Trump enrages the Europeans and isolates the US in G7

Meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government in Brussels, Belgium – 25 May 2017. Donald Trump, President of the United States and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg share a laugh. (NATO Audiovisual Services work).

Last Thursday, Donald Trump, at a superb hall in the new glass and steel NATO building in Brussels, delivered an unruly speech, after having pushed aside Prime Minister Dusko Markovic of Montenegro (the related video has become viral) while walking towards the rostrum. He came out with a blatant and derogatory account aimed at 23 out of the other 27 member states of the western Alliance.

The European leaders were astounded hearing the American President telling them that they “owe massive amounts of money from past years”, to the American taxpayer and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Trump repeated loudly at this event in the heart of Europe with high Press exposure, what he had said to the dazed German Chancellor Angela Merkel last March at the White House.

Europe, after the Arab Gulf

Trump had just flown in to Europe from Saudi Arabia, where he had cashed in $110 billion in contracts for American armaments, plus another $100bn in ‘cooperation’ deals between US companies and the Saudi state oil monopoly Aramco. In Brussels he used the same strategy as in the Arab Gulf, indirectly but unmistakably telling his interlocutors that they have to pay more, for the ‘protection’ the might US armed forces offer them. According to Trump, in the case of Saudi Arabia the enemy is clearly Iran and to this effect he duly exorcised Tehran from the world. It’s exactly the same logic the New York Mafia uses in offering ‘protection’, and it seems that New Yorker Trump knows this game very well.

However, for Europe it was not clear who the enemy could be. He avoided pointing clearly to Russia and took special care to identify who the foe is, that the Europeans need American protection from. He menacingly stated, that “Terrorism must be stopped in its tracks, or the horror you saw in Manchester and so many other places (in Europe) will continue forever”. Obviously, he meant that it will continue forever, unless the Europeans pay the Americans to stop it. He said that clearly as it follows: “These grave security concerns are the same reason that I have been very, very direct … in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share”.

He has divided the US too

There is no doubt that Trump is not a fool going around menacing entire continents. It’s not clear yet, if this drastic change of US foreign policy – from cooperation to aggression towards the rest of the world – authentically expresses the entire American complex power structures, which dictate policy to the White House. It’s pretty clear that within the US, Trump and those who support him are having great trouble prevailing in the complicated American power structures. For the time being, he has managed to divide the US so deeply than ever before. He is desperately fighting to promote his amicable policy towards Russia and aggression towards Europe, the Muslim world and China.

With this trip to Europe he confirmed, that what he told Angela Merkel last March in Washington about her massive debts, is his new European policy. Probably, not by chance then, the antagonistic new French President, Emmanuel Macron in two occasions showily rebuked Trump. Once, when walking towards the gathering of NATO leaders, he first embraced Merkel and shook hands with other Europeans and then turned to Trump. In a second incident, Macron, while shaking hands with Trump in their ‘tête-à-tête’ meeting, clearly held the latter’s hand not letting him twice to withdraw it. The relevant video has become viral in social media. It seems that Macron is trying to resume the leading political role France had in the European Union, by being seen to stand firm against the US, indirectly reminding everybody that his country disposes a very extensive nuclear arsenal.

What sort of NATO does Trump want?

There is more to it though. For one thing, Trump is the only American President, who in his first visit to NATO headquarters didn’t make a straight mention to the famous Article 5 of the Alliance Statutes. This article states, that an attack to one member state is an attack to all of them, so the other 27 are obliged to defend their partner. This fact together with Trump’s omission to make the slightest reference to the Russian aggression in Ukraine, Crimea and Georgia sounded the alarms in many European capitals. He went even further and proposed that NATO change its military character and undertakes anti-immigration action. Presumably, such a prospect would perfectly suit Putin’s plans. Let’s dig a bit into that.

After the start of the Ukrainian civil war and the active Russian intervention in it, a number of European countries have energetically confronted Moscow, fearing a resumption of the Russian outspreading westward, as in the era of USSR. Germany and France feel quite uneasily about that, and of course cannot ever accept the annexation of Crimea to Russia. The previous US administration under Obama was very sensitive to those issues and aggressively confronted Putin’s plans in Europe. Trump however, while not withholding the fast growing military presence of the US in Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and elsewhere, has held back the Washington rhetoric and action vis-à-vis Russia.

Cornered in America

Within the US, the new tenant of the White House is having a hard time protecting himself from accusations, that some of his closest associates and probably also himself have acted carelessly or even treasonously, in their contacts with the Russians. The relevant investigations conducted by the FBI, the House of Representatives, the Senate and an independent investigator have eclipsed any other issue in the US, and Trump has to defend himself from continuous revelations and leaks to the Press.

So strong are the attacks against Trump and his administration for their dealings with Russia, that a number of analysts discuss the possibility even for an impeachment against him. As a result, he has grave problems in applying his policies on immigration, health, the environment, etc.

