Europeans will have to get used to it: with Biden too, the US will be first

Yes sureFrench President Emmanuel Macron answered the question posed by journalists during the G7 summit in Wales in June.

With all smiles on the US president’s side, the French head of state seemed convinced that Joe Biden had come to reassure his allies. After four years of difficult relations under the Trump administration, the United States has vowed to once again prioritize pluralism and traditional alliances.

A few weeks later, it was the turn of the US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, a French-speaking who grew up in Paris, for a tour of Europe. America has no better friend in the world than GermanyHe said during a layover in Berlin.

About two months after this charming operation, Washington’s administration of the Afghan issue raised questions in the European Chancellery about this White House that promised them better relations.

I think it’s an open secret that it was poorly receivedsays Roland Freudenstein, director of policy at the Wilfried Martens Center for European Studies in Brussels.

Angela Merkel sitting at a table.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the virtual meeting of the Group of Seven.


This week, the governments of France, Germany and the United Kingdom made a request to the United States: to keep American forces in Afghanistan beyond the August 31 deadline, the matter of framing the difficult evacuation at Kabul airport.

These European appeals have not come to fruition. President Biden reiterated his goal: The US military will leave Afghan territory on August 31 if the Taliban allow the US to complete the evacuation campaign.

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You have helpless Europeans, notes the former French ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, who asserts that despite a warmer tone, President Biden has not concretely committed to a greater partnership with his transatlantic allies.

No country’s foreign policy depends on a president. Obama, Trump and Biden, there is a basic continuity. Obviously the way is changingAdds the former diplomat, invoking the will of the United States So don’t be the world’s policeman.

Foreign policy driven by domestic policy

If Joe Biden has been harshly criticized both abroad and at home for his handling of the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the decision to end the military presence in that country, an idea previously championed by Donald Trump, continues to have the support of the majority of the American population.

For example, a survey of Suffolk University was conducted on behalf of USA Today, this week showed that if only 26% of respondents agreed with the Biden administration’s handling of the file, then 53% of them supported the exit of US forces from Afghanistan.

Perhaps some elites want to see the United States as the leader of the West, but in reality Americans are isolationist, self-centered, and this will not change.Joseph de Week, a researcher at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, explains.

According to him, this episode reminds European countries that if they wish, they should take the necessary means for this Conduct independent policy and make their own decisions.

However, according to Roland Freudenstein of the Wilfrid Martens Center for European Studies, without increasing their defense budgets, European leaders would not be able to do without US support, despite some of them’ critical speeches to Washington.

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It is absurd to say that we cannot trust the Americans and have to defend ourselves. good luck with that; Will not work, He says.

Although recently tested, transatlantic cooperation remains of interest, particularly for managing relations with Russia and China, but also for combating climate change.

However, the past few weeks in Europe have reminded us that if the face and tone change, the message coming from across the Atlantic is the same: America will be first; United States first.

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