Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

President Trump, French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images.

A months-long effort by the U.S.' closest European allies to persuade President Trump to stick to the Iran deal has failed. This failure not only dooms the deal itself, but also shows that when it comes to U.S. foreign policy, allies no longer count.

Why it matters: The U.S.' greatest advantage in competing with China and Russia is that it has allies, whereas they merely have clients. That reality seems lost on Trump, who has ignored allies' views and interests since taking office.

Trump’s Iran decision is but the latest in a long list of decisions allies opposed:

  • In January 2017, he abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which included key allies such as Australia, Canada and Japan.
  • In June 2017, he announced withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • In December 2017, he ordered the U.S. embassy in Israel move to Jerusalem.
  • In March 2017, he imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which affected mainly allies.

Each time, allied leaders tried to persuade Trump not to follow through on his decisions. Each time, they failed. It didn’t matter whether they sought to negotiate a compromise (as they tried on the Iran deal) or firmly stood their ground (as on Paris and Jerusalem). Nor did it matter if they flattered him (as President Macron and Prime Minister Abe did) or took a business-like approach to overcoming differences (as Chancellor Merkel did).

The bottom line: Recent U.S. presidents took allied concerns into account and valued unity. No more: Trump views other countries, allies or not, only in terms of what they can do for the U.S. That is the true meaning of America First.

Ivo Daalder is the president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a former U.S. ambassador to NATO.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.