If Joe Biden wanted to close ranks against China, the alliance he has just signed with Australia and the United Kingdom and without France is a dubious step that will remind Europeans of the misery of their strategic dependence under the American umbrella and the need to even seek a balance between Washington and Beijing in the new cold war that is coming. After leaving Afghanistan without consulting the Atlantic partners, the European Union has just received a new and humiliating blow that directly injures its vocation as a global geopolitical actor.
The biggest slap in the face is for France, due to its substantial economic repercussions, with the suspension of the contract for the purchase and maintenance of conventional submarines and their replacement by US-made nuclear submarines. From Paris it has been seen as a stab in the back, a harsh expression of sinister resonances in the Germany of the rise of Nazism. It is a disdain for the French presence in the Indo-Pacific area, which resurrects, to top it all, the old alliance of English-speaking countries, as appreciated by British conservatism as it is reviled by the Gaullist tradition.
The second slap is for the European Union, in the form of victory for Boris Johnson and his idea of a global United Kingdom associated with Brexit. When it comes to forging alliances against China, Washington prefers secessionist London over France, NATO and, of course, an EU without the military capacity that corresponds to its proclaimed geopolitical vocation. If in Kabul there was haste and thoughtlessness, now there has been secrecy and treachery. The sowing of distrust cannot be greater, towards Paris and Brussels, but also towards Berlin. Who could blame the Germans for the direct gas connection with Russia?
The stab ironically coincides with the presentation of the Brussels strategy on the Indo-Pacific zone, based on European aspirations for a global leadership that the facts stubbornly deny. The bitter Asian board is already ready, but there are no cards for the European Union, nor for the great continental powers of the past, which were Germany and France, something difficult to bear for the latter, still with claims as a nuclear power with a global reach that explain his angry diplomatic reaction.
There is hardly time to learn the lesson and make resolutions. That irrelevant European Union and without any role as an actor of the new international balance is no longer a threat, but a reality.