British Prime Minister Theresa May was the first foreign leader to meet Donald Trump at the White House, but the one who counts in Europe is German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Her response to Trump’s apparent readiness to overturn seven decades of American support for NATO and the European Union will be crucial in determining the future of Germany and the EU.
Europeans like to call the British and their former white colonies – the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – the “Anglo Saxons”. No matter that all these states now have an ethnic mix, in which descendants of the Germanic tribes of Angles and Saxons who settled in England are increasingly outnumbered by people with no such origins. The name sticks.
The National Security Council was created 70 years ago, at the dawn of the Cold War, as the White House intelligence center – where secrets of state were weighed, assayed and placed before the president for life-and-death decisions.
George W. Bush invaded Iraq to remove its – ultimately nonexistent – weapons of mass destruction. Barack Obama used cyber weaponry and sanctions to deter Iran from building its own atomic bomb. Now Donald Trump faces North Korea, but stopping its nuclear and missile program may prove impossible, creating what may be his first and perhaps defining international crisis.
A poll on European attitudes toward immigration, Islam and terrorism, partly disclosed this week, found that a majority of Europeans don't want any more Muslim immigration. That is, they appear willing to support the ban which U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to impose in the United States, presently being challenged by the courts.
Even as President Donald Trump described NATO as “obsolete” barely a week before taking office, the United States was completing its largest move of troops and armor to Europe in decades. Other NATO states, meanwhile – particularly those closest to Russia – were also falling over themselves to pledge their own forces and recommit themselves to the Atlantic alliance.
Throughout the U.S. presidential campaign, Donald Trump criticized the Obama administration for being “too soft” on Iran, and for allowing it to gain strength in the Middle East. Trump promised to “rip up” the July 2015 agreement that Iran signed with the United States and five other world powers to limit Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sanctions.
The views expressed by the authors in the Commentary section are not those of Reuters News.
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