Was Trump’s Trip to Europe a Total Disaster?
A U.S. president who has repeatedly undermined NATO just met with NATO allies. Yeah, it didn’t go great.
On this week’s first episode of The E.R., FP’s executive editor for the web Ben Pauker is joined by CNAS’s Julie Smith and Jim Townsend and FP’s Robbie Gramer. After a whirlwind international trip, President Trump is back stateside, but the repercussions are still being felt. From awkward handshakes and bizarre photo ops to a disappointing NATO summit, what Trump called a “home run” looked more like an unforced error.
America’s transatlantic allies are deeply concerned with the administration’s inconsistent policies and actions. Europe’s leaders may have had low expectations, but NATO allies were looking to at least hear from Trump a reaffirmation of Article 5, the mutual defense part of the NATO pact. Trump pointedly left that singular principle of the alliance out of his speech (while dogging his counterparts about “back dues”) and there was nary a mention of Russian aggression and provocation in Europe. The optics sure didn’t look good. But is Europe really ready to ditch the United States and go it alone? In this episode, The E.R. team dissects Trump’s Europe pit stops and discuss what’s next for NATO allies.
Julie Smith is a contributing editor to FP’s Shadow Government blog. She is also a senior fellow and director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, and was previously the deputy national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. Follow her on Twitter: @Julie_C_Smith.
Jim Townsend is a contributor to FP’s Shadow Government blog. He is currently an adjunct senior fellow with the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, and was the deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO policy at the Department of Defense under the Obama administration, serving both terms. He has also held positions at the Atlantic Council and NATO. Follow him on Twitter: @jteurope.
Tune in, now twice a week, to FP’s The E.R.