The Transatlantic Illusion

As at the last NATO summit in Brussels, US President Trump and his ministers proved to be the worst enemies of the EU and Germany at the security conference in Munich. Nevertheless, the German hosts remain loyal to their transatlantic “partners”.

At the Munich conference, opened by host Ischinger in a fashionable blue hoodie with EU stars, Germany and the USA clashed violently.

US Vice President Pence emphasized the American claim to leadership in the world and demanded the support of Western allies in conflicts such as with Iran.

Chancellor Merkel, on the other side, warned the US government not to take unilateral decisions and end up being “alone at home”. That earned her a lot of applause – although Merkel is also well known for unilateral decisions.

But that wasn’t an issue in Munich. The focus was on transatlantic differences on all major international issues – from Iran and Syria to the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline.

Merkel even felt she had to protest against the fact that Trump classifies cars made in Germany as a “national security risk” – according to agency reports this (long-planned) decision is imminent.

The USA is therefore attacking Germany head-on on at least four fronts. No wonder that a clear majority of Germans now believe that Trump is our worst enemy and that US policy is a threat.

Nevertheless, Merkel and her ministers still pretend that the transatlantic world is in principle in order – and they still behave as if there were no alternative to cooperation with the USA.

Above all, Defence Minister Von der Leyen and Foreign Minister Maas made a “clear commitment to NATO and the partnership with the USA” in Munich, as the Federal Government emphasises.

“Our partnership makes us strong – and it strengthens our sovereignty,” von der Leyen declared. Germany knew “how important a strong transatlantic partnership is for security and stability and the continued existence of the international order,” said Maas.

German politicians are thus proving to be illusion artists. Do they still believe that transatlantic relations can be conceived without the anti-European US bias and NATO without Trump?

Do they seriously think that the targeted attacks from Washington against Berlin can be sat out – and somehow compensated with a stronger orientation (and armament) against Russia?

Translated with