Trump, European Security And Turkey: Book Review

An expert looks at the interconnected foreign policies of the United States, Europe, and Turkey in 2019.

With opinion pieces published in the New York Times and articles featured in leading academic journals, in addition to her diplomatic career at the United Nations, Cherneva has established herself as a leading voice of a new generation of foreign relations experts. In this book, she eschews a traditional analysis of bilateral diplomacy and instead looks at the myriad calculations made by U.S. President Donald Trump, European leaders, and Turkish officials in 2019 and early 2020. Trump astonished the world, including fellow Republicans, in 2019 when he allowed Turkey to enter Kurdish-controlled territory in Syria that was previously protected by American troops. This reversal of nearly a half-century of U.S. support for the Kurds presaged a new era of international relations in the Near East. Moreover, Trump’s 2019 impeachment proceedings released private telephone calls and other materials related to the administration’s relationship with Ukraine that signaled to Europe the president’s foreign policy priorities.

Now, more than ever, many European leaders understood that they “first need to appeal to the US President’s private business or political interests before they can get on the US foreign policy agenda.” Moreover, given Britain’s internal preoccupation with Brexit and Trump’s “hostility” to the European Union, Cherneva argues that French President Emmanuel Macron used the chaos of 2019 to his personal advantage in his quest to become the most powerful figure in Europe. Though she is an open supporter of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and a critic of Turkey’s political regime, the author’s analysis is that of a skilled diplomat. Her study of the past year is nuanced and fair to all sides even when critical. The book also features an intriguing case study of the interconnection of human rights and global trade in her appraisal of German opposition to a proposed Volkswagen plant in Turkey. More historical context would have been helpful for general readers. But experts will gladly welcome Cherneva’s insights into an unprecedented year in international diplomacy.

A thorough, illuminating overview of major geopolitical shifts in 2019 involving America, Europe, and Turkey.