February 17, 2017 - Fort Russ -
Rostislav Ishchenko, RIA Analytics - translated by J. Arnoldski -
Europeans seriously prepared for the latest meeting of NATO member-countries’ defense ministers in Brussels on February 15th-16th. This is understandable, since the the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, has made more than a few too ambiguous statements on major foreign policy issues.
It is also unsurprising that just before the meeting in Brussels, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Federica Mogherini, paid a two-day visit to the United States. After her trip, she gave an extremely informative interview to European journalists which can be almost completely broken down into worthy quotes. Candor and frankness in statements is not typical of EU officials in general and Mogherini in particular. But not this time. Let’s touch on three key points.
Who should pay for NATO?
First of all, why should we connect this EU foreign policy representative’s visit with the NATO defense ministers’ meeting? After all, although these structures are close, they are still different.
Mogherini herself makes it clear why. In assessing the prospects of the defense ministers’ meeting, she did not exclude a divergence of positions between the EU and US on a set of key questions. And here she predicts that with time there will be more and more questions on which the US and EU will hold different positions.
This means that probing the new US administration on prospects of NATO was one of Mogherini’s field tasks. The results of this probing turned out to be so disappointing that she is preparing the public in advance for a divergence of views between the EU and US on key issues of defense and security policy.
We do not know all of the possible contradictions between the EU and America. But judging by Mogherini’s statement, there is a lot of them, and there will be even more. The main contradiction within NATO, however, has long been known ever since it was placed on the agenda by the Bush and Obama administrations. Indeed, Trump also made it one of the basic points of his election campaign.
As is known, the US insists on its European allies sharing proportional costs for providing security. We are talking about an .5% increase in the military budgets of the majority of countries of “old Europe” who have been skimp on their commitments to allocating 2% of their GDP’s to defense. Nevertheless, “old Europe” has for two decades reduced its defense spending as well as the number of its armed forces. Western Europeans are not eager to participate in US-initiated military campaigns in distant regions of Eurasia.
The countries of Eastern Europe (the “new Europeans”) are not averse to placing contingents of American troops on their territories, and they even insist on it. They are ready to bear the defense costs even beyond the stipulated 2% (and lose 2.5-3% of GDP) because, due to pervasive poverty, they can simply get this money in grants and loans from EU and NATO allies.
Insofar as the US does not have enough troops or money, the burden of satisfying the militaristic ambitions of the young Europeans has also fallen into the lap of the “old members” of the EU.
European Globalists vs. American Isolationists
Secondly, and interestingly enough, Mogherini gave her interview to the European agency LENA (LEading European Newspaper Agency) which includes German, Italian, Spanish, Belgian, French, and two Swiss publications. As we can see, this is all of “old Europe” minus fleeing Britain, but joined by Switzerland. It was none other than to them, and not the young Europeans, that Mogherini appealed.
The greatest response to the interview came from Germany. This is not surpising since Germany is not only a key part that binds the entire EU together, but it is in Germany, not other European countries, that the globalists can keep power regardless of whether Angela Merkel’s chancellorship is kept. The current government relies on right-wing liberal globalists who are being fought not by nationalists as in other EU countries, but left-liberal globalists. This is natural for Germany as a kind of metropolis of the European Empire (EC) whose imperial ideology cannot be nationalist. But EU officialdom, to whom Federica Mogherini belongs, is not national, but imperial. Therefore, they are also globalists. Here their interests coincide with the globalist part of the German establishment which intends to keep power in its hands whether in right-wing liberal or left-liberal clothing.
In fact, Mogherini noted the presence of growing contradictions between the US and is sending a signal to European globalists on the need to unite under the auspices of pan-European structures (the EU and NATO) in order to fight, first and foremost, the American isolationists from Trump’s team.
This is reasonable. The Americans were nice to the European globalists as long as ideologically close politicians from the Obama-Clinton team ruled. Trump’s isolationists, who could actively support European nationalists, are not needed by the EU globalists. More over, they are dangerous. By pushing the US away from European problems, the globalists have the chance to reverse the trend of power falling into the hands of nationalists in their own favor.
Confusion and Vacillation in the US
Here Mogherini’s third message in her interview is extremely important. “I have never seen the United States so polarized, divided, and burdened by conflict as now. Anyone who really wants to play the rule of world leader needs to be internally strong, confident, and united,” she said.
When Russian experts spoke of a harsh split in the US elite and American society bordering on the verge of civil conflict, skeptics said that this was wishful thinking. When representatives of the American elite spoke of this, skeptics wrote this off as part of the emotional intensity of the electoral struggle.
But now the head of European diplomacy is not only speaking about a split in America, but is predicting problems with the American leadership. Mogherini is almost openly advising the EU to prepare for life after the US.
The situation in the US is complex, the split has really not been overcome and it could worsen up to the point of a full-scale civil conflict. But in both groups (the losing globalists and victorious isolationists), supporters of compromise prevail. The split in the US would cost too much for both. Now they are formulating their starting positions, hence why their language sounds so harsh.
But the radicals that are lacking in number in both camps are trying to use this opportunity to destabilize the situation and move into open conflict. The situation could change in either direction, but the supporters of compromise will still have a greater chance insofar as they can guarantee the integrity of the United States.
The US is no longer "THE" US
So why is Mogherini focusing on American problems? Because the main contradiction in current EU-US relations does not concern financial, economic, military, or political issues, but ideological ones. If Trump’s America retains its positions in Europe, then the local globalists will eventually lose (up to the point of the dissolution of the EU). If Trump’s America manages to be pushed out of Europe, then the European globalists have a good chance.
Eastern Europe will have nowhere to go. The local elites hate and fear Russia. Deprived of US support, they will be compelled to run to the European globalists for support who, keeping Germany in place, will together with the young Europeans maintain the majority in the EU.
So it is her partners - Eurobureaucrats and the national-level globalist elites - that Mogherini is informing that the United States is no longer THE United States, and no longer the leader. The EU can choose to ignore the US now since their approaches are different and will only diverge further. But once Washington is no longer the global leader, it can no longer be feared, and thus can be kicked out of Europe.
This tactic of the European globalists really could exacerbate problems in the US. If Trump does not get along with Europe, his foreign policy will be subjected to harsh criticism, including in those elite circles which support him today. In this case, his domestic political position will be sharply weakened.
Thus, Mogherini is to a certain extent attempting to program not only the position of the EU, but also the development of the situation in the US itself in a profitable way for the globalists.
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