America’s Original Sin
Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy
The Rise of Illiberal Hegemony
Trump’s Surprising Grand Strategy
The China Reckoning
How Beijing Defied American Expectations
Autocracy With Chinese Characteristics
Beijing's Behind-the-Scenes Reforms
The End of the Democratic Century
Autocracy's Global Ascendance
Perception and Misperception on the Korean Peninsula
How Unwanted Wars Begin
The Myth of the Liberal Order
From Historical Accident to Conventional Wisdom
When China Rules the Web
Technology in Service of the State
The New Arab Order
Power and Violence in Today's Middle East
Lessons From a Failed State
Has a New Cold War Really Begun?
Why the Term Shouldn't Apply to Today's Great-Power Tensions
The United States' Perpetual War in Afghanistan
Why Long Wars No Longer Generate a Backlash at Home
Reeducation Returns to China
Will the Repression in Xinjiang Influence Beijing's Social Credit System?
How Artificial Intelligence Will Reshape the Global Order
The Coming Competition Between Digital Authoritarianism and Liberal Democracy
The Remarkable Scale of Turkey's "Global Purge"
How It Became a Threat to the Rule of Law Everywhere
The Pentagon's Transparency Problem
Why Accurate Troop Levels Are So Hard to Find
Stop Obsessing About China
Why Beijing Will Not Imperil U.S. Hegemony
Is Trump a Normal Foreign-Policy President?
What We Know After One Year
How Sharp Power Threatens Soft Power
The Right and Wrong Ways to Respond to Authoritarian Influence
Is Going It Alone the Best Way Forward for Europe?
Why Strategic Autonomy Should Be the Continent’s Goal
Since the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, Europeans have struggled to come to terms with his confrontational style and policies. From Trump’s tariffs to his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris agreement to calling the EU a “foe,” no U.S. president since World War II has appeared so distant, even hostile, to European interests. Early on, many European leaders attempted to cultivate a good relationship with Trump, hoping that a personal connection could help calm the increasingly turbulent waters of the transatlantic alliance. Some, such as French President Emmanuel Macron and EU President Jean-Claude Juncker, succeeded, while others, such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May, fared less well.
In recent months, however, the tone coming from European capitals has changed. In August, in a rather undiplomatic op-ed, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressed doubts that his country could just “sit this presidency out” and called for “a sovereign, strong Europe” in response to Trump’s hostility. Macron echoed this sentiment in his annual speech to ambassadors: “I do not honestly think today that China or the United States thinks Europe is a power with strategic autonomy comparable to their own. I do not believe it.” Invoking former U.S. President Andrew Jackson’s foreign-policy legacy, Macron warned his diplomatic corps not to see Trump as a fluke and to think through Europe’s own strategic priorities as the United States becomes increasingly untethered from its allies across the pond. Europeans are right to eschew nostalgia when it comes to the transatlantic relationship: it took a figure as direct and undiplomatic as Trump to wake Europeans up to this new normal. Devising European strategic autonomy is now the new name of the game, but what does it actually mean for a European continent long used to following the United States’ lead?
U.S. UNTETHERING IS A LONG-TERM TREND
The United States’ pivot away from Europe did not start with Trump. The end of the
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