Trump has flown the coop and landed in France to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I. Too bad Trump didn’t even make it off the plane before squawking out an unflattering tweet addressed to France’s President, Emmanuel Macron. Macron recently advised that a European army may be necessary for defense from other nations, including the United States.
Given Trump’s isolationist policies, erratic behavior and friendly ties with those traditionally considered contrary to U.S. interests, one can hardly blame Macron for being cautious. To top it off, Russia is developing hypersonic missile technology that appears capable of defeating NATO’s missile defense system. Instead of engaging in dialogue with Macron on this very important issue, Trump tweeted that he was insulted by Macron’s comments, tweeting this even as his plane was landing in France.
Given Macron and Trump are both adults, Trump’s gaffe is not a monumental one, however it does show a typical lack of strategy on Trump’s part to not engage in meaningful debate and sling mud instead. It is likely that Macron’s comments were meant to be a wake-up call to Trump to signal to him that his behavior has not garnered any sense of trust in our European allies. They’re trying to tell Trump they don’t feel America is the straightforward ally it once was, but Trump doesn’t care or doesn’t care to show he cares. What once started out as a strong relationship with Macron has soured a bit over the past year and a half as Trump has seemingly exhausted the goodwill of his foreign counterparts with his overwhelming personality.
Macron has another good reason for being wary of American cooperation with Europe, as he cited the fact that Trump intends to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear forces treaty with Russia as one of the primary reasons why a European army may be a necessity. Putin is also expected to be in attendance at the celebrations in France, and while Putin and Trump had agreed to meet there, it is unclear at this time if that meeting will still take place. What is clear is that there has been a distinct paradigm shift since Trump has taken office because it is an odd world when Trump is on better footing with the leader of a criminal regime who is at odds with America than with the President of France, a longtime ally of the United States.