Tuesday August 7, 2018
President's behavior concerns our longtime friends in Europe.
I recently returned from Ireland, where I observed the reaction of Europeans to the latest economic and foreign policy initiatives of the American government. My visit coincided with President Donald Trump's attendance at the recent NATO meeting and subsequent NATO debacle.
Meeting with other NATO leaders, Trump attempted to destabilize the governments of Britain's Theresa May and Germany's Angela Merkel, despite the fact that the British and Germans have been our staunchest allies for more than 70 years.
I spent a year studying at the University of Munich in 1959 and through the ensuing years have developed a great respect and affection for Germany, cultivating many friendships there. Among them are students and teachers, fellow physicians and a brigadier general who had commanded German special forces in Afghanistan, where his troops fought, and some died, alongside their American allies.
In my experience the majority of Germans have been pro-American, but their faith in our foreign policy has been sorely shaken, and they are beginning to feel betrayed.
If our president had attempted in like manner to destabilize the governments of traditional adversaries such as Russia and North Korea, it might have been construed as an act of war. Such monumental distortion of judgment in this nuclear age should be a deep concern to all, unless, of course, one is Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is, no doubt, exulting in the demise of American foreign policy.
Thomas B. Souders
Alienating allies hurts U.S. standing in world