NEW YORK – The Wall Street Journal recently published an article entitled “Europe Ponders New World Order as Trans-Atlantic Ties Fray.” For Ivan Danilov, this article demonstrates that in order for everything to go well in the US everything must go wrong in other countries.
The Wall Street Journal article, written by political scientist Simon Nixon, offers a pessimistic prognosis. “Trump’s poor ties to West European allies raise the possibility that 2018 may be a year of ideological disarray, as 1989 went to Eastern Europe,” the article says.
This time, the empire that will lose its influence in Europe overnight will not be the Soviet Union, but the United States.
“From a European perspective, the risk of the continent facing a collapse of the North American order in Europe is comparable to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. In that year Russia’s control of Central and Eastern Europe collapsed almost night-to-day when the ideology it was based on evaporated. This forced [Eastern countries] to seek alternatives,” Nixon wrote in his article .
According to Ivan Danilov, Europeans still remember very well and have taken very seriously the views once expressed by their ally, Donald Trump, that “Europe is worse than China” and that “the European Union does not foster the interests North Americans”.
For Europeans, the path chosen by the Trump administration demonstrates that Washington no longer wants to treat them as its allies, with whom the fruits of American geopolitics must be shared. Therefore, warns Nixon (opinion shared by Danilov), between the United States and Europe may arise ideological differences.
In order to understand Washington’s new position on Europe, the health of the US economy must be taken into account. As head of state, Donald Trump “is obliged” to maintain the appearance that the country’s economy is going well and that in the future it will be even better, Danilov explains. But it was not always so.
“During the election campaign he was much more outspoken and made it clear that the US economy was ‘a big bubble.’ The state of the economy is the main problem and headache of the US leader, and it is the attempts to correct this critical state on account of others […] that define the foreign policy strategy of the US administration, “said the Russian analyst.
For this “bubble” not to explode, the US needs Chinese, European, Japanese, Mexican, Canadian, and other companies, as well as their employees around the world, to earn far less and spend more money buying American products. This will allow companies and their employees in the United States to benefit, in turn, much more, Danilov adds.
“Trump needs to ‘plunder’ the whole world at once and as fast as possible, otherwise the accounts will not hit right,” says the columnist.
While there are some apparent problems in Danilov’s reasoning, it certainly raises pertinent questions about the future of the now crumbling US empire. Where Danilov seems to misunderstand Trump’s economic policy, is that a devalued dollar and high tarrifs on imports, effectively incentivize a return to US manufacturing, and make US produced goods attractive as export commodities, again, based on a devalued dollar. China has ‘delvalued’ its own currency for almost two decades now in order to incentivize Chinese exports globally.
For Danilov, to resolve this situation European leaders must adopt quite radical measures, which will entail serious geopolitical changes. This is where his analysis again begins to make sense.
In particular, they can transform the existential challenge into an instrument of consolidation and centralization of Europe under a single center of government, as proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron. They may also try to establish tactical alliances with China and Russia, adds Danilov, or try to combine both scenarios.
“So far, both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Macron have behaved as if there was a third option: wait until the United States takes a decision. But after the failed G7 summit, few believe that,” concludes Danilov .