The World Still Needs a United West
How Europe and the United States Can Renew Their Alliance
On August 14, 1941, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill secretly met aboard a ship off the Newfoundland coast. The two leaders discussed war strategy, but more importantly, they laid out their common vision for a postwar world in a joint statement later known as the Atlantic Charter. The charter articulated shared principles and cemented not only the transatlantic alliance but also the foundation of a world order that has endured for more than 70 years.
Today, that alliance has reached a low point. U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to leave NATO and referred to Europe as a “foe.” Some European officials have normalized the Trump administration’s denigration of the alliance. In interviews with us, they spoke of a reversion to historic norms, arguing that the United States is reverting to its pre-1941 isolationism and that the past eight decades of transatlantic cooperation were the exception to the rule.