On Thursday, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates predicted it would take “at least two presidencies” following Donald Trump’s time in office for the United States to restore its alliance.
After touting President Joe Biden’s efforts to re-establish the country’s relationships with its allies, Gates told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Trump damaged the alliances to the point where Biden alone cannot fix them.
“I think that one of the most positive aspects of the Biden administration so far is re-establishing these relationships with our allies and strengthening, trying to restrengthen our alliances,” Gates said. “I will tell you, though, that I think that the damage that has been done during the Trump administration in terms of those alliances is not going to be put behind us in four months or in a year or two. I think that we’ve created an element of doubt in our allies, and now their worry is Joe Biden a one-off, and will America return to Trump-like policies toward our allies after Biden leaves office?”
“[I]n all honesty, I think it will take at least two presidencies, President Biden and his successor, adhering to those alliances, making clear that we will keep our commitments and that we will be there for our allies before they begin to regain confidence,” he continued. “You know, relationships between countries are a lot like relationships between people. It takes a long time to build confidence and trust, and you can destroy it very quickly. And I think it’s going to take time and probably time beyond the Biden administration to restore the kind of level of confidence that our allies had in us beforehand.”
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