Opinion

Biden on the ground

Atalayar_Joe Biden

Leaving aside tactical and intelligence reasons, the US attack on a convoy of pro-Iranian militias fighting in Syria carries several political messages in its trajectory. The clearest is that the new President Joe Biden is already commander-in-chief of the US military and that General Austin is in charge of the Pentagon. It is a well-known formula that the Americans use frequently. An attack that responds to obvious military motives - in this case, it is a response to a previous attack on the US base in Erbil, located in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq, by one of the operational groups of mercenaries linked to Tehran - but which warns those involved in the conflict, especially Iran, and international society in general, that the political and strategic capacity of the United States is permanently activated and perfectly prepared after the complex transition of power in Washington following the presidential elections. 

Joe Biden has also managed to turn around his image of lack of energy and the possibility of identifying himself as a transition president, in a mandate as decisive as the current one in which the United States is going to put its capacity to exercise a renewed, more active and decisive leadership in the Middle East, in Asia Pacific and in general in all international relations on the field of diplomacy and foreign policy. The sudden attack, which unfortunately claimed 22 lives, is also in line with the indications of the 2017 national security strategy, not yet renewed, which promotes strategic predictability but operational unpredictability, as this action has shown. 

Some foreign ministries, naturally the Kremlin and certain Democrats and Trumpists who thought Biden was going to be a sort of grey-haired, left-wing Ocasio Cortez, have been caught off guard by the attack. But assuming the presidency of the United States does not mean taking charge of a solidarity or humanitarian body but, unfortunately, also of the most lethal army in history that is unfortunately involved in conflicts as devastating and multilateral as the one in Syria, where Russians, Turks, Saudis, Israelis, Iranians, Kurdish and Iraqi militiamen, terrorists and Daesh also act or have acted. All of them, all of them, carrying out surprise actions with several hundred and thousands of victims and not always against military or combat targets but sometimes against civilians. And with non-conventional weapons. 

Reality is hard to assimilate when we enter the realm of war. But it is even harder to grasp when we remain impassive in the dumps of demagoguery. Whether the United States acted correctly in its attack in Syria is a matter of interpretation. But President Biden's wisdom in strengthening America's position at the forefront of liberal democracies, in restoring alliances with Europe and Asian allies, and in assuming leadership in international politics is unquestionable.