Remember when everyone thought Donald Trump would blow up NATO? It turns out all he did was pressure our allies to pay their fair share. An additional $100 billion strengthened the alliance’s military defenses. It may have made them uncomfortable to have Trump shame them into paying up, but as my grandmother used to say: tough toenails. America had been the primary financier covering the spread for too long. Do you know what never happened under Trump? A NATO ally withdrawing its ambassador.
Welcome to Biden’s America. Yesterday, President Biden announced a new alliance between the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Australia. President Joe Biden, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled a new trilateral security program called AUKUS. The folks down under will receive U.S. nuclear submarine technology to beef up their defenses against China.
There was just one tiny problem. The French already had an agreement to provide this technology to Australia.
AUKUS effectively canceled a prior $40 billion diesel-electric submarine deal between France and Australia. And France is not happy. On Thursday, French officials canceled a gala at the country’s Washington D.C. embassy scheduled for Friday evening. The event was to commemorate the 240th anniversary of the Battle of the Capes. After Biden announced the new deal, the French abandoned the celebration.
On Friday, the tensions hit a new level. France recalled its ambassadors from the United States and Australia, citing the “exceptional gravity of the announcements made on 15th September by Australia and the United States.” In a statement. Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s minister for Europe and foreign affairs, wrote:
The cancellation of the Attack class submarine program binding Australia and France since 2016, and the announcement of a new partnership with the United States meant to launch studies on a possible future cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines, constitute unacceptable behavior between allies and partners, whose consequences directly affect the vision we have of our alliances, of our partnerships and of the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe.
The removal of a NATO ally’s ambassador is unprecedented in the history of the alliance. Established to prevent aggression in Western Europe from the USSR, the coalition seems to be coming apart at the seams. Several months ago, Biden approved the NORD pipeline, increasing dependence on Russia for fossil fuels in the region. During the recent botched Afghanistan withdrawal, Biden ignored calls from Johnson for more than a day. Several allies, including Germany’s Angela Merkel, expressed displeasure at the unilateral decision-making from Washington.
To be fair, French President Emmanuel Macron has been making Biden look like a sissy lately. When military leaders ordered U.S. forces to retreat to the civilian airport in Kabul, French troops went into Taliban-controlled territory to rescue their citizens and Afghan allies. On August 29, a day before the last U.S. flight evacuated our remaining soldiers, France and the U.K. had to ask the United Nations to create a safe zone in Kabul.
On Thursday, the French announced the killing of ISIS terrorist Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi. In addition to killing French nationals and thousands of African citizens, al-Sahrawi was allegedly responsible for an ambush attack on four U.S. service members in 2017.
Before that, Macron rejected woke nonsense seeping into France following the unrest in the United States during the summer of 2020. When he spoke out against Islamist radicalism in the wake of the beheading of a school teacher by a jihadist, The New York Times attacked his response. Macron shot back:
When France was attacked five years ago, every nation in the world supported us… So, when I see, in that context, several newspapers which I believe are from countries that share our values – journalists who write in a country that is the heir to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution – when I see them legitimising this violence, and saying that the heart of the problem is that France is racist and Islamophobic, then I say the founding principles have been lost.
The United States under Joe Biden is taking heavy criticism from our closest allies. Trump may have been boorish at times, but there was no doubt he was a defender of the West. Joe Biden, on the other hand, is alienating one of our closest allies with unilateral action, which does not bode well for him.