After French president Emmanuel Macron called for a “real European army” last week on radio station Europe 1, US president Donald Trump hit back in a few tweets, saying “Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe… How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!”
Trump then followed this with tweets about trade between France and the US and Macron’s approval rating. Macron’s initial comments come after Trump decided to pull the US out of the International Nuclear Force Treaty, which banned short to intermediate range missiles for both Russia and the US.
In conjunction with Macron’s call for a European army, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the European Parliament a similar story, saying “The times when we could rely on others are over. This means we Europeans have to take our fate fully into our own hands, We should work on a vision of one day establishing a real European army.”
Much of this seems to be in response to comments made by Trump about a desire for other NATO member countries to contribute 2 percent of their GDP on defense and a view by Trump that the US is paying for the military protection of European countries.
While Macron and Merkel’s comments seem to satisfy what Trump wants, namely European countries being able to protect themselves without being propped up by US spending, the tweets by Trump in response seem to suggest the opposite. That because France lost to Germany in WWII, that it would be ill advised for Europe to attempt to construct their own army. This in turn seems to contradict a statement made by on Tuesday morning, “It is time that these very rich countries either pay the United States for its great military protection, or protect themselves…and Trade must be made FREE and FAIR!”, as Trump himself mentions that Europe should try to protect themselves.
Whether France, Germany and other European countries will get together to create a “European Army”, or whether NATO will continue existing in its current form is in flux, as tensions between Trump and other world leaders continues to be lead into question.