The Senate confirmed Antony Blinken to be President Biden’s secretary of state on Tuesday in a vote of 78 to 22, with every Democratic senator voting in favor of Blinken.
Blinken is a long-time advisor of President Biden and has a long history of pushing for US intervention in places like Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Throughout the years, the two have disagreed on issues, with Blinken usually being the more hawkish voice.
In 2011, Biden and Blinken disagreed over whether or not the US should intervene militarily in Libya. Blinken supported the intervention and defended his choice during last week’s Senate confirmation hearings.
At the hearing, Blinken said he “supported the effort” in Libya. “I was the president-elect’s national security advisor at the time and he did not agree with that course of action,” he said.
When it comes to Syria, Blinken has lamented that the US has not done enough in the country. According to a 2013 report from The Washington Post, Blinken pushed for US military intervention in Syria after President Obama’s reelection in 2012 and “was less enthusiastic than Biden” about Obama seeking Congressional approval for a military strike on Syria.
The list of places Blinken has pushed for the US to intervene in goes on. But one conflict he and President Biden say they are willing to end is the war in Yemen. During his confirmation hearing, Blinken said Biden will end US support for the war in “very short order.”
Blinken played a crucial role in the early stages of the US support for Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen. As deputy secretary of state in April 2015, Blinken announced that the US was expediting weapons deliveries and bolstering intelligence sharing with the Saudis. Since then, the coalition has regularly bombed civilian targets, including food supplies, leading to widespread food shortages and mass starvation.