With Biden the Atlantic Alliance will find new momentum

In foreign policy, one of the most significant repercussions of Trump’s electoral defeat will be the possible rebirth of the Atlantic Alliance, as a rediscovered tool of Western politics. President-elect Biden’s attitude is certainly the opposite in nature to that of his predecessor, but some of the criticisms that Trump has made of his European partners, especially about the nature of financial investments in armaments, will remain current. If the request for the measure of two per cent of gross domestic product seems to be confirmed by the new tenant of the White House, at least in intentions, it will be interesting to see how the destination of the expenditure will also be evaluated: Trump had the aim of strengthening the American industry, that equipment and the European decision to finance its own armaments industry, albeit still within the perimeter of the Atlantic Alliance, had to be strongly opposed by the United States in its role as the largest shareholder of the organization. On the other hand, Trump’s willingness to detach from the Atlantic Alliance, which probably would never have been granted by the American Congress, had favored the birth of a discussion within the states of the European Union, for the creation of a common armed force: an essential tool for practicing one’s own foreign policy and preparatory to a more stringent political union. The intention was certainly not to leave the Atlantic Alliance, but a subject of such weight would have or will have the possibility of exercising a different political weight in the relationship with Washington. This determination must not fail even with Biden’s presence in the role of president of the USA, but, on the contrary, his best disposition and greater political tact must be exploited to begin rethinking the Atlantic Alliance in the context of profoundly changed geopolitical structures, which Trump did not substantially take into account. Reconciling the European Union with the United States can pass from a different role of the Atlantic Alliance, no longer more functional to US interests, but as a guarantor of Western values ​​in the theaters already present and which will emerge from global confrontations. For the moment, however, it is necessary to prepare for the possible damage that Trump will want to leave to put the organization in difficulty, starting with the desire to withdraw American soldiers from essential scenarios for world security, such as Afghanistan; these days remaining to the outgoing president could be used to put the Atlantic Alliance at a serious disadvantage and with the future need to start again from a more difficult point for reconstruction. Moving on to the most relevant specific cases, it will be interesting to see how the relationship with China will be set up, which is increasingly emerging as the main adversary, also due not only to the huge investments in armaments but as a global competitor in industry and technology. If with regard to the United States the policy of hard confrontation with Beijing should not undergo substantial changes, for a revised and corrected Atlantic Alliance, space could be created to dampen the clashes on the diplomatic level, thanks to a possible greater weight of Europe. This does not mean abdicating Western needs but only creating the possibility of a different approach. Another case that must be dealt with urgently is the role of Turkey within the alliance: Ankara opted for a policy that did not comply with the transatlantic agreements, entering into agreements to supply arms from Russia; a factor that cannot be separated from Turkey’s foreign policy conducted in open conflict with American and European interests. The attitude that will be held with Ankara will mark a line of conduct that must then be maintained in a coherent manner within the relations between the members. Finally, the deadline, February 5, of the 2010 treaty to limit nuclear warheads, signed with Russia, represents an urgent need that cannot be postponed, also due to the Russian president’s willingness to renew, which could pave the way for a new type of relations with Moscow. The need for a greater use of diplomacy seems to be shared by both the new president and the European members, this approach will be essential to approach crisis situations in a more reasoned way, without however renouncing the need for supervision and actions where it will be necessary for maintenance. of peace and the protection of Western interests.