What the Next President Can Do to Save Our Alliances with Europe
The transatlantic relationship has suffered a series of near-fatal blows in recent years. President Trump has openly questioned America’s Article 5 commitment to defend any attacked NATO member, dubbed the European Union a “foe,” and repeatedly disparaged some of the United States' closest allies—for example, calling Germany “captive to Russia.” The people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. France and Germany, instead of joining forces to chart a future course for the European project, have spent years trapped between President Emmanuel Macron’s unbridled desire to lead a more assertive Europe and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s caution and paralysis.
Meanwhile, Russia and other adversaries have become increasingly creative in finding ways to undermine transatlantic unity and resolve. And populist forces on both sides of the Atlantic are bringing new leaders to power who lack an interest in or exposure to Europe and the United States' shared history and values. While it would be premature to issue last rites to the transatlantic relationship, there’s no question that it is ailing.