Donald Trump: Against Mercantilist Atlantism | Opinion

The meetings between Trump and Macron are a fight that begins with the greetings, a pulse of strength in which hands and arms are held instead of cordially shaking. It will be seen at the next NATO summit, although the French president has already set the agenda in his famous interview to the weekly The Economist.

The issue is "the brain death of NATO," according to his raw words. The Alliance is effective in the interoperability of armies, the president said, but has no direction or strategy. With Trump it has become a commercial project, a deal or deal in which Washington guarantees the security umbrella to Europeans, but these in return must grant Washington the exclusive military purchase.

The trump agenda for London confirms Macron's argument. NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, wields the 100,000 million euros of increased European defense spending to obtain the renewal of Trump's commitment to Article 5 of the Treaty, by which the defense is mutualized against an external attack. But the facts are denied: The United States has abandoned the Kurds fighting the Islamic State in Syria and Turkey has invaded Syrian territory, without prior consultation with the other Atlantic partners in a matter that affects the security of Europeans, because of the danger terrorist and asylum requests by Syrian citizens.


Doubts about the effectiveness of the mutual guarantee do not come only from Trump's untimely statements. Could Turkey invoke the activation of article 5 if Syria attacked it? Macron does not challenge the transatlantic relationship, but its hierarchy, in which Europeans are minor and submissive partners. The equation has worked 70 years, but now it has become unbalanced. And Europe must choose between its disappearance as a geopolitical actor, crushed between China and the United States, or the construction of a sovereign self-defense and security system.

Transatlantic tension does not only affect mutual defense. Trumpist foreign policy dispenses with multilateral cooperation and international order, foundations of the Alliance. Its entire unilateralist policy in the Middle East – with regard to Syria, the occupied territories or Iran – harms European partners. The discussion is not about the distribution of Atlantic spending but about Trump's mercantilist idea of ​​alliances and also of NATO.

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