“America is back, the transatlantic alliance is back,” he said. Joe Biden on February 19, 2021 at a meeting of the Munich Security Conference. “I know that in recent years they have damaged and tested the transatlantic relationship. The United States is determined to reengage with Europe, to consult with you, to regain its position of trusted leadership. “
Biden was then taking his first steps in the White House after the most unpleasant election period in the United States. Donald Trump he went his way: like an elephant in an antique store. It left the Americans, but also the world, tense and wanting to turn the page as soon as possible. That promised Joe an idyllic honeymoon inside and outside the borders of the United States. However, the pandemic came, Afghanistan and even France. A few months and the atmosphere has become rarefied.
Heading into October, Biden is still a long way from earning back that trusted leadership position that February promised. Is he as different from Trump as he appeared? “It looks a lot like what Trump did,” he said. Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Macron, Few days ago. France, the oldest ally of the United States, has just called its ambassador in Washington for consultations, something that did not happen even with Donald. The reason was very Trumpist: with the help of the Great Britain of Boris Johnson, the Biden Government closed an alliance with Australia to build nuclear submarines for them. That deal overthrew a previous deal with France, which lost a $ 66 billion contract.
Eliseo’s version is that the White House did not comply with advising that they were entering the commercial compromise. From Washington they say they did warn. According The Washington Post, the truth, as it usually happens, is in the middle point: they warned, but very late. The truth is that the relationship between both governments was quite battered, something worrisome when the European Union embarks on a journey without the command of Angela Merkel. While waiting for what happens in Berlin, the leadership will fall to a Paris distant from Washington, but close to Moscow and the Arab kingdoms.
Brussels and Washington are already one of those couples who do not live together, and even have another de facto partner, but they refuse to make the break official
Thus, the world puts its pieces back together. Biden’s transatlantic alliance is not necessarily with the European Union but with Great Britain. In fact, with the Commonwealth of Nations or the English-speaking world. Then, the difference with Trump is not in the objective but in the ways. Washington has understood that this is the shortest way to recover the influence lost in recent years, especially with an EU that is manipulated by countries like Russia through energy blackmail or political destabilization.
It is impasse diplomat with the French is not the first that Biden has had with a member of the EU. The chaotic exit from Afghanistan was not consulted with its European allies despite the fact that they fought that war together and that most of the Afghan refugees have ended up in countries of the old continent. Nor has the pandemic been an example of cooperation between the two, with the distribution of vaccines and the American blockade of European travelers among the most controversial issues in this regard.
Barring an unexpected turn, and great nations do not move unexpectedly, we are facing a great recompositionon of the tectonic plates of world politics. It is a practical fact that, for the first time since the end of World War II, continental Europe is not America’s main ally.
Brussels and Washington are already one of those couples who do not live together, and even have another de facto partner, but they refuse to make the break official.
*** Francisco Poleo is an analyst specialized in Latin America and the United States.
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