This is an extremely serious matter – under the appearance of uniting their efforts to work for peace, Paris and Berlin are linking their foreign policies, and will soon be linking their Defence policies. In reality, this evolution is proceeding from the top down, without consulting the population, and is destroying their democratic acquisitions.
The Japanese-German alliance might backfire on those Great Powers if Trump decides to punish them instead of patiently try to strike a pragmatic deal with them instead. Their freedom of strategic maneuverability is already largely limited as it is, and the US’ support of their regional rivals could make matters even more complicated for them.
What are the options available with Paris and Berlin over Ukraine vis-à-vis Russia? The faultlines in their relations with Trump seriously weaken their capacity to cope with Russian resurgence.
The way in which Germany and France are refusing the right of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union demonstrates the fact that the EU is not simply a straight-jacket – it also goes to show that the Europeans still care as little about their neighbours as they did during the two World Wars.
Ironically, Trump’s evident hatred for Europe and calls by his neocon Praetorian Guard for the US to dominate the entire globe have made Europe turn away from its old subservience to Washington and talk about real independence. But building true Euro-armed forces will be frightfully expensive and politically fraught.
Amid all the usual patriotic cant from politicians, imperialists and churchmen about the glories of this slaughter, remember that World War I was a contrived conflict that was totally avoidable. Contrary to the war propaganda that still clouds and corrupts our historical view, World War I was not started by Imperial Germany.
Unfortunately, Heiko Maas’ plan to strengthen arms control is poorly thought out and does not take adequate account of the true state of affairs in this area. His proposal puts the diametrically opposed military and political policies of the United States and Russia on an equal footing internationally and is also unbalanced with regard to China.
The quadrilateral summit in Istanbul on Syria has endorsed the political advances of Russia, but has decided nothing. Moscow gave its Turkish, French and German partners a lesson on the situation. The allies of Washington are having a hard time digesting their defeat and drawing its conclusions.
The bottom line is that it is the post-war Syrian order that is under discussion now. However, it must be understood as well that the proxy war is not ending but is rather morphing into the diplomatic war that lies ahead, which of course will be keenly fought, given the divergent interests of the foreign protagonists.
Far from being incentivized to submit to a foreign country’s envisioned “political solution” to Khashoggi’s killing, Saudi Arabia is actually more encouraged than ever before to continue with the diversification of its erstwhile strategic dependency on the West by embracing the likes of Russia and even China in response to the EU’s pressure.
The administration of the UNO had been hoping for a clash between the pro- and anti-Trump factions during the General Assembly. What actually happened was very different. While several States, including France, denounced the methods of the resident of the White House, Russia undertook an analysis of the Western alliance.
While on the ground, the war is ending, and only Idlib still needs to be freed from the terrorists, the Western powers are starting trouble all over again. The United States refuse the process led by Russia, for the reason that they didn’t have anything to do with it, while the United Kingdom and France seek to impose institutions which would allow them to govern the country from the shadows.