Germany’s top diplomat has just informed the United States that they no longer see the United States as the ally they once were, saying that leadership from President Donald Trump has led Europe on a path toward nuclear war.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told the Berlin Foreign Policy Forum that Germany would start to go after its own agenda, whether the U.S. likes it or not because the West was losing influence around the world now that Trump is president.
“The U.S. no longer sees the world as a global community but as a fighting arena where everyone has to seek their own advantage,” Gabriel said, according to Deutsche Welle.
“Germany can no longer simply react to U.S. policy but must establish its own position…even after Trump leaves the White House, relations with the U.S. will never be the same.”
Since taking office, Trump has attacked Germany (one of the United State’s closest allies) over Iran and North Korea, has denounced their trade surplus with us (even though it was wildly inaccurate) and accused Germany and other allies in NATO of owing vast amounts of money to the United States. We didn’t even mention the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, which caused the United States to become the only major country on the planet to not be apart of the deal.
The traditional view of the United States as having a protecting role was beginning to “crumble”, Sigmar Gabriel told an audience of politicians and government representatives at the Koerber Foundation.
“The U.S.’s retreat (from its international role) is not due to the policies of only one president. It will not change fundamentally after the next elections,” he said.
Now – Germany, like Canada, who made a similar announcement earlier in the year, is saying it will treat the United States with less respect on the world stage, and it doesn’t see that relationship strengthening any time soon.
“Germany cannot afford to wait for decisions from Washington, or to merely react to them. We must lay out our own position and make clear to our allies where the limits of our solidarity are reached,” Gabriel said in the speech, excerpts of which had been published by Sueddeutsche Zeitung ahead of time.
The irony to all of this is that former President Barack Obama still receives a ton of fanfare from the German people, yet it’s not enough to keep them on the sidelines. After Trump went on a foreign policy trip earlier in the year, Obama visited Germany and got a huge round of applause for his speech.
“As a person, as a president, he has been an inspiring figure,” said Wolfgang Ischinger, former German ambassador to Washington and current head of the Munich Security Conference, an annual nonprofit event. “Most Germans would feel that if we had more Barack Obama that wouldn’t be so bad.”