Trump at Biarritz

I posted this comment to Ed Luce’s Financial Times column this morning about Donald Trump’s upcoming meeting with the G7 leaders at Biarritz this weekend. I think when you consider that the other six leaders are representing an overall bloc of countries with about twice as much of the world GDP than the US, one can see that unilateralism is in fact stunt politics, not serious foreign policy. It will be interesting to see how Trump behaves or misbehaves as the case may be this weekend. The second comment appended to the first is about Denmark, a fine little country that is well led.

Paul A. Myers 4 hours ago

Mr Luce captures Mr Trump in all his atavistic urges, his essential primitivism.

The path to American decline and the demise of its eastern hemisphere militarized empire starts with irrelevance. That should be on colorful display this weekend.

Mr Macron’s scrapping of the communique was a gifted tactical stroke signaling a larger strategic change–the sharp decline and collapsing leadership of the US of the advanced economy democracies that make up 40 percent of world GDP, twice the US share of 20 percent. (The OECD countries in total are 62 percent of world GDP). That is a lot of leadership to be abandoning.  US “hegemony” over the G7 “consensus” is gone.

In its place, the “other six” will come forward to a new and larger–and probably enduring–prominence. The “other six” are now the board of directors of the OECD countries and its commitment to fostering a world of advanced economy democracy through promotion of the world-based order and its commitment to mutually beneficial trade–the only known pathway to advancing living standards in an economy (advanced or otherwise).

For now, observers should be watching the “other six” at Biarritz and listening to what they are saying, their views on how the advanced economy democracies should move forward. The reality is that the “other six” have more common interests together than at anytime in the past and are undoubtedly thoroughly tired of American bullying on issue-after-issue by geopolitical dolts. The leaders of the “other six” as a group are the smartest,  most capable, shrewdest leaders on the international scene.

With Trump, one has a window into the worst of the past (the John Bolton show is like watching a rerun of the Iraq war). With the other leaders one might glean insights into what is needed for a better future.

The geopolitical backdrop of this era is the rapidly integrating economies of the Eurasian landmass and the increasing magnitude of the African continent on world affairs with its potential for explosive economic growth and world de-stabilizing migration flows. American foreign policy in the Middle East is a failure leading no where positive. America’s over-militarized foreign policy is sterile and empty of positive potential.

The country that is missing from the G7 meeting that should be there is not Russia, but India–the big missing democratic piece to the emerging dominance of Eurasian economies to the world order.

It is hard to imagine what a foreign policy “win” for Mr Trump would be that would let him win the industrialized Midwest states crucial to his reelection. However, if such a “win” were to power his reelection victory, American insularity would be solidified and longer-term American irrelevance and decline cemented. Is that the inevitability that is coming in the 2020s?

Paul A. Myers 3 hours ago

Denmark requires a separate note. Like Mr Luce, I was greatly impressed by Denmark’s military contribution to Nato missions, particularly its combat role in Afghanistan where 40 of its troops have been killed, making its sacrifice in relation to population on par or greater than other Nato partners. Danish F-16 jets fought in the Libyan air campaign of 2011, an important European-led military effort. Denmark was in Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Denmark is simply the beau ideal of what a European ally should be for the European community and member of the wider world community.

One cannot think of a country better than Denmark to be steward of Greenland. In particular, the Unites States’ disgraceful management of the environment of its own state of Alaska stands in contrast, a policy of despoilment that is literally increasing by the minute by decisions made by the Trump administration right now. This is the quality of stewardship the world would want for Greenland?

The Danes should be very proud of the sensible and mature leadership of their prime minister, Mette Frederikson.

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