Can the West survive?
in Defense of the West (second edition)
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This chapter opens by remarking on the resilience of both the transatlantic alliance and the West, but it warns that the alliance has never faced such an existential threat in its entire 70-year history as has been posed by the Trump presidency. It argues that the West is more than just the transatlantic alliance, but that values, interests, and key institutions grounded in transatlantic relationships are the heart of the West. The chapter’s core focuses on three potential scenarios for the future. One features optimistic projections about the ability of the West to rebound from the current crises, including the pandemic, and build stronger national democracies, European integration, and Western cooperation. A second scenario postulates survival, but without any great leaps forward. The third, and most concerning, examines the potential consequences of the illiberal tendencies and Trump presidency combining with Russian goals to destroy the alliance and devastate Western values and interests. It concludes by judging “The current collision between history and disruptive forces of change has posed a huge challenge to the United States, Canada, and their European allies. Future histories of the next decade of transatlantic relations will record the people’s ultimate decisions and the success or failure of the attempts to manage the crisis.”

Defense of the West (second edition)

Transatlantic relations from Truman to Trump

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