Published in Foreign Affairs in response to an article entitled Why America Still Needs Europe by Michael Mazarr
As French President Emmanuel Macron travelled back from Beijing in April, he sparked an uproar. Speaking to reporters, Macron stated that European and U.S. interests were diverging, particularly in their approaches toward Asia. “The worst thing for Europe,” he said, “would be just when we have finally managed to clarify our strategic position, we end up pulled into a world of crises that are not our own.”
Washington greeted Macron’s comments with dismay. The Biden administration has been at pains to project an image of Western unity under stable U.S. leadership. However, the French president’s remarks intensified the simmering debate over whether the United States should seek to pull European states into its competition with China, or should instead reduce its leading role in the defense of Europe in order to prioritize security needs in Asia.