Isolated in the G7

Thank God, Trump in his third and last European stopover in Taormina, Sicily (after the Vatican and Brussels) didn’t reserve more surprises at the G7 meeting. He stuck with his positions to question both the Paris Climate Agreement and the global order in international trade, enraging the other six leaders. On this last issue he finally conceded, after being strongly pressed, that the six page communiqué of the G7 conference contains the phrase, “pledged to fight protectionism”.

However, Trump may easily retract on that, by saying he is fighting protectionism his own way (America first) or alleging that the US is obliged to confront the trade aggressiveness of Germany and China. According to international news agencies, at the end of the day the G7 leaders on many issues found themselves divided in two camps, the US alone on the one side and France (President Emmanuel Macron), Germany (Chancellor Angela Merkel), Japan (PM Shinzō Abe), Canada (PM Justin Trudeau), Italy (PM Paolo Gentiloni) and even Britain (PM Theresa May) together on the other.

On the whole, the first foreign trip of the new US President confirmed what the entire world already knew: that Trump, if effectively confronted, chooses to retreat. He keeps coming back though on the same issue, if the pressure exercised eases. This makes him a totally unreliable US Commander in Chief, still the most powerful man of the world. In one hundred days he has managed to increase uncertainty and political risks all over the world, including his own country.

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN chief urges top digital tech panel to come up with ‘bold, innovative ideas’ for an ‘inclusive’ future

We can end TB right now. Here’s how

Multilateralism more vital than ever, as World War centenary looms: Security Council

Syria: Why did the US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapse? What does the duo care for?

New EU rules to boost crowdfunding platforms and protect investors

Brexit talks: Today the world to hear of a predictable failure

European Union: Retail sales show deep recession

Banks promise easing of credit conditions in support of the real economy

Companies have a new skill to master – innovation

70 years on, landmark UN human rights document as important as ever

COP21 Breaking News: China has promised to cut emissions from its coal power plants by 60% by 2020

Backed by UN, Asia-Pacific countries to advance space technology for ‘development transformation’

Data exchanges: Strengthening Europol cooperation with non-EU countries

JADE Generations Club 2015: Knowledge vs. competences – Do not wait for the change to happen, but make it happen

Crucial medical supplies airlifted to north-east Syria to meet ‘desperate need’

UN migration agency: young Rohingya girls, largest group of trafficking victims in camps

EU Emissions Trading System does not hurt firms’ profitability

Australia’s record heatwave: From fainting tennis players to dead fish

It’s time to stop talking about ethics in AI and start doing it

ECB is about to lend trillions to banks

New roadmap toward healthier and cleaner oceans adopted by UN Environment and European Commission

GSMA Mobile 360 Series –Digital Societies, in association with The European Sting

Internet milestone reached, as more than 50 per cent go online: UN telecoms agency

National parks transformed conservation. Now we need to do the same for the ocean

Costa Coffee products (Copyright: Costa Coffee; Source: Costa Coffee website, Press area)

The start of the “Caffeine rush”: Coca-Cola acquires Costa Coffee days after Nestlé-Starbucks deal

Mainland Europe adopts Germanic cartel business patterns

Nigeria: Armed conflict continues to uproot thousands, driving up humanitarian need

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris is the moment for climate justice”, Swedish MEP Linnéa Engström claims from Brussels

The Americans are preparing for the next financial crisis

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Drinking water: new plans to improve tap water quality and cut plastic litter

The EU Commission by serving the banks offers poor support to European mainstream political parties

The Italian crisis may act as a catalyst for less austerity

Brexit: MEPs concerned over reported UK registration plans for EU27 citizens

Despite violence, ‘tremendous hunger’ for peace in Afghanistan: top UN official

Online platforms required by law to be more transparent with EU businesses

EU Budget 2019: no deal before the end of the conciliation period

Child victims of DRC Ebola outbreak need ‘special attention and care’: UNICEF

Central Africa: Security Council concerned by ‘grave security situation’, calls for better agency cooperation

Food choices today, impact health of both ‘people and planet’ tomorrow

Why CEOs need to become activists in sustainability

These are 2018’s stats of the year

Poverty data never tells the whole story

8000 young people in the EP in Strasbourg: “a breath of fresh air for EU democracy”

The issue of health literacy and how it affects European health policies

The Ecofin Council creates officially the clan of ‘undead’ banks

“Is Europe innovative? Oh, Yes we are very innovative!”, Director General of the European Commission Mr Robert-Jan Smits on another Sting Exclusive

Imported and EU fisheries products should be treated equally

Europe bewildered by radicalisation and terrorism

EU-US resume trade negotiations under the spell of NSA surveillance

New rules on drivers’ working conditions and fair competition in road transport

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

Measuring consumer confidence isn’t useful anymore. Here’s what we should do instead

We can’t rid Asia of natural disasters. But we can prepare for them

Governments and non-state actors need to take urgent action to meet Paris Agreement goals

How building renovations can speed up the electric vehicle revolution

Generation Z will outnumber Millennials by 2019

Making technology work for 1.3 billion Indians

Fighting cybercrime – what happens to the law when the law cannot be enforced?

A Sting Exclusive: “The Digital Economy and Industry are no longer opposing terms”, Commissioner Oettinger underlines live from European Business Summit 2015

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s