German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday during a parliamentary debate that she believes the United States is no longer Europe’s protector.
According to Merkel, the United States is the world superpower “both economically and militarily,” as reported by RT and recognized that Europe is linked to the United States by the values they share, “despite all the differences.”
However, Merkel, who has already announced that she will not run for re-election to the German presidency, said, “The U.S. won’t automatically be playing the role of Europe’s defender anymore, like it was during the Cold War.”
Last month, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel for failing to raise defense spending to 2% of GDP as mandated by the military alliance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
According to Reuters, Grenell told dpa news agency, “It is offensive to assume that the U.S. taxpayers continue to pay for more than 50,000 Americans in Germany but the Germans get to spend their (budget) surplus on domestic programs.”
U.S. Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher said on Twitter: “Poland meets its 2% of GDP spending obligation toward NATO. Germany does not. We would welcome American troops in Germany to come to Poland,” Reuters reported.
In this context, Merkel believes that Europe should not place too high hopes on the ties that unite the United States with Europe, although she acknowledges that the transatlantic link must be “strengthened” and that progress must be made to reach defense spending of 2% of GDP.
Also noteworthy was Merkel’s very recent two-day trip to China last week in which she met with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who asked Germany to accept more Chinese companies and relax export rules for some products, DW News reported.
Both France and Germany have defended the idea that Europe should no longer depend on the United States for its defense, and French President Emmanuel Macron even proposed the creation of a European army last year.
“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia, and even the United States of America,” Macron told France’s Europe 1 radio in an interview, according to the Independent.
President Donald Trump found these statements “very insulting” especially coming from one of the allies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, a defensive treaty created in 1949 for the defense of member countries (currently 29 countries) against external threats.