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Checking in on US Geopolitical Suicide

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Josh Rogin write in the Washington Post that:

Trump has been publicly trashing the E.U. and NATO since his campaign, but the pace and viciousness of his attacks have increased. Just this week, at a rally in North Dakota, Trump said: “The European Union, of course, was set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank.” He then complained about a $150 billion trade deficit with the E.U., inflating the figure.

Other reports note that Trump recently told Group of Seven leaders that “NATO is as bad as NAFTA,” suggested to the Swedish prime minister that America should leave the NATO alliance , and launched gratuitous public attacks on German Chancellor Angela Merkel at her weakest moment. It’s a deepening trend that leads to an unavoidable conclusion: Trump doesn’t believe in the continued sanctity of the European Union and NATO, as well as the United States’ commitment to both.

I’ve been arguing for some time that it simply does not matter if Trump is a Siberian Candidate. When it comes to wrecking core American alliances and partnerships, Trump serves the interests of American power-political rivals, including Russia.

As Rogin notes:

But these efforts to reassure Europe are failing. European officials no longer believe Trump’s words can be discounted. They don’t see the alliance rift as routine or temporary. They don’t believe it’s possible to repair the transatlantic bridge in the middle of a Trump-sized earthquake. European countries have no choice but to hedge and seek alternatives to U.S. leadership.

The pathetic thing about all of this? Trump’s “theory” of world politics and international political economy is completely unmoored from reality. The United States has supported greater European integration and cooperation since the Marshall Plan. The EU is the largest American export market, and the second-largest source of US imports; the fact that it runs a trade surplus does no harm to our economy. As bears repeating over and over again, the US reaps enormous strategic dividends from its European alliances.

Things are likely to get worse before they get better.

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