The Rise of EURONATO

Europe is convinced that America will be unable to defend Europe, if and when Trump is re-elected

The Rise of EURONATO

On December 14th 2023, the United States Congress passed legislation preventing any president from unilaterally withdrawing from NATO. This came mere weeks after former president Donald Trump stated he would withdraw from the alliance if re-elected in 2024.

In spite of this clear display of Atlanticist loyalty on behalf of Washington's legislators, it doesn't seem to be enough.

Ever since Ukraine's disastrous and anticlimactic "Spring 2023 counteroffensive," which only yielded the capture of a few miles of farmland and small villages along the Zaporozhye frontline, Washington's flow of military and economic support to Kiev stagnated. It hit rock bottom after Hamas launched a wave of attacks against Israel on October 7th.

European nations took note, and Europe has stepped up to fill the void left by lacking American support.

As of writing this, the United States Congress has failed to approve a new round of military aid to Ukraine. Republicans are demanding additional funding for border security and Israeli defense. Democrats refuse to make border security accommodations. By this point, Europe is convinced that America will be unable to provide more aid to Ukraine. More importantly, Europe is convinced that America will be unable to defend Europe, if and when Trump is re-elected in 2024.

Europe has had enough with what they see as childish bickering on behalf of Washington.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog & David Ignatius at Munich Security Conference 2024

This month, European NATO members began to openly consider the deployment of their own military to Ukraine. Though their capacities will likely be limited to electronic warfare and support roles, it's an act of defiance to America's wishes with how to handle Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Ever since World War II, Western Europe's security framework has been dominated by American military support. Ever since the Soviet Union collapsed, all of Europe has been reliant on American defense. Despite NATO's required 2% defense expenditures for all member states, only 4 member states meet this threshold, and no president has pushed the envelope of this issue too greatly. This was until Trump ran for president.

In July 2016, New York Times journalists David Sanger and Maggie Haberman interviewed the novice politician. When challenged on NATO, Donald Trump stated he would only defend NATO members if they have "fulfilled their obligations to us," completely ignoring Article V of the NATO treaty. Europe wasn't exactly pleased with these remarks, but dismissed them, believing that Trump couldn't win the election. When he did win, Europe now had to get comfy with their new boss, though no serious escalations between NATO and Russia occurred.

Trump hasn't changed his mind since, especially considering his recent comments on letting Russia do as they please. During a recent rally in South Carolina, the former president said the following:

“No I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills.”

This time around, Europe has taken Trump's comments very seriously.

While some Americans may think that Trump will lose in 2024, Europe seems to think he will win re-election, so much so in fact that Europe is preparing for a NATO alliance without a present and cooperative America.

Introducing: EURONATO. The European solution to a post-Atlantic America. An alliance in which Europe makes its own defense and security decisions, without a present American guarantor of sovereignty.

Europe's mindset is simply that if America won't step up to defend Europe, then only Europe can defend itself.

NATO's expansion, which has caused this war in Ukraine since 2014, was almost entirely spearheaded by State Department ambitions. It was the United States that initiated a bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, and ultimately it was a State Department color revolution in 2000 that resulted in Yugoslavia's dismemberment. Now every former Yugoslav nation is part of NATO, with the exception of Bosnia and Serbia, the latter of which has NATO troops present in Kosovo.

All of this is to the benefit of European defense, not American defense. Geographically and strategically encircling Russia is and always has been to the benefit of Europe, not America.

In 2003, Georgia's pro-Russian government was overthrown by the Rose Revolution. The new government headed by Mikhail Saakashvili failed to align with NATO, and ultimately the west didn't come to his aid when Russia invaded following a failed military operation in South Ossetia in 2008.

In 2004, the United States upended Ukraine's electoral process through a color revolution, though this didn't yield the desired results. Ukraine did not join NATO, and Ukraine's pro-Western and NATO-installed president, Viktor Yuschenko, did not fulfill all the wishes of Washington and Brussels. Viktor Yanukovich, his rival in the 2004 election, won the election in his place, though his presidency was short-lived.

Ten years after the Orange Revolution of 2004, Ukraine's government was overthrown following a massacre of protesters and police on Kiev's Independence Square, with later investigations suggesting that Western snipers, strategically planted at vantage points occupied by pro-Western protesters, shot at and killed the protesters. Ukraine's pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich was forced to flee, and a highly Russophobic and pro-Western government was installed in his place. The 2014 Maidan Revolution caused the Donbass to rise up and fight the new Ukrainian government, all the while Russian mercenaries and officers orchestrated separatist military activity.

Photo taken during the Maidan massacre

It was this civil war that allowed Europe and America to begin shipping weapons and aid to Ukraine to be used against the Donbass.

When Russia invaded in February 2022, Europe and America rallied in unison for Ukraine. It was, in fact, American aid that represented the majority of equipment sent to Ukraine, with Bradley IFVs and Javelin anti-tank missiles - all made in the USA - being pivotal in turning the war from an unquestionable Russian victory to a stalemate on all fronts. However, this stalemate had a timer.

Russia broke the stalemate in February 2024, capturing the city of Avdiivka just outside Donetsk. For 10 years, pro-Russian separatists fought for the city, and Russia has been breaking through on all fronts ever since Avdiivka's fall.

If there was ever a time for aid to be hastily sent to Ukraine, now is the time for it. And America has, finally, failed to satisfy European defense concerns.

At this rate, Ukraine is in deep trouble, and if Congress fails to compose an aid package, the deal is sealed- Europe will go its own way and defy America.

Whether or not EURONATO will be a success story is yet to be seen, but - like any emerging alliances - there are cracks in the foundation that must be sealed. There is great division within Europe on supporting Ukraine. Hungary has been the most opposed to supporting Ukraine militarily. Germany, France, Poland, and the Baltics have been hesitant due to Russian oil dependence, not to mention increasing nationalist and anti-NATO sentiments in those countries.

What we can look forward to is the prospect of American disengagement from Europe, and the possibility of a detente with Russia. However, this isn't without its drawbacks. America is pivoting to Asia to combat China, and most if not all of that defensive capability assigned to Europe can be guaranteed to shift east.