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Put against the ropes by the Anglo-Saxons

2021-09-20T12:30:51.965Z

We Europeans have misunderstood Biden and we have misjudged Johnson. A bad combination



Joe Biden and Boris Johnson announce joint strategic initiative with Australia this Wednesday.Oliver Contreras / POOL / EFE

An ambassador's call for consultations represents the attempt to react to a strategic change of the 21st century with the diplomacy of the 19th century.

Snorting you get nothing.

But France is right about one thing: the Aukus submarine nuclear alliance between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom will have long-term consequences for NATO.

The Organization will not be dissolved, but will play a more peripheral role in the future.

From World War II through the past decade, US foreign and security policy was centered on Europe and the Middle East.

With Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden he traveled to the Indo-Pacific.

More information

  • US, UK and Australia forge strategic alliance against China in the Pacific

This leads us to ask ourselves: why is the United Kingdom part of this change, and France not? The United States believes that France and the European Union are not to be trusted when it comes to China because of their special relationships. Germany and France had pushed for a global investment agreement between the EU and the Asian country just before Biden's inauguration. Germany has huge export surpluses with China that it wants to protect. Both Armin Laschet and Olaf Scholz are in favor of expanding the bilateral relationship. Europe has also left a door open for Huawei for its 5G network. The UK was the only one to really cut ties. The Chinese ambassador to the country reacted with unbridled fury. His counterparts in Paris and Berlin, by contrast, were silent.I assume they have received guarantees through unofficial channels.

The UK is clearly Aukus' junior partner, but it is the only European country that the US can rely on to further its strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific.

For the French, the UK is not the central issue, but their participation is like adding insult to injury.

They have been put on the ropes, as they say in England.

If the UK were still a member of the European Union, this could have happened in theory, but not in practice.

From the perspective of the Anglo-Saxon country, Brexit allows strategic options that until now were unthinkable.

The United Kingdom is also part of the international listening and information group Cinco Ojos, also made up of the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The UK's strategic realignment was not inevitable. It is largely a consequence of the way the EU conducted the Brexit talks. Union leaders never missed an opportunity to criticize the UK's departure. Donald Tusk, former president of the European Council, expressed his sympathy for the campaign in favor of the second referendum. The European Union could have supported MPs from the outgoing country who wanted to reach an agreement, such as Kenneth Clarke or Stephen Kinnock, but it did not.

The second mistake, even worse than the first, was the intention to impose the EU's regulatory system on the UK as the price for a free trade agreement. At no point did the Union even consider what kind of strategic relationship it wanted with the UK after

Brexit

, instead allowing anger over its departure to get in the way of rational decision-making.

The enormous cost of this stupidity is slowly becoming apparent.

Britain is not going to flood the European Union with cheap goods, as France feared.

His strategy is more subtle: he will gradually dissociate himself from European security policy.

It will also be disassociated from the General Data Protection Regulation and financial regulation.

The UK has invested more in artificial intelligence than any of the EU member states, and is on the UN Security Council and the G-7.

What the hell was the European Union thinking?

And no, Biden is not going to intervene on behalf of the EU in the current standoff over the Northern Ireland issue.

Union leaders have always underestimated Boris Johnson.

And they have always held Joe Biden in high regard.

A bad combination.

The diplomacy of the European Union is governed by emotion and by a superficial knowledge of American politics, and for that matter, that of the United Kingdom as well. Why did the European Union place so much hope, so openly, in regime change in Washington last year? Donald Trump was vociferous and rude, but the most he did to the European Union, other than insult it, was impose tariffs. Europe was never the target of such hostile actions as Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan or the Aukus agreement. Yet all of this was perfectly predictable.

The next foreseeable accident with Washington will be the consequence of the nuclear deal. The Greens and The Left, possible members of the next German coalition, want to get out of the US nuclear umbrella. The SPD continues to support NATO lip service, but opposes the Alliance's goal of 2% defense spending.

I believe that, over time, NATO will lose its vigor and the transatlantic link will weaken. The European Union speaks of strategic autonomy, but underestimates the magnitude and, more importantly, the nature of the task. This would require a federal political union with a federal foreign policy and a European defense force, both independent of the member states. To finance them, that federal union would need powers to collect taxes and issue debt. The inevitable strategic realignment of the United Kingdom is making the task even more difficult because the Anglo-Saxon country played a fundamental role in European security, a role that Germany will not fill.

The adult version of strategic autonomy is a very serious undertaking that the European Union is not equipped for.

The collective inability to understand Biden's foreign policy and the need for an alliance with the UK tell us that there is no hope of success.

Wolfgang Münchau

is Director of www.eurointelligence.com

Translation of News Clips.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2021-09-20

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