President Joe Biden has become the master of unforced errors. He is completely correct to enhance US-UK-Australian military cooperation to balance against China. But there was no reason to alienate France and possibly the EU in the process – Brandon J. Weichert in The Asia Times
The EU has chosen sides in the budding Cold War 2.0: they are with China, clearly.
Clearly, history has returned to Europe. And with the return of history has also come the return of geopolitics and the need for traditional military force. If France and Germany want to build their combined military force to balance against the Americans, let them. If Berlin and Paris want to try to make nice with Moscow, let them try that, too.
“Let Maas’s new world order of multipolarity and balance ring out. It’d save America much money and many lives, being able to hand off some responsibilities to capable allies. Unfortunately, though, the Germans are kidding themselves if they believe they’ll be able to achieve this in Europe – not without a great power backing their play (and that great power is notFrance). They will be forced to choose between the United States and Russia. I suspect that Berlin will ultimately end up in the United States’ camp.”
“Trump wants to put American interests first in the Mideast. Therefore, he should abrogate the Iran deal and withdraw American forces from Syria (while at the same time empowering American allies in Israel and the Sunni Arab states to stand up to Iran). Paris will never see eye-to-eye with Washington on these matters. Historically, Paris and Washington rarely agree. C’est la vie! The transatlantic divide over the Mideast is real and it will not get better anytime soon. It looks like Emmanuel Macron will have to shower Germany’s Angela Merkel with awkward hugs and creepy kisses from now on (c’est dégoûtant!).”
“The idea that the United States would not retaliate against Assad is disturbing, because it sends a signal to the Israelis and our Sunni Arab partners that we really don’t have a backbone when dealing with Iran (which is what this is really all about). It will force them to take a hard look at whether they will stick their proverbial necks out for us in fighting to maintain a regional order that favors American preferences over those of the Russians and Chinese. We can–and should–draw down most of our 2,200 men in Syria. But, we should also strike back at Assad’s forces for conducting the chemical weapons attack. We cannot encourage, or appear to be encouraging, the use of WMD in such an unstable world. It sets a bad precedent and sends mixed signals to our allies, and also signals to North Korea that we really aren’t serious about upholding non-proliferation policies.”
“If Macron wants France to take a more active role in the region, we should encourage him. After all, misery loves company. We’ve already got the Russians joining us in this miserable party, let’s get the ultimate party-goers–the French–to bring their resources to the table as well!”
The world is increasingly multipolar and American economic and military capabilities are increasingly constrained. Europe must stand up on its own, if it is to survive radical Islamist terror and Russian revanchism.
On 25 September 2017, Brandon J. Weichert will address the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. over whether or not European countries, such as Germany and Poland, should develop nuclear arms.
France has an independence streak that cannot be cowed. Anyone who tries to will suffer the consequences. Macron should remember this when seeking to implement Frau Merkel’s economic reforms–as should Putin, when seeking to incorporate France into a new alliance.