Pompeo’s Tough Questions – WSJ
One of probably the most predictable occasions in international affairs is Europe chafing at grievance from American officers. Recall how in 2003 European elites steamed when then-U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld referred to Germany and France as “old Europe,” in comparison to the brand new Nato international locations in Eastern Europe.
This week the similarly blunt U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech in Brussels that didn’t name any individual previous Europe. The speech was once supposed as a problem at the want to reform the objectives and function of the establishments created after World War II to maintain the sector’s safety and financial prosperity. Press studies described the reaction as operating from “tepid to hostile.” For their very own excellent, the Europeans will have to meet Mr. Pompeo midway.
“The central question,” Secretary Pompeo mentioned, is whether or not the “system as currently configured” works for the sector because it exists lately? As an instance, Mr. Pompeo mentioned, “We welcomed China into the liberal order but never policed its behavior.” He mentioned Russia “hasn’t embraced Western values of freedom and international cooperation.” Both statements are true.
What maximum rankled his target market is that the Secretary explicitly named an array of postwar world establishments as desiring reform—the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the U.N., the Organization of American States, the African Union and, now not least, the European Union in Brussels, which he stated has “delivered a great deal of prosperity to the entire continent.”
A cynic would say, excellent good fortune with anticipating interior reform from those sprawling bureaucracies. Still, the political discontent witnessed in France over gasoline taxes, the U.Okay. over Brexit, Italy over regulate of its funds and Germany and in different places over immigration makes transparent that complacency received’t ensure the European order.
As at all times, Mr. Pompeo’s reform process isn’t made more uncomplicated through his boss concurrently enforcing a 19th-century tariff style on America’s European and Asian allies. But the Secretary is elevating reliable questions on the way forward for world governance. Shooting them down as a result of he’s Donald Trump’s messenger received’t make the cruel questions disappear.