Angela Merkel and nearly every other national leader in Europe are in a panic because of Trump’s unexpected win in the Presidential election.
Because, money, of course. The US money that props up NATO may be coming to an end.
During his election campaign, President-Elect Trump described NATO as obsolete.
“NATO is something that at the time was excellent. Today, it has to be changed. It has to be changed to include terror. It has to be changed from the standpoint of cost because the United States bears far too much of the cost of NATO.” (source)
American money makes up a disproportionate 73% of NATO defense expenditures. That is something that Trump says he that he intends to reduce which would force others to put more into the communal money pot if they want America’s continued participation.
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned President-Elect Trump that going it alone isn’t a good idea for either the US or the EU:
“The only time Nato has invoked its self- defence clause, that an attack on one is an attack on all, was in support of the United States after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This was more than just a symbol. Hundreds of thousands of European soldiers have served in Afghanistan since. And more than 1,000 have paid the ultimate price in an operation that is a direct response to an attack against the United States. Today of all days, we remember them – It is all too easy to take the freedoms, security and prosperity we enjoy for granted. In these uncertain times we need strong American leadership, and we need Europeans to shoulder their fair share of the burden. But above all we need to recognise the value of the partnership between Europe and America. It remains indispensable.” (source)
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said:
“I think that we’ll waste time for two years while Mr Trump tours a world that he is completely unaware of. We have to teach the new president of the USA what Europe is, and how it works. The Trans-Atlantic alliance, and the NATO alliance, is called into question, so it could be quite pernicious. With regards to refugees and other non-Americans, Trump has an approach which in no way coincides with the approach in Europe.” (source)
Juncker was speaking at a “crisis” meeting that had been arranged very soon after Trump won the election.
But a crisis for whom?
It has never crossed the consciousness of any of these people that they have messed up, and they have messed up big-time. They have listened to Angela Merkel, who seems to be the self-proclaimed ‘ruler’ of Europe, and now they are paying the price. Infrastructures are crumbling, and crime rates are soaring as they sink without trace under the weight of migrants pouring across their open borders. What’s more, this is a situation that they thought the United States would be joining them in until last Wednesday morning.
And until last Wednesday morning, they thought that the US would be ponying up to help them.
The UK refused to follow the same route as the rest of Europe, and Brexit was the result
Boris Johnson, the UK Foreign Secretary, refused to attend the meeting. He said that the ‘collective whinge-o-rama‘ going on amongst European leaders due to Trump’s election needs to stop.
Johnson’s failure to attend was viewed as a snub to Europe and a thumbs up to the US. His decision to stay at home on a soggy British Sunday highlights the growing divide between the UK and Europe since Brexit became a reality.
A Foreign Office spokesman said:
“We do not see the need for an additional meeting on Sunday because the US election timetable is long established. An act of democracy has taken place, there is a transition period and we will work with the current and future administrations to ensure the best outcomes for Britain.” (source)
Finally, Nigel Farage, (UK Independence Party) spent a couple of hours in a private meeting with Trump on Saturday. You may recall that Farage was the engineer of the Brexit movement. He and most of the Brits who voted to exit the EU were pulling for Trump in the election.
“Don’t underestimate this guy,” Farage said on “Squawk Box.” “He’s made a big, big success of his business career. And he intends to be a successful president, and I think he may well be.”
…Trump’s surprise victory has often been compared to the poll-defying June vote by British citizens for the U.K. to leave the European Union trading bloc.
“What Trump believes in, as I believe in, is nation-state democracy — that we should be controlling our own borders; making our own laws; and yes, trading with each other, cooperating with each other, being good neighbors,’ Farage said. (source)
Trump threatened “Brexit times 10, ” and he delivered it. The EU, still a mess from Britain deciding to leave, is now in a death spiral from which it may not recover.
If Europe is looking to lay blame, it seems to me that they need to look no further than Angela Merkel. It was her open door policies on immigration that drove the UK away and gave the US a glimpse of their future if they elected for Clinton.
The trouble with opening a can of worms is that you can never get the lid back on before a few escape.