From today’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal from General McMaster and Gary Cohn, of the National Security Council and National Economic Council respectively:
Strong alliances and economically thriving partners are a third vital American interest. As the president stated in Brussels, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is rooted in “the courage of our people, the strength of our resolve, and the commitments that bind us together as one.” While reconfirming America’s commitment to NATO and Article 5, the president challenged our allies to share equitably the responsibility for our mutual defense. We came away with new outcomes for the first time in decades: More allies are stepping up to meet their defense commitments. By asking for more buy-in, we have deepened our relationships. That is not surprising. Alliances based on mutual respect and shared responsibility are strong. And strong alliances bolster American power.
Trump met with the centers of three bases of religious power — Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican respectively — then followed this meeting up with a NATO Summit that helped move America back away from “global community” and towards “communities of interest” that principally keep American interests in the forefront against outside threats — in this instance, global terrorism… but with the Russian Federation and China in mind as potential (but not actualized) threats.
Had any other president embarked on such a worldwide tour, it would have been a landmark event.
…but not this president. Not this tour.
Of course, all of this begs the question as to what precisely is the American community of interest.
The answer at the moment? If we are indeed asking the European Union to step up as an equal partner, and if our long-term strategic options should welcome the Russian Federation as a partner in a grand coalition, the answer is nothing short of an Anglosphere — those nations which hold a common link of ties in language, culture, rule of law, and most importantly an understanding of a political community.
Of course, this isn’t mutually exclusive. The United States can still maintain alliances such as NATO and SEATO, can still engage in free trade agreements such as TPP/TPA.
But our common interest? Lies here.
McMaster and Cohn do not expressly make the argument for the Anglosphere here, yet it stands to reason that American communities of interests and our long standing links to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, South Africa and Australia make the inheritance of the British Empire and the safety of the seas a common interest among the English speaking peoples — quite Churchillian, indeed.
This is also a foreign policy that would have been instantly recognizable to President Ronald Reagan and his partnership with UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, or even FDR and Churchill.
The US-UK “special relationship” that has been the bedrock of the post-war world deserves a closer look in a post-Brexit Europe where wars of identity seem to be the new normal.