President Donald Trump has not broken with Europe, he has broken with history.
Never since the Second World War has the gap between the United States and its European allies been greater.
The alliance that served to successfully confront the USSR and its subsequent disintegration has entered into a barrage with Trump. Relying on his instincts and desperately seeking to dampen internal scandals, the Republican billionaire is building what he promised in the campaign: a new order in which his country prevails over any other interest.
“The time we could trust in the US ended.” Angela Merkel said it last Thursday in Aachen (Germany) and opinion did nothing more than certify what is commonplace in Washington. For months the White House is considered to have dissolved the good relationship that Barack Obama had with his transatlantic allies.
Already in the campaign, the republican billionaire fired on the European fortress, attacked the German trade surplus and abhorred the agreement with Iran. Then there were those who thought that they were mere words. That the gale would subside. But if Trump has shown anything in his almost 16-month term, he keeps his promises. What in your universe translates into keeping your electorate active. Hit outside to win inside. “And he is getting it, if now presidential elections were held, he would win again,” Larry Sabato explains to this newspaper.
True to this strategy, the president of America First has been demolishing US foreign policy. Shaken Mexico and put the North American Free Trade Agreement on the edge of the abyss.
Absorbed to its ultimate consequences the Israeli agenda for the Middle East.
And has decided to alter the commercial flow with its planetary rival, China. “With Trump, international laws and commitments are mandatory for everyone, except the United States; that’s how exceptional it is “, wrote the expert Peter Beinart.
Europe does not escape this new ecosystem.
His criticisms of NATO, although he later rectified them, and especially the departure in June of the Paris Agreement against climate change, already warned that Trump’s isolationism was serious. A process that has been precipitated in recent months.
The hatred of the legacy of Barack Obama and the attempt to silence the scandals that haunt him – from the Russian plot to his relationship with porn actress Stormy Daniels – have influenced this radicalization.
Having obtained power, the president has given free rein to his mercurial character. With a tweet hit the moderate wing of the White House and replaced it with a nest of hawks concentrated around the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo; National Security Adviser John Bolton; and Commercial Strategist Peter Navarro. None of them looks towards the other side of the Atlantic with the expectations of the previous administrations.
They are isolationists. Defenders of the exceptionalism that Trump practices. They think, as Navarro has said, that the European Union follows the Berlin policy squarely and that the euro is an extension of the framework.
The tariff war reflects this bankruptcy, although the most evident sign has been the abandonment last Tuesday of the nuclear pact with Iran.The text, signed in 2015 in Vienna, was the last bridge. It was forged by the United States and signed, under its auspices, by France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia and China.
When Trump launched his ultimatum in January, the first European swords came out in his defense. But neither the state visit of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, nor the lightning trip of Merkel to Washington helped. On the contrary, they showed Washington’s distance from Berlin and its undisguised attempt to forge, above London, a special relationship with Paris. A game with which Macron, the son of his own exceptionalism, flirted without dissimulation. “There is a storm over the Atlantic, and since Trump was chosen the relationship with its traditional allies, Germany and the United Kingdom, has deteriorated; this has opened a window of opportunity for France “,
The danger of Macron suffering from the Tony Blair syndrome is there.
In the coming months you will have to opt for it. The restoration of US sanctions to European companies installed in Iran will mark a point of no return.
Trump will hardly back down. He is strong in the polls and faces a challenge that can bring him the great international success he needs: North Korea. If it achieves denuclearization, it will reassert itself in its paradigm.
There will be more America and less Europe.