Did President Trump’s summits rewrite the U.S. foreign policy?
Just days after publicly criticising the leaders of Great Britain, Germany, and NATO, and casting America’s European allies as a “foe,” U.S President Donald Trump repeatedly leaped to the defense of Russian President, Vladimir Putin in a remarkable joint press conference in Helsinki. Pressed repeatedly on the topic of whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, Trump expressed doubt about the conclusions of American intelligence agencies and suggested that he put more stock in Putin’s denials. After lacerating European leaders on trade, Trump in his appearance with Putin noticeably dodged contentious issues such as Russia’s annexation of Crimea and military involvement in Syria. The president’s appearance with Putin brought harsh criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike.
However, what are the lasting implications for America’s alliances? Did Trump’s trip to Europe remake American foreign policy, with Europe as foes and Russia as an ally? Northeastern University’s Political Science professor Mai’a Cross, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an expert in European politics opined on how the Trump-Putin summit is likely to play out after the furor of the press conference subsides.
From day one, when Trump was elected, European allies were very concerned about this American leader, and it just gets worse with each passing month. From their perspective, it’s horrifying to see a U.S president toy around with the all-important transatlantic relationship and then meet with a country that is a threat to Europe and actively aggressive against the United States. For them, Trump’s actions are playing with fire, threatening the liberal world order. The Europeans are completely alarmist about the long-term effect of Trump’s actions because they also see the Trump presidency as a temporary thing. If they can weather the storm and move on to the next president, the transatlantic alliance will be subtle. So far, they’re willing to wait it out.
Despite the disruption of this president, they know the day-to-day reality of U.S relations is still pretty firm. So, it’s not an apocalypse yet. They have built-in patience with the United States. However, it’s not infinite.