The Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, knows the Middle East well. For eight years, he worked as a vice president for former President Barack Obama, during a period that witnessed historic events such as the signing of the nuclear agreement with Iran and the outbreak and thwarting of the Arab Spring revolutions.
Prior to that, Biden served for more than 3 decades in the Senate, worked on many subcommittees concerned with regional issues, and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee for many years. This allowed him to communicate directly with the leaders and issues of the region.
Biden’s past experience provides a framework in which to understand his general orientations towards major Middle East issues, but the tasks and responsibilities of the US president, which are broad between domestic issues and complex global affairs, do not necessarily leave room for Biden, if elected, to personally manage regional issues such as the Middle East.
Biden was not enthusiastic about the Arab Spring revolutions, and confirmed during the days of the revolution of 25 January 2011 that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was not a dictator, and reservations about military intervention in Libya, and before that he supported the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, but called for the division of Iraq into 3 countries: Shiite in the south, Sunni in the center, and Kurdish in the north.
Biden surrounded himself with dozens of different task forces that deal with issues and territories that the United States deals with, and he used a team to manage Middle Eastern issues during his election campaign, whom he knew closely during his work as a senator or vice president in the White House.
Al-Jazeera Net sheds light on 6 personalities who play a major role in shaping Biden’s policies towards regional issues, and is expected to play an increasing role in the executive branch if he wins the presidential elections, according to the testimony of a close associate of his election campaign.
3 Middle East experts
There are 3 former officials whom Badin knows closely. They worked with him for many years in various positions within his close circle in the foreign policy-making team. There are dozens of experts and former officials working in the vicinity of Biden’s Middle East circle, but these three remain the most important of the rest, according to an assessment from within Joe Biden’s campaign for Al Jazeera Net:
Daniel Benayim worked as an advisor to Joe Biden on Middle East affairs while serving as former vice president, and also worked in the State Department and the US Senate, and he is currently a fellow at a research center close to the Democratic Party, the Center for American Progress, which includes dozens of officials. Ex from the Obama administration.
Benaaim traveled with Biden to 25 countries, and before that he worked as a speechwriter for Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State between 2009 and 2012, and he also worked in the former secretary’s policy planning team that covers Egypt, and worked on the National Security Team at the White House, and works as a professor at New York University .
Benaaim holds a BA in English Literature from Yale University and an MA in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University’s Fletcher College.
Rodman is an expert on national security, the Middle East, US foreign aid, foreign affairs and defense budgeting, and legislative and executive processes.
Rodman is executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress.
She previously served as assistant vice president for national security affairs in the Obama and Clinton administrations, deputy envoy for the Middle East peace process, senior staff member for the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace at the US State Department, and assistant director for Middle East affairs at the US Agency for International Development.
She also served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and taught at Georgetown University in Washington. She holds a BA from Dartmouth University and a LLM from Harvard Law School.
Rand has held the position of Vice President of the Mercy Corp Foundation for Public Policy, which is one of the largest charities with activities and programs in dozens of countries around the world.
Rand has worked with the Obama administration as a deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, overseeing Middle East programs. She also worked on the policy planning team of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and worked on the national security team aide to former President Obama on Middle East issues in 2012 and 2013, and before that she worked as a researcher specializing in the Senate Intelligence Subcommittee.
Rand has also previously worked as a fellow for foreign studies at the new American National Security Center, which is close to the Democratic Party.
And Rand has a book published in the summer of 2013 entitled “The Roots of the Arab Spring: Contested Power and Political Change in the Middle East.”
She holds a BA from Harvard University, and MA and PhD degrees in political science from Columbia University.
3 international relations officials
Biden’s circle in the foreign policy file in general includes 3 key figures who worked closely with him not only on Middle East issues, but on all foreign issues of the United States.
The identity and background of the positions of these personalities indicates a clear orientation of Joe Biden’s realism towards regional issues that approaches much of the Obama administration’s approach towards these issues, as it prioritizes US interests at the expense of values and principles. Most American commentators do not imagine Biden’s policies to differ from those of his former president Barack Obama. .
Rice was the second woman to hold the position of National Security Adviser under Obama, and before that she served as ambassador and permanent representative of her country at the United Nations.
While serving in the White House, Rice oversaw the coordination of the formulation and implementation of all aspects of the Obama Administration’s foreign and national security policy, worked closely with the intelligence services and the Pentagon, and coordinated the efforts of American institutions working in the field of protecting national security.
Under former President Bill Clinton, Rice assumed the position of Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, worked as a director at the National Security Council, and supervised her country’s relationship with international organizations. From 2002 to 2008, she was the International Studies Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Rice graduated from Stanford University, earning her BA before traveling to Britain and earning her MA and PhD in International Relations from Oxford University.
Blinken is currently a senior foreign policy advisor for the Joe Biden campaign, and he has held senior foreign policy positions in the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama administrations for 3 decades, most recently as Deputy Secretary of State from 2015 to 2017.
As Deputy Secretary of State, Blinken traveled to 40 countries, helped lead US diplomacy in the war against the Islamic State, and rebalanced Washington’s relations with Asia. During the administration of Donald Trump, Blinken served in the White House as assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor, as well as overseeing the coordination committee between government agencies involved in making foreign policy.
From 2002 to 2008 Blinken served as Democratic Staff Director on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, then chaired by Joe Biden.
Blinken holds a BA from Harvard University and a LLM from Columbia University.
Jack Sullivan is a foreign policy adviser on the Joe Biden campaign.
He oversaw the secret negotiations with Iran that ultimately led to the Iran nuclear deal in 2015.
He served as a visiting lecturer in law at Yale Law School, and prior to that served in the Obama administration as a national security advisor to Joe Biden, Vice President and Director of Policy Planning at the US State Department.
Sullivan headed Hillary Clinton’s auxiliary task force during her tenure as Secretary of State, before taking on the position of chief foreign policy adviser in her 2016 presidential campaign.
Sullivan has also previously served as a political advisor to former President Obama and senior advisor to Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, his hometown.
After completing his undergraduate studies, Sullivan worked for the law firm Figurie & Benson, clerk for Judge Stephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court, and Judge Guido Calabrese of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Sullivan holds a BA and a law degree from Yale University, and a Masters degree from Oxford University, UK.