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Europe Finally Pulls the Trigger on a Military Force

After two years of US President Donald Trump treating European allies as if they were adversaries, France and Germany have finally committed to the creation of an EU-wide army under a central command. Far from signaling a break from the transatlantic order, the move promises to shore up existing alliances for the long term.

MUNICH – US President Donald Trump is making an intolerable show of himself in Europe. Not only has he cast doubt on America’s commitment to mutual defense under NATO; he has also unilaterally withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany and the European Union.

Since then, the Trump administration has unilaterally imposed an embargo on goods deliveries to Iran from any third country, including the other signatories of the agreement. Foreign firms that continue to conduct business in Iran now face the threat of sanctions, and banks that process transactions risk losing access to the US financial system.

Meanwhile, the US has been threatening similar action with respect to the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that will run from Russia to Germany. The US Congress is considering legislation that allows the Trump administration to impose sanctions on European firms taking part in the project, even though these companies are contractually obliged to see the work through. And, according to Gerhard Schröder, a former German chancellor who now chairs the pipeline project, the US ambassador to Germany has been acting more like an “occupation officer” than like a diplomat.

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