“We’ve taken note of these last-minute maneuvers,” said a senior Biden transition official. Each is being reviewed, the official said, “and the incoming administration will render a verdict based exclusively on one criterion: the national interest.”
The Washington Post recalled that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has made near-daily announcements of major foreign policy actions, many of which appear designed to “cement Trump priorities and create roadblocks to new directions charted by the incoming Biden team.”
Among the barriers put in place are the relisting of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, the designation of Yemen’s Houthi rebels as terrorists, the removal of long-standing restrictions on contacts between senior U.S. officials and their Taiwanese counterparts, the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the long-contested Western Sahara.
Trump adviser Jared Kushner pushed for recent decisions on matters such as Morocco and arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as part of the payoff for Arab countries that agreed to normalize relations with Israel. Much of the rest, including actions on Cuba and Taiwan, “Pompeo just kind of did on his own,” the official said.