As mentioned in previous articles, the Brexit kicked open the door for France and Germany to pursue a degree of autonomy and begin to establish themselves as the permanent leaders of the EU. Through various mechanisms Europe has been largely controlled by the United States since the end of World War II. The EU project while ostensibly designed to balance power and common interests, it has instead consolidated them in the hands of the most powerful factions. The British exit has further concentrated the power in Paris and Berlin and now there is a strong push for the creation of a unified European military command that would operate outside US control.
Washington is alarmed as this could potentially be the beginning of the end for NATO. Trump's ascendancy has provided a further opening for this agenda. Through fears both real and contrived Paris and Berlin are using the opportunity to argue for this new paradigm. Packaged as a compliment to NATO, it's a chance for Europe both to break free and provide something of a back-up plan. No one is sure what Trump is going to do and if NATO begins to decline they want the mechanism in place for a substitute. They don't want to be stuck in crisis negotiations while faced with an international incident. They're trying to be proactive and strike while the iron is hot.
And yet at the same time, they are capitalising on this unique set of circumstances... the immigration crisis, tensions with Russia, Trump and Brexit.
This is the moment and the Atlanticists in Brussels and the United States are alarmed. The institutions of the West are under great strain and threat. Nationalism, Nativism and anti-globalism are tearing apart the world order and the mechanisms created and controlled by Washington. There are very powerful people who have a great deal at stake and are likely to move boldly if not rashly... even if that means placing geopolitical stability in jeopardy.
As daunting as a Clinton administration might have been, the instability and unpredictability of Trump is perhaps worse. And yet just days after the election it already would seem that he's prepared to hand his administration over to Establishment figures and some of the same Neo-Conservative cadre that has been dominating Washington since the Bush years. While they faded (somewhat) into the background during the Obama years their agenda more or less marched on. While Trump campaigned as something of an isolationist there are hints that the Neoconservative agenda may in fact be revitalised. This may prove ill for world peace but the NATO and Atlanticist Establishment will be able to breathe a sigh of relief.
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