Biden Has Lost Confidence in Europe and Is Following in Trump’s Footsteps

The AUKUS alliance will be expanded, so Ukraine will have to decide who to support — China or the United States.

The creation by the U.S. of an alliance with Great Britain and Australia demonstrates that Joe Biden has lost confidence in European allies, and the loss of importance NATO first experienced under Donald Trump’s presidency is accelerating. The starting point for the AUKUS military-political bloc — Australia’s armament with nuclear-powered submarines — clearly indicates anti-China policy orientation. Accordingly, those countries with foreign policy orientation toward the U.S. will have to determine their positions and declare their intentions.

AUKUS will inevitably be expanded. The government of New Zealand has already protested and strongly opposes the alliance, realizing the implications, but other countries, most notably Canada, may join the organization in the future. Also, this bloc may eventually include South Korea and Japan (especially because the United States has the Quad alliance, founded in 2007 and composed of the U.S., Australia, India and Japan).

Certainly, any cooperation and development of joint programs between Ukraine and China will be painfully perceived in Washington and, sooner or later, a question will arise: What purpose will be served by providing assistance to Ukraine if it strengthens ties with communist China? This, in turn, will result in a loss of economic aid and political support. Since U.S. policy has a great deal of inertia, these decisions are usually made within a year and a half. Accordingly, if Ukraine demonstrates further steps toward rapprochement with China, the cooling in relations with Washington would begin as soon as next spring or summer.

Let me remind you that France wasn’t a member of the NATO Integrated Military Command Structures from 1966 until 2009, but remained a political member of the alliance. Since 2009, France has again started participating in military campaigns and exercises. Therefore, France once again withdrawing from the NATO military command structure is quite predictable, with the background of the aggravated situation and the unprecedented step of withdrawing its ambassadors from Canberra and Washington.

Moreover, in the run-up to the next French elections, to be held in April 2022, Emmanuel Macron should show his determination. Since anti-American sentiment is growing everywhere in Europe and will clearly grow in France in the wake of these events, Macron may announce his withdrawal at least from the NATO military organization, if not from NATO entirely, and declare a complete cessation of cooperation. This has already happened once, when the military forces of the French Republic were not available to the NATO command in Europe.

Moreover, there was previously a refusal to sell two Mistral helicopter carriers, so after the loss of the contract with Australia, Macron may accept a new order for one from Russia. This would lead to rapprochement both with Moscow and Beijing, because the latter is the major U.S. political opponent; it makes sense that Macron, trying to set off financial losses, will try to receive new contracts, which China would easily agree to because it benefits from splitting U.S.-EU unity. This, in turn, will directly affect Ukraine’s interests: If France resumes cooperation and sells helicopter carriers to Russia, it will endanger Ukraine’s security because it will change the balance of power in the Black Sea region.

The author, Taras Berezovets, is a Ukrainian political analyst, co-founder of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future and director of Berta Communications Company.

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