WASHINGTON, D.C. – DECEMBER 07: National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan talks to reporters. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
UPDATED 4:22 PM PT – Saturday, December 17, 2021
Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said there’s a long way to go regarding several Biden administration policy goals.
On Friday, Sullivan spoke at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. Biden’s right hand man on foreign policy issues touched on several crisis areas including Taiwan, Afghanistan and Iran.
Sullivan responded to criticisms of the Biden administration, stating its stance on Taiwan is too vague. He argued U.S.-Taiwanese relations are pretty clear, referencing the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which sets up strong commercial, military and diplomatic relations with the East Asian nation.
However, America is allowed to engage with the nation without recognizing it as a country. Sullivan added America has historically had a strong commitment to advancing Taiwan’s interests and will push back against states, especially China, who infringe on Taiwan’s ambitions.
The top National Security official was also posed questions about the consequences of Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. On top of spiraling economic and political crises, winter has posed an equally devastating potential humanitarian crisis.
The Taliban’s takeover after Biden pulled out of the country has led to food shortages, which could cause mass starvation among Afghans. The terrorist group’s ascent has also turned away international leaders from engaging with the country, drying up humanitarian assistance.
Sullivan stressed Biden’s diplomatic team is working to mobilize international partners to help get relief to Afghan residents. He especially called for allies in the region to step up.
Additionally, Sullivan lamented talks with Iran over nuclear disarmament aren’t going well. He claimed since America’s withdrawal from the controversial Obama-era nuclear deal, Iran has grown emboldened and more advanced with its program. This has caused a stalemate regarding negotiations as both the Biden administration and Iranian regime haven’t made any progress.
However, Sullivan acknowledged European ambassadors and Iranian officials have made some progress on the nuclear front during talks in Vienna. Sullivan asserted the international community needs to ban together to make sure Iran never gets a hold of nuclear weapons, adding diplomacy is the only way to do that.
In the meantime, Sullivan vowed to push the Biden administration to develop a strong diplomatic apparatus to help solve international crises with U.S. leadership with contributions from the international community.