Friday, June 2, 2017

If Europe loves NATO so much, why does the U.S. still bear the burden?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A German leader in a beer tent announces a new indifference to the United Kingdom and America and a new determination to lead Europe into a glorious future, possibly delighting the expansionist strongman leading Russia. The result, a little over seventy years ago, was a calamity for civilization, before Germany was brought to repent of its ambition. In 2017, the replay was far less threatening, and the German leader in question began issuing comedowns and take-backs in about 72 hours. The only casualties were the excited opinion columns about Europe stepping forward to lead the world Trump’s America had abandoned.
But it was a mysterious statement. “The times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over, as I have experienced in the past few days,” Merkel lamented. “We Europeans must really take our destiny in our own hands. Of course we need to have friendly relations with the U.S. and with the U.K. and with other neighbors, including Russia. But we have to fight for our own future ourselves” Of course, she had electoral politics on mind. But something deeper is at work.
In poker, a player who has lost control of her emotions and the realistic assessment of the stakes at play is said to have gone on tilt. Donald Trump seems to put all of his opponents and some of his friends on tilt. The Democrats, the media, and foreign leaders often have good reasons to dislike Donald Trump’s leadership of the United States. Don’t we all? But what so often happens is that Trump’s opponents are goaded by the passions of their constituents, or their wounded sense of pride, or even deluded by their conviction that others must come to realize Trump’s presidency is some kind of cosmic mistake. And then they run out ahead of the evidence, or their own better judgment.
In global opinion-setting press clippings, German chancellor Angela Merkel and her new friend, French president Emmanuel Macron, outclass everyone on planet Earth. But in the real world, the thing that keeps cartographers sitting on their hands and reprinting the same European border maps year after year since the dissolution of the Soviet empire is the U.S. military, the one parked in Germany since 1945.
Read the rest from Michael Brendan Dougherty HERE.

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