Vice President Mike Pence had a rough time in Europe over the weekend, after leaders gave him the cold shoulder. According to the New York Times, that lackluster response extends beyond the Pence performance.
“Two years of Mr. Trump, and a majority of French and Germans now trust Russia and China more than the United States,” said longtime analyst of German-American relations Karl Kaiser.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was elated with the new rift as his country stands to benefit from Trump’s self-made crisis.
Lavrov “happily noted the strains, remarking that the Euro-Atlantic relationship had become increasingly ‘tense,'” the Times reported.
“We see new cracks forming, and old cracks deepening,” said Lavrov.
Foreign Policy explained in an analysis that Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely anti-NATO because it gives the U.S. some say over the area.
In 1945, Joseph Stalin celebrated his advancements into Eastern Europe. Just two years later, U.S. secretary of state, George C. Marshall decided that negotiations with Moscow weren’t going anywhere. He crafted The Marshall Plan “to secure democratic, capitalist government in the parts of Europe still outside Soviet control.”
Two years later, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was born. As a KGB officer, Putin was on the front lines to fight NATO.
“What do [the Americans] need NATO for?” former Israeli leader Shimon Peres recalled Putin asking. “Which army do they want to fight? They think I didn’t know that Crimea is Russian, and that Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine as a gift? I didn’t care, until then you needed the Ukrainians in NATO. What for? I didn’t touch them.”
The slow, quiet and methodical war continues.
Read the full report from the New York Times.