Donald Trump is the most anti-American of all the presidents of the United States of America (USA) that we can remember. His Make America Great Again, at best, reduces a modern Empire to a large economy with diminished political and moral influence. Exactly the opposite of what has made America great over the last 100 years. Trump is America’s suicide, and its European allies are anti-Western. Even those who talk about Western values. Especially these.
With some critical effort and analysis, it is possible to understand how America arrived at the political disaster it did. And blaming Trump for exploiting discontent, lying or encouraging hatred and a near revolution is fair, it may satisfy, but it is inconsequential. On the contrary, understanding how we got here may have the advantage of avoiding a replica in Europe. But there is a more important exercise: thinking about what to do on this side in the face of America’s anti-Western drift.
It is a mystery how someone who is literate can be simultaneously an enthusiast of Trump and the West. As we saw last week, Donald Trump does not want to be the leader of the Free World, as many of his predecessors presented themselves. Reagan or George Bush, the 41st, would never look at relations with allies with a calculating machine in hand. They were busy holding the Globe.
Instead of a country that dominates the Western world, Trump wants an America that shares the world with other powers (Russia, which has helped to rehabilitate, and China) while losing allies on every continent. Trump’s America is not isolationist, it is isolated. The problem is not charging NATO members dues, the investment they must make in defense, it is not understanding why a power needs to have allies. What are the advantages, even when it comes at a cost.
The story of the last hundred years is the story of the American world. In large part, because of its economic success and military power. But for everything else, too. American ideas, American culture, confidence in American power on the part of its allies. Donald Trump, when he says, as he said this week, that he would even tell Russia to invade or do “whatever the hell it wanted” to allies who didn’t spend 2% on defense, he is not a barbarian at the gates of the Empire, he is a barbarian within doors, match in hand. The allies, obviously, move away.
Faced with this American tragedy, Europe will have to reevaluate its security and defense policy. The staunchest defender of NATO, Transatlantic relations and the West cannot pretend that he did not hear what Trump said. Or just increase the defense budget of each NATO member and everything will be fine. This America wants to divide the World with Russia and China, it does not want to lead the West with Europe, Japan, Australia and whoever else can join in.
Europe is left with three options: pretend that this will pass (it won’t); thinking that it can compete equally with China and the USA, as if everything were the same and indifferent. (it is not); or maintain the alliances, the idea of the West, reinforce the commitment (human, financial and physical) and take on what is left of the West with what is left of America.
A Europe prepared for an America that, as Trump said a few years ago, considers Europeans “enemies”, must continue to cultivate the Atlantic Alliance, beyond the Administration, it must organize itself with the United Kingdom, in NATO, so that European security and defense are our issue and that of our European ally, and it must occupy the space that America is abandoning and that which China is trying to occupy, whether in Latin America or Africa.
A Geopolitical Commission, as Von der Leyen had announced, cannot think that it is enough to export the Ecological Pact, externalize its consequences or promise enlargement in a few decades.
The next few years will have to be, for Europe, one of global repositioning. For now, the good news is that Germany has already understood this and is doing it. With caution, but with conviction. From the economy to security strategy, what is changing in Germany is immense. The bad news is that Macron wants to do it too, but with less prudence and erratic ambition.
Portugal has fundamental and existential interests here. If you could talk a little about this during the election campaign, it would be useful. Not least because, unsurprisingly, the great center, which goes from the moderate left to the moderate right, will agree on much of what is essential
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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