Thursday, June 28, 2018

"No friends, only enemies"

That's how the European Union, historically one of America's allies, is characterising US foreign policy under Trump:

Donald Trump has been accused by the European Union of pioneering a new American doctrine in which there are “no friends, only enemies”.

Ahead of what is set to be a stormy Nato summit next week – and with EU leaders gathering in Brussels to discuss a developing transatlantic trade war among other issues – the bloc’s most senior officials expressed deep anxiety about the future.

The European Council’s president, Donald Tusk, said the EU had to now prepare for the worst due to the policies of Trump’s White House. Tusk is planning to engage in a discussion with the leaders of the 28 member states on Thursday.

Given the impending trade war, a US decision to renege on the Iran deal and the Paris climate change pact, and the repeated attack on European allies for underspending on defence, there are concerns in Brussels over the long-term stability of the relationship. Indeed it is feared that the US change in attitude could outlast Trump’s presidency.

And they're not wrong. US "friendship" pre-Trump was always controlling, but under Trump the US is now openly demanding tribute from and imposing trade sanctions on countries it once regarded as allies, while acting in a more hostile manner towards those it has traditionally labelled its enemies (the exception, of course, being Russia - I guess helping the president get elected gets you some slack). In general, the US is a more hostile state to everyone, and is even more of a global bully. And that doesn't make for a safer world.

Which makes me very glad I live at the bottom of the world in a country that no-one thinks about much and is often left completely off the map. In times like these, being beneath people's notice seems safer.