[Ed. – This was at the Munich Security Conference last week, a regular get-together for NATO and other regional nations with intertwined security needs. For perspective, this is hardly the first time France has super-assertively proclaimed that Europe just basically needs something ELSE, besides this tired old connection to the United States. La “France Surcouf” resurfaces. But Eastern Europe doesn’t like it at all. This is partly because Macron is just weird. Nearly three years on from the 2017 election, he’s still from out of nowhere.]
“When you read what some French leaders say, they try to present the situation: We are European, [with] equal distance, political distance, to U.S. and to Russia,” Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told the Washington Examiner in an exclusive interview. “I observe also a tendency to portray U.S. as a problem.”
Skepticism and even fear about Macron’s bid for European leadership coursed around the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, overshadowed by the China-related disputes between Washington and Europe that took center stage. After years of unease about Trump’s commitment to NATO’s Article 5 obligations being in vogue, Macron’s call for Europe to bolster defense plans with the goal of being able to break with the U.S. in major foreign policy disputes left U.S. officials fuming. …
Macron denies that he is proposing any fracture of the transatlantic alliance, casting his proposals as a natural response to U.S. demands that European allies take more responsibility for their own defense.