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Josef Joffe on Trump’s Foreign Policy

Writing in The Guardian, TAI’s own Josef Joffe takes stock of the President-elect’s recent interviews and the likely implications of Trumpist policy on Europe and the world:

First, a deal with Russia that leaves the Europeans twisting in the wind. The purpose of such a twosome is a hands-on alliance against Isis and a tacit one against China to stop its forward march in the Pacific. Second, indifference to Europe and Nato, the two pillars of American grand strategy for 70 years.

Third, let’s put the axe to the liberal trading system the United States built and safeguarded ever since the Bretton Woods order, from which the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation grew, was established in 1944. Finally, raise high the walls of the nation state in order to keep out goods and people, and keep in capital and jobs.

Does this sound like a remake of the 1920s and 1930s? It does – 100 years later. The first world war ended Globalisation 1.0, circa 1850 to 1914, Trump promises to bring down Globalisation 2.0, born in the 1970s.

Joffe, a member of The American Interest‘s executive committee and editor of the German weekly Die Zeit, is always worth reading for a look at how Europeans are perceiving developments here in the United States. Take the time to read his whole piece here.

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  • Pait

    Putin’s concern in Syria has never been Isis. That’s why he focused on destroying Aleppo, which was not a hub of Isis activity, while Isis is operating with some freedom, and even growing, elsewhere in Syria.

  • KremlinKryptonite

    Europe (the EU) wants to be treated like an adult then it should act like one. Europe has an enormous population, enormous economies, and technology – it should be able to defend itself. Further, it shouldn’t need to be talked into defending itself!
    The Trump administration should (and likely will) encourage and reward smart decisions, such as the U.K. brexit vote. Trump should keep to his word and draw up an amicable free trade deal with the U.K. ready for signing asap post-brexit.

  • Disappeared4x

    When your 70-year old home’s foundation is subsiding, it needs more than a DIY patch of hydraulic cement in the corner, after every contractor tells you “don’t worry, be happy you have a foundation”. We now have, amongst many in the foreign policy punditry, a failure of imagination to acknowledge the known decrepitude of 70-year old pillars.

    • leoj

      It is also a failure to correctly understand who and what Trump is. He is not a careful politician who speaks in well-crafted diplomatese. He is a dealmaker (http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/kommentar-der-dealmaker-14670487.html ) who sees things like these 70 year relationships as negotiable and therefore open to negotiation. Questioning their value is a way of improving leverage–just as you would kick the tires and point to some scratches when trying to buy a car that you’d really like to have. It’s called driving a hard bargain.

      Now, this may not be to the Europeans’ liking, but too bad. He won the election and we should give him a chance.

      • Disappeared4x

        Exactly what I was trying to say above!
        Got to stop thinking in metaphors…

  • ——————————

    “First, a deal with Russia that leaves the Europeans twisting in………Trump promises to bring down Globalisation 2.0, born in the 1970s.”

    Let’s hope it all comes to pass….

  • Beauceron

    “editor of the German weekly Die Zeit”

    You might encourage Herr Joffe to insist Germany meet it’s NATO spending requirements for defense. Bush and Obama begged the Germans to meet the commitments they agreed to. They did not even get halfway there. Even after they managed to agree to an increase in the summer of 2016, it’s still only 1.2% of GDP– the amount required is 2%. This has been going on for over a decade. Germany is a rich country. You wonder why Trump gets traction saying NATO is useless and a bad deal for Americans? Because it IS. The Europeans have never kept up their end of this alliance. And now many Americans don’t care.

    Let the Germans slowly drown under a surge of Islam or get invaded by the Russians. Neither of them are my problem.

  • DISQUS Inferno

    [Joffe] is always worth reading for a look at how Europeans are perceiving developments here in the United States.

    Whoever posted this, seems to confuse “The Europeans” with members of the (exclusively left-wing)[*] European press. Whose editors’ views are as representative of the German population as the editorial board of the NYT is for the US.

    All those who want to asses Joffe’s journalistic seriousness got a chance today[22/Jan] in German TV.
    When asked by a caller asked whether “there still was a way out of the Trump disaster”[sic] Joffe replied:
    “A murder in the White House for example. [Pause for laughter]

    Journalism in 2017, folks. We are in good hands.

    [*] In Germany there is not a single paper to the right of NYT/GUARDIAN and DIE ZEIT is no exception.

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