The effect of the US election on Germany
Following 18 months of Reality Show the US now has a President-elect Trump. This unexpected outcome of a bitterly fought campaign has significant security policy implications for Europe and thus also for Germany.
The President – elect has made it clear that he aims to revoke any alliance which he feels is harmful to the United States. In numerous speeches during the course of the campaign he has emphasized that the US has spent billions on ensuring Europe’s security. He now expects Europe to pay a fair share of this burden. If this is not the case, he has threatened to withdraw American support. Furthermore, the President – elect has questioned article 5 of the NATO treaty, the cornerstone of the alliance. Should Russia attack one of the Baltic States, so Trump, one would have to seriously consider whether the US should intervene or not. He went on to state that NATO was “obsolete”. In short, the organisation which has ensured European security is under threat.
The President – elect`s policy towards Russia gives food for thought. He appears to admire President Putin and some observers fear that he will end sanctions and even accept the annexation of the Crimea and even other parts of the Ukraine. In return the US and Russia would then join forces to fight IS in the Middle East. The latter seems to be a top priority for Trump, even if such a move would endanger NATO and European security.
The future President is opposed to globalization, unless it favors the United States. He is skeptical of any international treaty which costs his country money or lessens any degree of flexibility. His slogan, “America first” is reminiscent of the isolationists surrounding Charles Lindbergh in the 1930s. Their policy of only intervening internationally when America`s interests are under threat very much mirrors the views of President – elect Donald Trump. Under the future President the days of proactive action in the interest of international stability are history.
For Germany this means that the country will have to do more and pay more for security. The price of security will rise. We can no longer rely on past and proven structures in the fight against terrorism, organized crime and espionage. Germany will have to beef up the security services both domestically and overseas, this will take time and will have a significant political impact on the up-coming election in Germany next year. German and American interests will drift apart and Europe as a whole will become weaker as a result of America`s new security policy. This must please President Putin, one of the few winners of the US Presidential election.