Since President Trump took office we have had numerous reports of European leaders being upset at Trump and America. Europe is upset that our President is asking for them to pay more for their defense. They are complaining that we would like a more equitable trade deficit. They are positively livid that we pulled out of the Paris Treaty and refuse to pay for the modernization bill of China and other “developing” countries. Do you notice the common thread in these complaints? Europe does not see America as a separate country with its own culture, people, and goals. They view America as one giant wallet. If the purse strings are open then Europe loves America. When the purse strings tighten then they hate America. It really is that simple.
In the same time period every liberal commentator has been screaming about how the old order is falling because of President Trump and this signals the decline of the American Empire. Has the old order failed? First we have to define what exactly that order is.
This order has existed since world war 2. In this arrangement America would pay for the defense of Europe and provide for the wealth of its people thru massive trade deficits. With the Marshall plan this even extended to using significant portions of the American GDP to rebuild European infrastructure. In exchange for this generosity European foreign policy was supposed to be subordinate to the American one. If we pointed to the soviets as the enemy then they were. If we pointed to the Chinese then they were. If we wanted to go to the Middle East or any other place to wage ware then they were obliged to provide their proxies not to mention their UN votes. The title of leader of the free world was not given, it was purchased.
There may have been some merit in preserving this deal but Europe has long since abrogated its end of the bargain. Since we funded their reconstruction Europe has increasingly been trying to pursue an independent foreign policy and has been very critical of America over the past few decades. We even had to suffer the indignity of invoking article 5 of NATO to coerce our allies into joining the 2nd Iraq war instead of having loyal allies joining of their own free will. At some point we had to ask ourselves what are we getting for the money we send over?
The Old Order is dead. Trump and America did not kill it. Europe did.