Wednesday, October 27, 2021

What’s at stake for Europe if Trump scraps US-Australia defense pact?

For European nations, the U.S.-Australia defense pact came as yet another affront against them. Trump’s promise to withdraw from the pact — signed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2002 — left the European nations and their allies indignant, especially after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg saw German Chancellor Angela Merkel cry during a meeting on Monday.

One of Trump’s top European ambassadors — Thierry Mariani, currently the French envoy to Washington — resigned from his position because of “crushing frustration” with the “opposition of the U.S. government to existing international agreements.”

France’s announcement about a no-fly zone in Syria earlier this year also angered the Trump administration.

Despite Trump’s mercurial behavior, the European nations are right to be vexed by his refusal to honor agreements, CNN correspondent Spencer Mogulescu says.

“France always gets ahead of the U.S. and … it remains,” Mogulescu told CNN’s Alina Cho during a special report on America’s Defense Pact with France at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

But Mogulescu says the U.S.-Australia agreement is part of a larger alliance between Europe and Asia in which France might benefit from the pact.

“[It] has always been about reminding Washington that the U.S. has to deal with other allies and try to not pull itself completely into isolationism,” Mogulescu says.

As far as the U.S.-Australia partnership goes, Mogulescu asks: “Is this a bad thing for the U.S.? Is this a good thing for the U.S.? Or is it going to really cause trouble?”

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