The Western Crack-Up
By imposing tariffs on US allies and cozying up to brutal dictators such as North Korea's Kim Jong-un, US President Donald Trump is sowing deep mistrust within the West. But if Trump thinks a divide-and-rule strategy can "make America great again," he is in for a rude awakening.
MADRID – After the recent G7 summit in Quebec, there can no longer be any doubt that the West is in crisis. Yes, “Western” countries have often pursued divergent foreign policies (as illustrated by the Iraq War), and “the West” is itself a vague concept. But it is one that rests on a set of common ideological pillars, which are now crumbling under the weight of US President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda.
Trump and his coreligionists’ incessant slandering of allies – “we cannot let our friends take advantage of us” – is leaving its mark. Putting aside his apparently unconditional support for Saudi Arabia and Israel, Trump seems prepared to destroy the essential strategic understanding that the US has long maintained vis-à-vis its allies.
Just a few years ago, it would have been unthinkable for the US to refuse to sign a joint G7 communiqué. Nor would anyone have thought that an American administration could attack a Canadian leader using the language that Trump and his trade adviser, Peter Navarro, recently directed at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.