Former US ambassador to Germany calls Europe’s striving for leadership a big mistake

01.02.2023, Berlin.

The Germans’ biggest mistake in the last 30 years is that they did not ignore the concerns of the French when it came to integrating European defense into NATO in the 1990s, former US Ambassador to Berlin John Kornblum told Die WELT newspaper on January 30.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the unification of Germany and the Persian Gulf War, it became clear to Western European countries that they were seriously lagging behind the United States in the military field.

France began to reconsider its place and role in NATO, trying to take the lead in the alliance. There was even an attempt to create a new non-European military-political bloc on the basis of NATO, independent of the United States.

Kornblum points out that France began to drift away from the United States, and the Germans did not prevent this. Moreover, on February 7, 1992, in the city of Maastricht, the European countries signed a treaty that launched the European Union.

In an interview with WELT, Kornblum emphasized that even today’s talk about Germany’s leading role in Europe is harmful because not everyone in the EU wants that leadership. According to the diplomat, Germany has practiced leadership over the rest of Europe and even America for decades.

As an example, Kornblum cited Germany’s behavior with regard to the euro, nuclear weapons, as well as energy policy, the treatment of refugees, and trade with China. The US diplomat emphasized that the United States, in fact, played the role of a stabilizing factor in Europe.

Germany’s biggest problem and the EU’s biggest mistake, in Kornblum’s eyes, is that the Germans have failed to ignore France’s hesitations.

“This is the biggest mistake the Germans have made in the last 30 years and a disappointment to us Americans that we have been let down like this. This bitterness can often be found in the statements of leading US officials and public figures. When the Europeans signed the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, they did not understand that they needed a new concept for the post-Cold War era,” the US diplomat explained.

Kornblum notes that the Europeans ignored the fact that the United States had long been Europe’s leading power. Therefore, Europe’s goals have always had to be considered in close contact with those of the USA in a joint effort of the Western community. The diplomat stresses that, in this respect, Europe should not have planned its own structure as opposed to NATO.

The US diplomat points out that Europeans must now answer the question, why do more than 500 million people today live in a terrible, stagnant, defenseless Europe?

The former US ambassador to Germany warned that: “The existing order will collapse anyway. Everyone, including Europeans, will be forced to change. The question is whether our institutions and their leaders are ready to accept this challenge, whether they are up to the task. The bad news is that this change will be fundamental, devastating and destructive.”

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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