Trans-Atlantic Passing

Yankee Goes Home

Donald Trump, Mike Pence, James Mattis
Europe has to reckon with an American president who questions the trans-Atlantic relationship. Source: AP Photo

This weekend more than 500 trans-Atlanticists will gather in Munich for the Munich Security Conference, an annual touting of the West’s solutions for the world’s problems through “trans-Atlanticism,” the belief in the importance of cooperation between Europe, the United States and Canada on political, economic, and defense issues, with the purpose of maintaining the security and prosperity of the participating countries, and to protect the values that unite them.

For almost 70 years all top diplomats, advisors and journalists were trans-Atlanticists. The credo of the experts organized in many clubs, think tanks, and networks can be summarized like this: The security and prosperity of the West depends on an alliance with the United States.

But what if, of all people, the U.S. president undermines both by attacking democracy, the rule of law, and free trade? Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly are all slated to attend the conference. But the real focus is on the man who has upended the world of the trans-Atlanticists, Donald Trump. He is a threat to the very existence of trans-Atlanticism.

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