The resignation of American defense secretary James Mattis has shocked European allies, who were counting on the former Marine Corps general to protect them from the whims of President Donald Trump. Read more
Reflections on George H.W. Bush’s legacy have generally emphasized his commitment to the transatlantic alliance and its benign consequences for Europe’s post-Cold War transition. Lost in the narrative is the former president’s ambivalence toward the restive movements on the outer edges the Soviet empire.
The result was a full-blown civil conflict in Yugoslavia that undermined America’s confidence in its European allies and fueled a unilateralist streak that would animate a decade of American-led interventions. Read more
Congress doesn’t make foreign policy; the president does. So whether or not Donald Trump’s Republicans win or lose on Tuesday, America’s relations with its allies across the Atlantic are unlikely to change — for the better or worse. Read more
The European Union has announced measures to protect companies that do business with Iran from American sanctions.
The BBC reports that an EU “blocking statute” bans European firms from complying with the sanctions, unless they get approval from the European Commission.
It also enables businesses to recover damages resulting from American sanctions on Iranian cars, gold and other metals. Read more
My latest post for the Atlantic Council’s New Atlanticist blog previews next week’s meeting between American president Donald Trump and Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte.
Although the leaders got along well at the recent G7 and NATO summits, and share views on immigration, international relations and trade, I wouldn’t be surprised if the meeting turned out to be a disappointment.
On both military spending and trade — Trump’s pet peeves when it comes to Europe — Conte’s government opposes the American president. Read more
I’m glad Donald Trump’s shameful behavior in Helsinki, coming on the heels of his ally-bashing in Brussels and the United Kingdom, is finally waking up even conservatives to the fact that we have a Putin apologist in the White House.
When former intelligence chiefs start to call the president a traitor for accepting Vladimir Putin’s denials of waging information warfare on the United States, we should perhaps ask ourselves if Jonathan Chait didn’t have a point when he argued in New York magazine that the Trump-Russia scandal could be worse than we thought?
For us in Europe, the why matters less than the what. Whatever Trump’s motives, we must deal with an American president who is determined to sabotage the Atlantic alliance and establish an accord with Putin.
The question is, how? Read more
President Donald Trump, apparently surprised to learn (two years on the job) that the United States have around 35,000 troops in Germany, is considering pulling his soldiers out. He has ordered the Defense Department to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of their presence.
Such a study would no doubt find that the benefits outweigh the costs. Those 35,000 troops — down from a Cold War peak of 400,000 — serve American, not German, interests. Read more