Print Edition - 2017-06-21 | Oped
Allies plan life without US
- Trump’s chaotic absence of clear policies is pushing allies to draw back from Washington
Jun 21, 2017-
Canada has declared the need to recognize that the United States is relinquishing its role as the “indispensable nation.”
“The fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course,” said Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland. Every line of her speech was clearly about a world order thrown into crisis as President Trump scoffs at trade agreements, rips up the landmark Paris climate accord and otherwise demonstrates disdain for anything that isn’t “America First.” Canada’s course, Ms. Freeland said, would be “the renewal of the postwar multilateral order.” For Canada and other NATO members to assume more of the responsibilities borne for the past seven decades by the US has long been the goal of US administrations. The problem is that it’s not so much Mr. Trump’s policies as his chaotic absence of clear policies that is pushing allies to draw back from Washington. Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, sought early in the Trump administration to find ways of working together. But Mr. Trump’s rejection of the climate agreement was what finally persuaded Mr. Trudeau that he had to find his own way.
Neither Canada nor any other ally can begin to match the US in might or wealth. But it is to the advantage the allies to step out from under America’s long shadow and take more responsibility for their shared security and values. How much better that would be, however, if they were not doing it largely to escape a shadow that has turned dark, turbulent and dangerous.
Published: 21-06-2017 08:08