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When it comes to trust When it comes to trust
by Thanos Kalamidas
2020-11-21 11:53:52
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What has happened in USA the last four years and what’s going on this minute with Trump’s refusal to accept his defeat, has changed US democracy for years to come if not for ever especially if radical jurisprudence and constitutional changes don’t happen even regarding the electoral systems and practices. But what has changed irreversibly doesn’t matter what Biden wants or will do, is US foreign relations and especially relations with Europe.

alla0001_400While the obvious is to blame Trump’s often insulting behaviour and of course his “twits”, Trump barely reminded US European allies that alliances and partnerships based mainly on trust. Trust that your ally and partner will respect even the ethical part of an agreement and USA has failed. It took one man and four years to prove even to the most pro-USA Europeans that the tide can turn from one day to the other and friends can become foes if they don’t get a principal that was always there but never admitted, that all fingers in the hand of alliances with USA, are NOT the same.

NATO’s role theoretically ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the reunification of Germany. What remained and despite the superficial change of the role as the international policeman, was an arms supermarket for US weapon companies to force allies into buying their products and in return to enjoy US army’s protection. The allies literally bought a mafia-style protection through a defence alliance.

But it was a fair exchange. At least that’s how most of the Europeans saw it, especially the ones neighbouring with Russia or Russian satellites. The old enemy still there just different faces and costumes. Plus – and that was/is very important for all Europeans, it gave them a backdoor to privilege trade deals.  And that was really fine as long we could all play happy families and dance kumbaya in weddings and family gatherings. But when family turned into the …family with a Don and the Godfather asked for everybody to kiss the ring on their knees while increasing the fee for protection, family was not family anymore, it became ‘let’s find a way to get the hell out of this.’

And this is a feeling beyond just a feeling no Biden, no excuses and no exchanges can change. The Europeans don’t count in USA any more; they don’t trust them not even as a well paid protector. They feel betrayed and they have already started working an exit plan.

George W. Bush first - with a little help from the 9-11 events – managed to delay thoughts for a Euro-army and exclusive investments into European weapons and arms industry and Barrack Obama immediately after actually manage to stop all these plans. Trump brought them back stronger than ever with Europeans determine to apply them. First sign has been the decrease of sales of US warplanes, the F15 to be specific, to Europe and the turn of especially EU members to French, German even Swedish made warplanes. Even the closest US ally in NATO, Turkey has turned to Russia for their air-armament.

Whilst all this might turn good for the Europeans, giving them their long earned independence from a mafia-style relationship, self-reliance while pushing their confidence and save them some money, US starting with Biden is in front a very difficult task, earn back trust from your closest allies. After the end and defeat of Trumpism this might be the worst challenge US presidents might have to deal with for the next few years.

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