Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Checkpoint Donald?

President Trump has also made no secret of his intention to break up the EU: the EU's Guy Verhofstadt sees the President as one of three major threats to the bloc, the others being Islamic State and President Putin. If the EU fails, then Europe could perhaps end up being divided into a Russian zone and an American zone: where the line falls would be decided by a summit, rather than a Cold War.
I'm not sure that I'm wholly convinced by Frances Coppola's scenario, but it's more or less an open secret that this is the sort of thing that Trump and Putin would like to see - if you're in charge of a great power and take a zero sum view of international relations, why wouldn't you want to destabilise and break up a potential rival?

On the other hand, for all their chest-beating, the Russians still have a nominal GDP that's smaller than Germany's (and smaller than the UK's, or France's, or Italy's, for that matter), plus the world's longest land and sea borders to defend, so the idea of them forcing, say, the fiercely Russophobic and nationalist Poles to stay obediently within their self-declared sphere of influence smacks of imperial overstretch.

That's not to say that Europe won't end up being screwed, (mainly by Europe's own native useful idiots, rather than foreign powers - with friends like the European Central Bank, the Brexit brigade, Le Pen, Wilders and Orbán, why would Europe's citizens need enemies?). But, hopefully, we won't be looking at this specific piece of fearful symmetry, with The Ronald claiming credit for tearing down Europe's old wall, then The Donald helping to build a new European wall to go with his Mexican one.

Image credit.