Biden's Munich Declaration Heralds A New Era of Cooperation

While the attention this past fortnight has been largely focused on domestic issues and in particular on the fiscal stimulus, Vice President Biden outlined US foreign policy goals under an Obama Administration signaling a determination "to set a new tone" noting that Washington intends to "work in a partnership" and "seek ideas and input" from all US allies. Speaking before a number of European leaders including German Chancellor Merkel and French President Sarkozy at 45th annual Munich Conference on Security Policy, the Vice President touched on foreign policy issues ranging from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Russia and Iran as well as emphatically declaring that the US will not torture and will uphold the rights of those brought to justice. And for good measure, Biden repeated the Administration's intention close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

Importantly, the Vice President declared that the United States does not believe, that the Obama administration does not believe, in a clash of civilizations. It is the clearest rejection of neo-conservative Huntingtonesque view of the world yet.

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