In the last several days you may have seen brief clips of footage from the just-ended Munich Security Conference, specifically two particular moments, one in which a Trump-toadying Vice President Mike Pence is met with humiliating silence upon mentioning his boss to the assembled leaders and diplomats, and the other in which Daughter With Sketchily Defined Administration Duties Ivanka Trump sat stonily as German Chancellor Angela Merkel mocked Trump’s claims that German cars are a national security threat.
If the New York Times’ reporting is accurate, however, the relationship between the United States and its European allies has worsened considerably more than even those clips might suggest. At this point, angry European leaders are giving up on the American administration entirely.
A senior German official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on such matters, shrugged his shoulders and said: “No one any longer believes that Trump cares about the views or interests of the allies. It’s broken.”
Trump has spent the last two years insulting European allies, questioning the value of NATO and its commitments while promoting Russian theories about what should be done in Ukraine, Syria, and other hot spots. European leaders began the relationship with attempts to ignore his provocations and (extremely obvious) ignorance of world affairs, choosing instead to soothe Trump with light flattery; it sounds like those days are behind us. Now, the prevailing mood among leaders is that the Trump-led United States can no longer be trusted or counted on, leading to a new re-evaluation of Europe’s independent security interests.
This is because most nations are generally headed by non-imbeciles. You’d have to be a special kind of stupid to look at Donald J. Trump, ranting narcissist with a gnat’s attention span, a man who has spent his entire life veering between impulsive acts and potentially criminal ones and who has only gotten worse since being given a global spotlight, and trust him to look after your best interests.
The raft of quotes from the security conference instead suggest that allied European diplomats are losing all patience with Trump and his various sycophants, and aren’t being shy about showing it.
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