ANALYSIS – One of the biggest partisan talking points during President Trump’s term was that his brash style, words and ‘America First’ agenda had alienated some European allies (mostly delinquent and soft-on-Russia Germany). This despite Trump’s actions to reinforce the forward lines of NATO in Poland and elsewhere, as well as providing offensive weapons to Ukraine previously banned by Obama-Biden.
Trump also sanctioned Russia and Putin allies more severely than his predecessor or successor, and fought to keep Europe from becoming dependent on Russian energy via the Biden-approved Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
Still, the narrative kept being spun that Trump was “fraying our alliances.”
Alas, it is now becoming clear that while Donald Trump caused many headaches for European leaders, Joe Biden’s actions so far have caused far more substantial and lasting damage to U.S.- European relations.
In just his first eight months in office, Biden appears to have more seriously alienated key European allies and in particular France, than Trump ever did.
Most of Europe is now totally peeved with Biden following the creation of the defense pact between the U.S., U.K. and Australia (AUKUS) – done without consulting European allies. This new pact resulted in a $65 billion French contract with Australia for diesel-powered subs being canceled.
The French government is so angry that it recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia.
According to Newsweek, Ralph Schoellhammer, an assistant professor of international relations at Webster Vienna Private University in Vienna, said that recalling the French ambassador to Washington “was never even considered during the Trump era.”
But this is only the most recent crisis causing what the European Union (EU) Commissioner described as trust in the U.S. becoming “eroded.” Biden’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan has provoked serious doubts from European leaders in America’s credibility and willingness to stand with its allies.
The reckless and uncoordinated Biden retreat from Afghanistan alienated Boris Johnson and even provoked a rare rebuke of the Biden actions from the British Parliament.
Schoellhammer added: “Although this might be an unpopular opinion on both sides of the Atlantic, I believe there is a case to be made that Donald Trump’s foreign policy was not as disadvantageous for European interests as one might think, especially due to the sometimes-mocking rhetoric the former president used vis-à-vis the EU.”
“Some of the major foreign policy actions undertaken by the Trump administration including the final defeat of ISIS and the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, increasing the pressure on Iran and countering Tehran clandestinely and openly – the assassination of Qasem Soleimani – as well as abandoning the Iran nuclear deal laid the groundwork for the Abraham Accords and a reordering of the Middle East that I believe could ultimately lead to more stability than the pre-Trump era status quo,” he said.
Indeed. Beware what you wish for. You may just get it.
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