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24 March, 2019
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No more pretexts

For years, the US was asked to clean up the mess created by initiatives of its European partners

Costas Iordanidis

Costas Iordanidis

The world will never be the same since Donald Trump was installed in the White House. In a sense, his election was unavoidable. Not because matters became unbearable in the last 30 years after the fall of the communist system in Europe. Rather, it was because they became in a way unnatural.

The previous three decades saw the economic growth of China and EU powerhouse Germany at the expense of the United States. In other words, there was an extreme imbalance between America’s military and economic power. As a consequence, it was necessary to restore that balance by imposing trade countermeasures. This is exactly what Trump is trying to achieve here.

Beyond that, America’s status within the NATO military alliance has always been unbalanced. US calls for an increase of European contributions to alliance defense spending have fallen on deaf ears for decades.

Trump simply said the same thing, only adopting a different tone and without bowing to political correctness.

Angela Merkel was certainly treated in a special manner. That said, the German chancellor’s misfortune began after former US president Barack Obama nominated her as the continuator of his global vision. Trump however is fighting to uproot the Obama system and Merkel is merely suffering her fair share as his “spiritual successor.”

For years, the US was asked to clean up the mess created by initiatives of its European partners, as was the case in Yugoslavia, Libya, Ukraine and Syria.

And while they are expressing concerns about the expansion of Russia’s influence, Berlin has no qualms about strengthening its financial ties with Moscow. Trump naturally decided to launch a dialogue with Vladimir Putin, a reliable enemy as it were, bypassing the Europeans.

As for criticism of Trump’s allegedly crude behavior toward his European partners, it can only be said that Berlin has followed a similar tactic inside the eurozone.

There are hardly any surprises here. The US president is seeking to create a new world order. The outcome is uncertain. His idiosyncratic posturing does not mean he is wrong in principle.

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