French President Emmanuel Macron gave an extraordinary interview to The Economist in which he declared, “What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO.” The cause of this malaise, he said, is the United States abandoning Europe.

He doubts the viability of NATO’s mutual-defense clause, saying NATO “only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such. I’d argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in the light of the commitment of the United States.” What he wants is for Europe to take back its “military sovereignty” from the United States. That’s ambitious, to say the least: The low-end sticker price for Europe replicating military assistance rendered by the U.S. through NATO is $347 billion, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies estimates it would take 20 years to achieve. But not only are Macron’s plans ambitious—they’re implausible.

Macron, first, proves himself a poor historian by arguing that Donald Trump is the first American president who “doesn’t share our idea of the European project.” In fact, most American presidents haven’t shared France’s idea of the European project—because France’s views have always tended toward uniting Europe by excluding the United States. And the refrain that the U.S. is abandoning Europe is likewise a staple of the transatlantic relationship.

[Read: Emmanuel Macron expounds as the world burns]

The current French president is, in short, a throwback to his predecessor Charles de Gaulle, who resuscitated France’s self-esteem after the grief of occupation in World War II. Like de Gaulle, Macron would unify Europe under France’s conception, with Germany footing the bill. Like de Gaulle, Macron envisions the United States, the United Kingdom, and France (representing Europe) bringing their military power into a Directorate of Three to determine security policies for the West.

But the strategy runs …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Best of

      

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