Tuesday 9 June 2020

Will American disengagement from Europe continue after Trump?

A Guardian article reports on a fierce debate in British diplomatic circles about whether Donald Trump merely marks the acceleration of a pre-existing trend to a more disengaged US, and whether President Biden would want to or be able to reverse the trend. 

I think American disengagement is inevitable. I know from a British diplomat in 2000 that the fear in the Foreign Office was that George W. Bush would be isolationist. If only he had been.

A senior former British ambassador is quoted in the Guardian.

“I think that if you have a different, more internationally minded leadership in the US then a lot of what has happened over the past few years can be reversed. If we get another four years of this leadership, then some of the bonds and some of the cement that holds the west together, and holds Europe and America together will be broken forever. If things change in November then we can recapture things if we get the right sort of leadership in Europe.”

"If you get a Joe Biden presidency in the US, then the relationship will focus again on Europe, on Germany and France, and we may feel a little neglected.”

“If Obama wanted to know what Europe thought about something his first call was to Merkel.”

The British Foreign Office is staffed by people who think Donald Trump appalling and who like the European Union but they have some clever people thinking about strategy. Clever but are they able to tear up fundamental assumptions when events change?

Csn they ask themselves if Great Britain should disengage from Europe and America? Trade with everyone but keep aloof from conflicts. 

I hope they do and come to realise that the threat of invasion comes from illegal migrants who arrive on our shores several times a week, not Russia or even China. The great threat to Europe and the USA is illegal immigration too.

Unlike Russia China is a huge problem, as Steve Bannon convinced Donald Trump, but whose problem? Britain can help, but not with armed interventions.

The UK's role east of Suez should simply be trading. I wish we had built desalination plants on Hong Kong Island and not given it to Communist China but we did. 

How do we help the people of Hong Kong? We cannot unless by offering to settle millions of them in England's green and pleasant land, as Boris has done. Obviously this is a remedy worse than the disease, but it wins the enthusiastic approval of the supposedly conservative press, eager to show that being Brexit does not mean being nativist.

The alternative to disengagement means following American foreign policy goals and they have been disastrous at least since George W. Bush. I still think intervening in Bosnia was good but, having been there, I now doubt if the intervention in Kosovo was. The place is now run by the mafia. As for EU foreign policy, it is just platitudes and miasma and furthers European not British interests.

In Donald Trump we should have had a soul mate who dislikes the EU and sending young men to die for values, but Boris is as globalist as Theresa May or Hillary and just as warlike as Hillary or his hero Churchill. He, like Hillary, wanted to bring about regime change in Syria. 

He is a Blairite except for two very important caveats: being a Brexiteer and a libertarian.  

He is also an outsider in love with the glamour of old-fashioned England. Tony Blair was an outsider who had no affection for all that, no sense of romance and was a progressive convinced he was on the winning side of history. 

Still, the differences between the men's ideas are not that great. Boris's great desire now is to prove how liberal he is to a world that confuses him with Donald Trump. This is very bad news.


  1. President Trump simply asked for the European Allies to pay for their own defence - they refused, and they have a right to refuse. But America has a right to walk away in response - hence the reduction of troop numbers. As for a "President Biden" - it is now he would be a senile puppet of the Marxists (yes - Marxists) who are burning American cites and dominate his campaign. There would be no United States under a "President Biden", all of America would be as the Democrat cities are now.

    1. The Democrats are not Marxists. Though they are almost as objectionable, in certain ways even more so. Marxists despise identity politics.

    2. The Democrats are not Marxists. Though they are almost as objectionable, in certain ways even more so. Marxists despise identity politics.

      Yes, I agree completely.

      There are no Marxists in the US. None at all. In fact there are no Marxists anywhere at all in the modern world.

      The political battle these days is between competing branches of liberalism.

  2. If they are planning on a President Biden tell them not to hold their breath.

    1. I just cannot imagine that obviously senile man winning. He's do his party a favour standing down.