With Donald Trump elected to the office of president of the United States, developments are following their predetermined course, with the relationship between Washington and Berlin being sorely tested.
Some had maintained hope that the new president of the US would adjust to the reality that’s been established for years. Trump, however, is battling and trying to overthrow this reality, treating it as something that’s against American interests.
The informal NATO summit in Brussels and the G7 have dashed the optimists’ expectations. Trump strongly criticized his European partners, including Germany, for being inconsistent with their financial obligations toward NATO. Germany’s disappointment with this was to be expected, but less so was the audacity that followed.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s strong remarks at a Munich beer tent, that Europe cannot rely on its American and British partners and that it should take its fate into its own hands, were the product of arrogance.
They represent the beginning of a rupture, even if some attempt to attribute a “strategic depth” to the whole issue – something like an emancipation for the European Union and a fresh impetus for the completion of the EU project.
Except that the introduction of the common currency, rather than make Europe more united, has created a two-tiered Europe, divided between north and south, and Chancellor Merkel’s immigration policies have accelerated centrifugal trends.
It doesn’t require much intelligence for one to realize the likely outcome of another amateur initiative like a “common European defense” structure without the active participation of the US and the UK.
This would be opportunism with disastrous consequences. It goes without saying that Greece outside the UK/US defense system puts us in grave danger.
We haven’t, of course, reached that point just yet. We’ve simply reached a period of typical European babble and confusion. The hope is that it doesn’t last too long. Nevertheless, the cries of German politicians must stop.
Of course, Pax Americana has been violently disputed from time to time. We have already had a taste of Germany in a dominant economic role, as implemented by Wolfgang Schaeuble.
Let us consider the remarks by Chancellor Merkel as a moment of intoxication at the beer tent.
We want a peaceful Europe, not one where Germany puts itself above all.