The Presidents Poland/G20 trip is over and as usual we have two different reactions. Conservatives and nationalists like me are pleased with what he has accomplished and liberals proclaim it to be the death of civilization as usual. There is a disconnect here and it lies on what people consider to be in the interests of America. Democrats are unable to process the implications of the trip properly because they consider to be what is good for Europe to be synonymous to what is good for America. This is not a surprise at this point in time Democrats would much rather see a successful Europe rather than a successful America. In reality Europe has been angling to set up a power bloc separate from the United States and have been since they set up the European Union.
I will break down what happened this weekend and how they affected each country. Due to the nature of international politics some events may impact more than one country or group of countries so I may list one event in multiple sections.
Poland and by extension the Visegrad group emerge as the biggest winners for this trip. Due to their position they are stuck between the rock of Russia and the hard place of the EU leadership in Germany and Brussels. Germany is forcing them to take more refugees in an effort to solve its self-inflicted refugee crisis and Russia is bleeding their economies dry with energy exports and of course the ever-present military threat.
President Trump has offered to sell Poland missile defense technology to guard against Russian aggression and more importantly has said that he would be willing to sell energy, most likely in the form of natural gas, to Poland and the other Eastern European countries. Of course critics will say that President Trump has no control over where private companies sell gas without thinking that the US can always exert soft pressure on these companies or buy and resell the natural gas themselves.
On the European front President Trumps support for their immigration policies gives them a leader to rally around and gives them more resolve to stand against Germany and the leaders of the EU. It gives them a major ally to invoke in negotiations with the rest of the EU as well.
The United States gains a minority faction in the EU which will follow its lead. The US gains leverage against Russia by becoming competition in the energy market of these countries. All in all the US gains vassal states and gains leverage against the EU and Russia.
It is a testament to the effectiveness of our press and political class that the most important development regarding Russia is not discussed. I have written before that Trump presents the most danger to Russia out of anyone because he threatens them economically not just with a military. Russia is held up by its energy sector. Oil and natural gas. With America pushing for energy independence and worse for Russia actually exporting energy it creates downward pressure on the price. In these Eastern European countries the US will actually be in direct competition with Russia enabling Trump to cause a glut in the price if Russia steps out of line. People forget that the Soviet Union was brought down due to its economy not because of a military conflict.
To give the Russians a token of our goodwill despite our renewed support for the Eastern European countries we have also entered into a ceasefire agreement with them regarding Syria. In practical terms continuing conflict in Syria has very little effect on the US. We are an ocean away and will take in very few refugees in any case. Russia does not care too much as well since their side is winning anyway. Both Putin and Trump stand to gain some prestige from a ceasefire. Maybe even a Nobel Peace Prize for whatever that is worth nowadays.
This trip showed Russia that we have the upper hand and can ruin their economy at any time. I would list more NATO spending as well but that seems like a minor point compared to everything else that has been achieved.
The EU has two major problems. First you have the brexit effect with some nations electing anti-Eu parties to head their government and second and most pressing they have their self inflicted refugee crisis. It can be compared to an extinction level event for the EU. With Trump stiffening the resolve of the Visegrad group and taking them under his wing that solution is no longer available. In any case it would only have been a temporary solution.
Ask yourself one thing. If the war in Syria ended tomorrow who would benefit the most. The EU, the US, or Russia? The US and Russia are too far away to feel any real effects from Syria. With the exception of the actual Syrians on the ground no one is praying more for a successful ceasefire than Merkel.
A successful ceasefire in Syria would remove the excuse for all the economic migrants who are heading to Germany. It would allow Germany and other European nations to return the refugees to their homelands, something their electorate will not allow under current circumstances. It would remove a point of friction between the EU leadership and the Visegrad nations. It would also prevent Germany friction between Greece and Germany as Greece became the front line of the refugee crisis after being put under austerity by Germany and the EU leadership.
Who does the ceasefire now rely on? The US. If the EU behaves maybe the ceasefire will hold. If it doesn’t maybe the ceasefire falls apart and we have more refugees.
To summarize. In this trip the US has gained enough leverage to corner both the EU and Russia. We have also gained a new set of vassal states in the Visegrad Group to use against the EU. Not bad for a weeks worth of work.