The U.S.’s senior military officer, General Joseph Dunford; the commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Karl Schultz; and the indopacom commander, Admiral Philip Davidson, all participated and gave strong, sensible remarks.
There was no policy representation from the civilian leadership of the Department of Defense; no senior diplomats or White House officials managed to make time for the country that took in American flights after September 11, or those nations that invoked nato’s mutual-defense clause after we were attacked, or those countries struggling to become more democratic in our image.
Experts on civil-military relations worried about the optics of only uniformed military personnel delivering American policy messages, but sorrowfully acknowledged that it was better to have the military provide forces of institutional stability than to leave allies completely adrift.
The United States has never been as good as its billing and is—thankfully—almost always better than its government.
United Nations Secretary General António Guterres previously announced that the first country to meet its Paris-climate-accord goals will likely be the United States of America—despite Trump withdrawing from the accords and the federal government acting in overt hostility to them.
The golden state of California and mayors of 31 cities, as well as American businesses and consumers, are driving compliance irrespective of the federal government.
It’s not just that allies don’t believe the reassuring voices in the administration; they are tired of tuning in to the malicious circus of American politics and policies.
They’re exhausted with our solipsism and drama, and disappointed with our indifference to anyone else’s problems and politics.
They are resigning themselves to a world without American inspiration or partnership, to a post-American international order.
The Americans present at the conference pointed to policy successes, like the establishment of nato’s 30-30-30 rapid-deployment forces, U.S. troops deploying to Poland, reconstituting the Second Fleet to patrol the Atlantic, and integral U.S. participation in nato’s biggest military exercise since the end of the Cold War.
But allies are getting tired of hearing it.
Not only were those successes overshadowed by Trump’s offensive behavior, the incandescence of his public rage called into question whether the United States would come to the defense of its allies in a crisis.
The decibel level of mean-spiritedness coming from the highest levels of American government is deafening our friends to our better selves.
Allies believe they are witnessing something they never expected to behold, and which endangers both their security and our own: the United States putting an end to the American order.
Word came through during the Forum that nato will not be holding a 70th-anniversary celebration, because the president of the United States cannot be trusted not to bring the temple down upon all our heads.
That was the dirge played in Halifax.
……….Allies are grieving the loss of an America they believed in, as it sinks in that they cannot rely on us any longer …………………shit………………w