News Analysis |
Past two weeks have particularly been troublesome for everyone who has been around U.S President Donald Trump. It all started in NATO summit where the seasoned political leaders and diplomats of Europe had to face situation beside prevalent diplomatic norms. First, it was German Chancellor Angela Merkel who was the target of Trump’s rants about Germany’s relations with Russia and then, in England, Queen Elizabeth II had to stand on the aisle and wait for President Trump to arrive for more than 15 minutes. But his remarks about Germany, regarding the country being controlled by Russia, were taken very seriously by the German political administration.
The alliance formed in 1949 to counter the communist influence in the Baltic and Europe lost the objective with the fall of Soviet Union.
German foreign minister Heiko Mass, in his interview with a newspaper, said that the United States of America is no longer a trustworthy ally for us. “We can no longer completely rely on the White House,” Heiko Maas said while giving an interview to a newspaper. “To maintain our partnership with the USA we must readjust it. The first clear consequence can only be that we need to align ourselves even more closely in Europe”.
He added: “Europe must not let itself be divided however sharp the verbal attacks and absurd the tweets may be.”
Donald Trump’s hostility toward the European Union was even depicted from his suggestion to Britain’s PM Theresa May when he asked her to sue EU instead of becoming a part of it. His economic policies toward the traditional allies such as Canada have been off the mark with respect to conventional U.S approach.
It is not surprising in this context that Trump has termed the European Union as the United States’ economic foe. Trump has repeatedly criticized trade policies between the U.S. and EU, arguing they are very unfavorable to the United States. He has imposed 25 percent tariffs on imports of steel from the EU and other countries, which has led the EU to take steps of retaliation against U.S. exports.
German foreign minister went on to state that it is the time for Europe to stand firm and united as it could no longer rely on the United States of America. German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed similar sentiments to Maas’ last year after Trump clashed with other world leaders at last year’s G7 summit. “We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands — naturally in friendship with the United States of America, in friendship with Great Britain, as good neighbors with whoever, also with Russia and other countries,” she said at an election rally after the meeting.
Is NATO really obsolete?
U.S president has been exerting that the NATO is obsolete, which in a sense is true. North Atlantic treaty organization or what is commonly known as the western alliance has been purposeless since the end of cold war. The alliance formed in 1949 to counter the communist influence in the Baltic and Europe lost the objective with the fall of Soviet Union. Donald Trump has always deemed NATO as a white elephant for the United States because of the diminishing returns compared to what it is investing. Gone is the time when Europe was in the process of rehabilitation and it needed the U.S financial assistance, which came in the form of Marshal Plan, and resultantly America was able to manipulate the European powers. Now the immigrants, identity crisis, and struggling economies are making Europe go south. The ingredient missing is, if any, gets provided with the way Donald Trump treats his allies.
Inside the United States of America, the support for the administration’s decision and Trump’s popularity as the president is going down further with every passing day. Not only his decisions have been very unpopular but they have also been absurd. For instance, he lashed out on Germany and accused the country of being manipulated by Russia. But on the other hand, he sang all praises for the Russian President Vladimir Putin during the NATO summit. He will be meeting Putin today in a historic summit which will determine the extent of his inclination toward Russia. But in general, his actions have left European people disgruntled against him.