The greatest threat to the security of the EU states comes from the USA. But stop! Before everyone who has been taken in by the Russian propaganda and their water carriers in Germany applauds inwardly, please read on. Because why is that?
The greatest danger is that the US will withdraw from Europe, either because it is following a national-populist pseudo-isolationism or because it is turning its attention to developments in the Pacific region.
The first danger for Europe stems from the fact that Trumpian national populism continues to be the political norm of the Republican Party. It has not been able to break free from Trump’s grip because his base remains unwavering in his support. That’s the 36 percent who think he actually won the election. At the same time, President Biden failed to unite American society after the political infighting of the past twenty years.
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She is still deeply divided. Even coming to terms with the storming of the Capitol, when many thought all Americans would condemn it, divides society. In Washington, the events are being investigated by a committee of inquiry made up of Democrats and two dissident Republicans. And although it has now been proven umpteen times that Trump thought the storming of the Capitol was the right thing to do, even wanted to go there himself and stopped all measures to counteract the violence directly, 36 percent of US citizens still consider him innocent. This is a solid and sufficiently large political base to campaign again for the presidency.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Jäger has held the Chair for International Politics and Foreign Policy at the University of Cologne since 1999. His research focuses on international relations and American and German foreign policy.
Things are not looking good for the current president. His poll numbers are at a low point. The New York Times currently measures 33 percent, Reuters 36 percent approval. But even the 41 percent approval rating that Gallup measures does not bode well for the upcoming congressional elections in November. Even in the Democratic Party, Biden is unpopular. 64 percent of Democratic voters do not want him to run for re-election as president. Above all, his age and his general political achievements are given as the reason.
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In the Washington Post, Steven L. Isenberg urged Biden to save the midterm elections by promising to serve only one term. But the whole picture also includes: Nobody in the party is more popular than Biden, and Kamala Harris has not yet come forward as a candidate.
Donald Trump’s approval ratings are roughly at the same level as Biden. With these poor values, the two representatives of their parties are the leaders, because all other politicians fare even worse and, as RCP has calculated, are ten to fifteen percent behind them on average. This is consistent with approval ratings measured for Gallup’s political institutions. Although these went down for all institutions, including the church, military and media, they are shockingly low for political institutions.
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If he once again declared NATO obsolete or deviated from Biden’s committed defensive line, the alliance would be in trouble. Because it is only able to act through the USA, everyone else is currently talking at their expense without being able to grab hold of themselves. It is therefore in Europe’s interest that no national populist becomes president in the USA. Nor, to address the second danger, is anyone who thinks the US cannot handle two conflicts at the same time. Because then turning to China would mean turning away from Europe. The current debate in the US about a realistic China policy – including the status of Taiwan, which Speaker Pelosi plans to visit soon against the urgent request of the White House – would be a starting point for such a reorientation.
Self-deception is normal in government along with the degree of vanity. But the fact that the US government also has to consider who it takes seriously in Europe is dangerous, above all because the large EU states have long since ceased to be among those who can exert influence. Changing that is the most urgent foreign policy task for anyone who has understood how the European state order has changed. The district in Germany is obviously very manageable.