Biden team.”

Avril Haines, Biden’s nominee to head the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, could face some backlash from the GOP because of her previous role working under then-CIA Director John Brennan. But Democrats are praising Haines, according to the outlet.

“Avril’s experience, intellect, values, and work ethic will make her an exceptional DNI,” said New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee.

“What I’ll be telling people on the hill is, I think Avril Haines is incredibly capable,” a conservative foreign policy expert who has worked with members of Biden’s team told the Washington Examiner. “I cannot imagine her having a real serious problem on the hill.”

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