- 07/27/2019 at 5:58 pm #1523427EduGorillaKeymasterSelect Question Language :
Direction: Read the given passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.
America did as much as any country to create post-war Europe. In the late 1940s and the 1950s it was midwife to the treaty that became the European Union (EU) and to NATO, the military alliance that won the cold war. The United States acted partly out of charity, but chiefly out of self-interest. Having been dragged into two world wars, it wanted to banish Franco-German rivalry and build a rampart against the Soviet threat. After the Soviet collapse in 1991, the alliance anchored democracy in the newly liberated states of eastern Europe.
Today, however, America and Europe are separated by a growing rift. The mood before the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11th and 12th is poisonous. As President Donald Trump accuses the Europeans of bad faith and of failing to pull their weight, they accuse him of crass vandalism. A second summit, between Vladimir Putin and Mr Trump in Helsinki on July 16th, could produce the once-unthinkable spectacle of an American president treating his Russian opponent better than he has just treated his allies.
Even if the two summits pass off without controversy—as they might, given how Mr Trump delights in confounding his critics—the differing priorities, divergent beliefs and clashing political cultures will remain. The Western alliance is in trouble, and that should worry Europe, America and the world.
Every alliance has its tensions, but the Western one is strained on a bewildering number of fronts. Mr Trump, and his generals, are exasperated by the feeble efforts of many NATO members to honour their promise to raise defence spending towards 2% of GDP by 2024. The American right tends to condemn European support for the Iranian nuclear deal (which Mr Trump quit), and what it sees as a bias against Israel. And policymakers from both parties think that, as the world’s attention shifts to Asia, whining, sanctimonious Europeans deserve less of their time.
As if that were not enough, Mr Trump fatuously accuses the EU of being “set up to take advantage of the United States” and chastises it for unfair trade. Meanwhile, Europe is divided. Italy has a new populist coalition that is pro-Putin. So, increasingly, is Turkey, a member of NATO (but not the EU) which is hostile to the liberal democratic values that bind the alliance. Worse could be in store. A Labour government in Britain under Jeremy Corbyn, who has a long history of opposing the use of arms by the West, would treat America with deep suspicion; he could even try to leave NATO.
What is the tone of the given passage?
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