The Biden presidency marked the start of a new chapter in American politics. Vastly different from his predecessor, in style and substance, President Biden will seek a new path for American foreign policy. The United States has emerged from four years of putting “America First” to fully engage with a world in crisis. It needs trusting key partners, like Norway, to help combat Russia’s ongoing disruption of regional security, to work with on the United Nations Security Council and the Arctic Council, and NATO. However, there may be clashes over the implementation of Biden’s Climate Change policy in the Arctic Circle.
When Joseph R. Biden, Junior was sworn in as the 46th President of The United States of America, a new era dawned for American policy. In his inaugural address, he reassured the world that the U.S was back.
He promised that the United States would not only “repair alliances and engage with the world once again” but that it would be a “strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security…'”
One of these key relationships that Biden will need to engage with more proactively is with Norway.
The relationship between Norway and the United States of America will always remain strong regardless of who is in power on either side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Both are open, democratic societies and key members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). They also have a worldwide presence with generous development and humanitarian budgets to promote human rights and economic development.
Finally, there are over 4.5 million Americans that claim some Norwegian ancestry, almost the population of Norway itself!
A stronger working relationship
The Biden presidency represents diplomatic stability and predictability. With over 50 years of political experience, President Biden represents a “return to normalcy” for the Washington establishment.
His promise to repair damaged relationships and alliances will see the United States take a global leadership role once again. There will be more focus on traditional (and predictable) diplomatic communication and less by midnight tweets.
The Biden presidency will look to re-engage with the world through multilateral organizations (or rejoin them) of which Norway is a key member like the Arctic Council, NATO, the United Nations Security Council, the World Health Organisation.
This should help forge a strong working relationship between the two countries due to constant joint work on a variety of world issues.
Poking the Russian bear?
Norway will then need this strong working relationship as a Biden presidency will no doubt take a more antagonistic stance towards Russia. Unlike his predecessor, there is no love lost between President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Biden has called Putin a “KGB Thug” and constantly called Russia the biggest threat to U.S national security.
Being a key NATO ally, and sharing a border with Russia, could see a further U.S military presence in Norway. Already hosting U.S marines, the U.S could beef up its forces in Norway as Biden will have a chillier relationship with Russia than his predecessor.
However, Norway will also be integral to a Biden presidency’s relationship with Russia. Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council (until 2023) could see the United States follow Norway’s example with a working relationship with Russia over Arctic issues.
Furthermore, Norway’s election to the United Nations Security Council (of which the U.S and Russia are both permanent members) will see Norway mediate further with the two powers. Its election to the Council will also see Norway play a far more active role in promoting key interests such as democracy, women’s rights, and environmental care worldwide.
Climate change and empowering women
One of the key factors in President Biden’s election victory was the need of the American people to take action on the effects of climate change. With the U.S already experiencing wild bushfires in early 2020, Biden was elected on a platform of climate change action. His first day in office saw the United States rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, of which Norway is a signatory. He has also appointed former Secretary of State, John Kerry, as a special envoy on climate change.
A Biden presidency would see the United States and Norway work together towards common climate goals. Both countries are in the top 3 financial contributors to the United Nations Green Climate Fund. Furthermore, they both have common goals in terms of the reduction of worldwide carbon emissions and the promotion of cleaner sources of energy.
However, there is one area over which the countries could be in disagreement. President Biden has already set out his climate plan which would see a temporary banning of all offshore drilling in the Arctic. This could put the United States in conflict with Norway, which offered, last year, 136 licenses for oil drilling in the Barent Sea.
With Kamala Harris elected as the first female Vice President, and Biden expected to only be a one-term president, the United States needs only to look to Norway as an example of the empowerment of women in government.
The Biden presidency represents a huge opportunity for Norway to strengthen its relationship with the United States through working towards common strategic and environmental goals. Like all relationships, there may be challenges and disagreements ahead, but Norway and the United States will strengthen an already tight bond during the Biden presidency.
Source: #Norway Today, #NorwayTodayNews
The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Norway Today unless specifically stated.
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