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How Trump Killed the Atlantic Alliance

And How the Next President Can Restore It

Trump, Merkel, and Macron at a commemoration ceremony for Armistice Day, 100 years after the end ofWorld War I, Paris, November 2018 Benoit Tessier / REUTERS

The Atlantic alliance as we know it is dead. The end of the Cold War, the United States’ growing weariness of global burdens, and a preoccupation with domestic affairs on both sides of the ocean had already weakened transatlantic bonds when the presidency of Donald Trump inflicted the deathblow.

A future U.S. administration, even one that is more sympathetic to the idea of alliances, will be unable to restore the old alliance. If a new alliance is to emerge from the ashes of the past, it must be one based on a more realistic bargain between Europe and the United States, and one that better addresses the needs of both partners. The alliance is dead; long live the alliance.

AUTOPSY

The alliance died slowly, then all at once. For the first two years of Trump’s presidency, European leaders behaved like abused spouses, mistreated but afraid to leave, hoping against

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