Some of our European allies aren’t acting very much like allies these days. The latest example of this phenomenon comes to us from Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has basically put aside all pretenses of diplomacy and is now insulting us to our faces. In remarks to the German press this week, she spoke of the “adversaries” Europe must contend with, both militarily and in terms of trade agreements, and listed three examples. China, Russia and… the United States. (Newsweek)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel lumped in the United States with Europe’s other global adversaries on Wednesday, arguing that the countries on the continent need to band together against the challenges posed by Russia, China and the U.S.
“There is no doubt that Europe needs to reposition itself in a changed world…. The old certainties of the postwar order no longer apply,” Merkel told the German media on Wednesday.
“They [China, Russia and the U.S.] are forcing us, time and again, to find common positions. That is often difficult given our different interests. But we do get this done—think, for example, of our policy regarding the conflict in Ukraine,” Merkel added.
Merkel is obviously just cheerleading for the European Union at this point, stressing the need to maintain a solid front and remain unified on foreign policy. That’s an obvious concern, particularly since it was her influence on immigration policy that drove the mass influx of refugees (with some terrorists mixed in) into Europe from the Syrian region. These remarks also come at a time when many of the EU’s member nations are experiencing shifts to the right in the upcoming EU Parliamentary elections.
But Merkel would do well to remember who her friends are. Germany’s rise to influence and economic success in the second half of the 20th century was largely possible because they had no need to fund a massive military infrastructure to protect them from Russia. The reason? Because the United States had their back. We’ve been partners for a long time, particularly all through the cold war, and casting America aside probably isn’t a smart move.
Of course, she now has the advantage of not needing to worry overly much about what sort of backlash she encounters. She recently told reporters that she’s “not available” for any future political posts after she steps down in 2021. With no more electoral battles to fight, Merkel is free to simply be herself and let her true feelings show through. That’s a rather selfish approach to take, however, when you consider that the next Chancellor will still be left to deal with both the United States and Russia. And that’s a situation where Germany is really forced to pick a side and stick with it. God only knows that the EU isn’t going to save them if push comes to literal shove.