On November 1, President Joe Biden announced Kurt Campbell’s appointment as Deputy Secretary of State. For anyone concerned about the dangerous state of relations between the United States and China, this is a troubling development. Kurt Campbell has been one of the principal advocates of a hostile and belligerent posture toward China over the past decade and more under three successive administrations. He was a key architect of the “Pivot to Asia” under President Obama, the redeployment of American military assets to contain China. As one of the founders of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), he has been a relentless promoter of a worldview centered on a unipolar order dominated by the United States. He regularly proclaims the need to maintain “U.S. supremacy” in world affairs and sees China as a threat to America’s zero-sum model of global geopolitics. Placing Mr. Campbell in the number two position at the State Department is the clearest possible signal that, despite recent gestures towards lowering tensions and improving relations, which benefits both countries, the United States remains committed to its goals of thwarting China’s development and its resumption of a significant role in world affairs, and to demonizing China in the minds of the American people to prepare them ideologically for possible war with the People’s Republic. Rather than seeking common ground and ways to cooperate and collaborate in addressing the serious challenges facing both the Chinese and American people Kurt Campbell and the American elites he represents seem willing to go to war with China in every way possible and let the planet burn rather than give up even the slightest bit of the power and privileges they have long enjoyed.
Pivot to Peace strongly opposes the nomination of Kurt Campbell as Deputy Secretary of State and calls upon the Senate to reject this appointment.