It is customary to blame Donald Trump for the collapse of transatlantic relations, but this trend began long before he came to power.
The professor of international politics and transatlantic relations at the University of Regensburg, Stephan Bierling, spoke about this in an interview with Deutschlandfunk.
According to him, for a long time relations between the FRG and the United States were very close, but the situation changed at the end of the last century with the end of the Cold War.
“We saw it under Clinton, we saw it under Bush, we saw it under Obama, Trump takes everything to the extreme”, – the expert explains.
“This shows that America is turning its back on Europe. New hot spots have appeared in the world. The Middle East worried Bush and Obama in the first place. In fact, Trump is now mainly interested in the rise of China. This radically changes the structure of world politics. Trump is doing here what, in principle, has existed for a long time”.
Trump brought only tough rhetoric, confrontation and polarization to American politics, Birling said. Trump is ready to work with those countries that do not contradict him, and threatens those that are trying to pursue an independent policy. Germany is trying to rank itself in the second category. But this important decision was made too late and without preparation.
With the end of World War II, European countries submitted to the order that the United States had established. In exchange for attractive terms of trade and security guarantees, Europe has completely relinquished its responsibility to make decisions.
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“Europeans, especially Germans, have pursued policies over the past 20 years that have essentially failed to prepare them for the worst of times”, — complains Birling.
“And we are discovering that we are now not ready to take on international responsibility”.