It’s no secret that President Trump believes NATO is an anachronism. It’s also no secret that French President Emmanuel Macron wants a Grand Army of the EU and a single EU Finance Minister to further integration of the EU into the United States of Europe.
He and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have been championing these two things since the day after Macron took office. They are both pushing hard for the EU to conduct independent foreign policy, framing Trump’s belligerence as the catalyst for its need now.
So, I’m not surprised in the wake of Merkel’s garden summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin recently that both of these policy initiatives are being pushed now.
Both Merkel and Macron are in trouble politically. Their approval ratings are dropping. Both have seen cabinet defections. So, they need political wins, and rapprochement with Russia is something very much desired by many European nations like Italy, and necessary to gain some economic momentum after four years of ruinous sanctions.
Macron now openly engages the idea of a security framework with Russia. The same Russia that not three months ago Macron was pulling diplomats from over the (ER: alleged) poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.
This admission on his part is major bombshell. If sincere, it changes the entire narrative and accelerates the shift of Europe away from the U.S.’s abusive use of the dollar as a whip to command compliance.
It also cuts to the heart of Trump’s criticisms of NATO, that the threat of Russian invasion of Eastern Europe as promoted by Poland and the Baltics is laughable.
In his recent press conference in Helsinki (ironic that), Macron echoed Merkel’s statements from earlier this year that Europe can no longer rely on the United States for its security; France should build a strategic partnership with Russia and Turkey.
I’ve been arguing for weeks now that Trump’s hostile policies towards Iran as well as Europe had the ultimate goal of accelerating the end of NATO by putting direct pressure on Germany and France to end the policy of using the U.S. as their defense pack horse.
Trump was right to point out at July’s NATO Summit the fundamental hypocrisy of spending billions on NATO to defend Germany while Germany is building a gas pipeline with Russia, Nordstream 2, to run its economy and resell gas around Europe.
This statement by Macron is an admission that Trump has won the standoff between the EU and the U.S.
Previous to Trump, the goal was to simultaneously bind down the U.S. via trade deals and transnational agreements like TTIP and the Paris Accord on Climate Control, while elevating Europe’s interests abroad by letting Iran off the hook and back into the global economy and expanding trade with China.
The inversion of the relationship between the U.S. (master) and Europe (satrap) would have been completed under a Clinton Presidency.
The arrangement being that the U.S. would continue to bankrupt itself, maintaining a military empire around the world and paying the lion’s share of NATO’s costs while the EU would set policy. Trump rightly called that out during the campaign and has been resolute on this as President.
And to him, the Iran Nuclear Deal represented the ultimate slap in the face to the U.S., allowing Europe access to cheap Iranian oil and gas, paid for with euros, in exchange for zero real guarantee of Iran not developing a nuclear missile, thereby destabilizing the entire Middle East.
And, while, I believe Iran was upholding its end of the bargain as written, the spirit of the agreement was the problem. Trump believes, and, here I agree with him, that North Korea and Iran were working together to develop a nuclear ballistic missile. North Korea built the warhead while Iran worked on the delivery system.
Trump confirmed this was his belief in a tweet last year. It signified that Trump understands this connection and was unhappy about it.
That tweet changed everything. It set us on the path we’re on today. Here’s what I wrote back in late September of 2017.
Trump has made a big show about how the JCPOA is a ‘bad deal.’ This tweet tells you why.
But, so what? Until we show some willingness to define American interests less broadly and honor our agreements, why should anyone negotiate? Why should Iran and North Korea not pursue their interests which is obtaining a nuclear arsenal to deter the U.S. from violent regime change?
And that’s the place we are in right now with Europe. Why should they negotiate with Trump unless he offers them something in return, something he wants to give them: their foreign policy independence.
Trump is defining American interests less broadly. He’s saying Europe’s defense isn’t our responsibility anymore. He’s saying you don’t get to have your Iranian oil and hollow out our economy at the same time.
Macron is actively taking him up on the offer because he knows, like Merkel, that the U.S. will not lift a finger under Trump to tamp down unrest in Europe due to political instability brought on by central bank financial repression and mass immigration.
Because of this NATO is worried. Selling the world on permanent conflict with the evil Russians and ‘terrorists’ is the main way to keep selling arms around the world. That’s what NATO is at this point: a vast graveyard for productive capital to be wasted on weapons we don’t need to fight enemies that don’t exist.
This is why its political mouthpiece, The Atlantic Council, is advising Facebook on what is and is not ‘fake news’ coming from Russia. This is why the media, bureaucracies and lobbyists in D.C. all hate Trump. He’s undercutting the reasons for all of these weapons by forcing the real narrative about Europe’s security into the open.
Which is that the biggest danger to Europe’s security is Europe’s own leadership.
As I said at the outset, these plans for a Grand Army of the EU have been in the works for years. The EU was supposed to have its cake – U.S. money and support – and eat it too – its own private military — with the ultimate goal of merging their command structures with the U.S. in the subservient role.
And that plays into the other possibility of what this offer by Macron signifies. I’ve given you the bull case, as it were. Now here’s the bear case.
This statement by Macron could also be meant as an enticement to Russia to abandon its partnership with Iran and China in exchange for a closer relationship with Europe. We all know that Henry Kissinger has been advising Trump on this front; to create conditions by which to break the Russia/China alliance.
Because, while the U.S. is ‘not agreement capable,’ France and Germany are the kindlier, gentler face of Western expansionism. So, Macron offers up a security arrangement for Russia and Turkey that excludes the U.S., giving Trump what he wants – an end to the U.S. funding Europe’s defense, while keeping NATO alive to turn on Russia at a later date, say after Trump is impeached.
So which path does this offer by Macron represent? The one that leads to European independence on foreign and energy policy out from under the umbrella of NATO and the U.S., and into an agreement with Russia and Turkey, as Macron said.
Or is it simply a stalking horse for further EU integration after Trump is removed from office and the original path paved by Obama re-established, but this time with Russia neutered having betrayed its allies, China and Iran?
I’m betting Putin isn’t that stupid.
ER recommends other articles by Strategic Culture Foundation
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