(Newswire.net— February 17, 2019) — As liberal capitalism collapses all over the world, countries are in pursuit of a new formula for coexistence. The NATO alliance is strong but in the European Union voters have stated they do not want to follow the U.S. even if their leaders are willing to do so, writes “Bloomberg.”
Erosion of the so-called liberal international order and an increasingly unpredictable U.S. foreign policy are marked as the key reasons why Europeans trust Putin more than Trump, the annual Munich Security Report reads.
The report for 2019, titled “The Great Puzzle: Who will Pick Up the Pieces?” is a bit less worrying than the 2018 version which suggested the possibility of a large-scale conflict. It seems that this danger has transferred into a new and more ominous cold war.
Leading E.U. countries focus on attempts to support the liberal world order by assuming more global roles on themselves because they are disappointed with Washington’s foreign policy that puts America first, stepping on the toes of its allies.
The lack of security and economic infrastructure that does not involve the United States makes it difficult for other powers – Germany, France and Great Britain to run any kind of independent policy. The result is a balance between the U.S. which acts as a competitor with a tendency of violent behavior. In addition, Washington forces its allies in the E.U. to reject cheap natural gas for heating that comes from Russia forcing them towards much more expensive gas from the U.S.
The E.U. is built on agreements and bureaucratic procedures that every membering country is obliged to comply with. Trump’s foreign policy, however, praises dictators like Kim Jong-un and unilaterally breaks the international agreements and treaties, which puts the E.U. on a collision course with the U.S.
Although most strategic thinkers in Europe agree that NATO will remain the best security guarantee for Europe, this preferred option may not be available in the future because E.U. countries are planning to create their own military.
In almost all NATO countries, with the exception of Japan, most people view America as a major threat, even greater than the Russian Federation or China. But even in Japan, it seems that the American threat worries more people than Russia.
It seems that this perception is related to Trump’s foreign policy. According to the Munich report, people in the UK, Canada, Germany and France believe that Chinese President Xi Jinping will do the right thing in world politics, more than Trump. It is even stranger that a higher number of French and Germans say they trust Russian President Vladimir Putin more than they trust Donald Trump, and Canadians equally trust both leaders.
The second poll, whose data is published in the report shows something very important: While the vast majority in France and Germany want their countries to pursue a more active foreign policy and take a greater role in resolving the world crisis, 59 percent of Germans and 42 percent of French want to do so as neutral countries. Both in France and Germany only minorities approve military interventions beyond their borders.
It’s hard to see how a change in power in Washington could undermine this pacifism and a strong support for neutrality. A large number of people in countries of critical interest to the Western Union simply do not want to choose a party in a new super-competition.