Despite all the errors and weaknesses, there is no alternative to Atlanticism and US leadership

Joe Biden is proving more and more every day that he is a bad president. The enthusiasm with which the progressive party had welcomed his election, and Donald Trump's departure, is long over, even if the left still lingers to celebrate the changing of the guard at the White House.

It was already known that the current president is a serial gaffeur , as his long political career undoubtedly testifies. Yet many persisted in hoping that the great experience accumulated, especially in the field of foreign policy, would allow him to manage the international politics of the United States with equilibrium.

The pessimists, on the other hand, had reasons to sell. Never before has a US president been denied and "corrected" by members of his staff, and primarily by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Until now, disagreements – which have always existed – were dealt with internally, with the obvious intention of not offering public opinion a weak image of America. A weak image that the leading power of the West cannot afford in the face of the many enemies of the "open society".

The disastrous and hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan was not enough. Now the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the wavering American reaction, has allowed the autocracies to point out Western weakness and the need to achieve a new world order no longer based on US hegemony.

And this is not only true for traditional autocracies like Russia and China. In fact, it also extends to a key country like India, which calls itself "the largest democracy in the world". New Delhi, already close to the Russians (in anti-Chinese function) did not condemn Putin's "special operation", finding itself so close to traditional Chinese enemies.

Not to mention the many African, Asian and Latin American states that have taken substantially pro-Russian positions on the Ukrainian affair. The reason is obvious, and must be sought in the hatred of liberal democracy and in the search for a posthumous revenge against the old colonialism.

The situation for the West, therefore, becomes dramatic. The United States not only has one of the weakest presidents in American history, but is also hit by a serious internal crisis with the two major parties in trouble. The European Union, for its part, despite the enthusiasm for its (presumed) renewed unity, finds itself once again in a position of great weakness, with the various national actors trying, each one, to play a primary role in the crisis. current.

What needs to be asked strongly is whether, for the West, there are plausible alternatives to Atlanticism. Well, despite Biden, the answer is a clear "no". No European nation possesses the economic, military and diplomatic might of the United States. Even though they currently have an uncertain and fluctuating president, no one can replace them in a leadership position. Not even Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson, with all their activism.

The center always remains in Washington, and it should be obvious to all that an Atlantic Alliance without American leadership is doomed to impotence. Sure, the chills come thinking that Biden's possible replacement would be Kamala Harris. She too greeted with great trumpet blasts from the progressive line-up, and the protagonist of sensational fools every time Biden sent her around the world.

Yet, despite everything, the only possible horizon for Westerners is precisely the Atlantic, hoping that it will quickly recover the ancient assertiveness and deterrence capacity, especially military. Even if the current situation leads to pessimism, the will to recover the partially lost strength must not be lacking.

Maybe by exploiting the weaknesses of the opponents. For example, the unexpected military shortcomings of the Russian Federation, which are destroying Vladimir Putin's hasty conquest plans. Or the Chinese fear of no longer being able to maintain the previous levels of growth, due to the tensions that damage the relations of the People's Republic with the indispensable Western markets.

It is obvious, however, that purely media events, such as the failed "Forum on Democracy" organized by Biden, do not serve this purpose. Rather, we need a global rethinking of the role of NATO and a sharing of responsibilities on the part of Europeans. Without, however, questioning the American leadership, since this would only strengthen the ambitions of domination of the autocracies.

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This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Atlantico Quotidiano at the URL on Tue, 29 Mar 2022 03:59:00 +0000.