image of mountains

The future NATO? Two very capable and compatible pillars: North America and Europe.

Trump, Power, and the Value of NATO

Julian Lindley-French

July 2018, Number 007

President Trump is fascinated by power and regards all institutions, be it NATO, the EU or the UN merely as constraints on America the Exceptional and havens for the weak. It is why he seeks common ground on occasions with Spartans like Putin – they understand each other. The only way for Europeans to convince President Trump of the utility of NATO is for themselves to become Athenians or at least Melians with Attitude. This is because the only way a rules-based order can be maintained is if those rules carry sanction – covenants without the sword and all that.

Therefore, the specific challenge at next week’s NATO Brussels Summit for Europe’s leaders will be to convince President Trump and John Bolton-type Americans of the value of institutions in international relations, i.e. NATO. If they are to meet that challenge Europeans will need to reverse a culture that has become deep-rooted since World War Two and the founding of the European Union, namely that institutions exist to constrain power, rather than mechanisms for the aggregation of power...

Excerpt from The Lindley-French Analysis: Speaking Truth Unto Power, July 13, 2018.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.