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Trump's trip to Europe comes amid fraying ties with U.S.

President Trump walks to Air Force one before departing from Joint Andrews Airforce base, Maryland on June 23, 2018.
President Trump boards Air Force One on June 23, 2018. Photo: Andrew Cabllero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump will depart next week to attend the NATO summit in Brussels, meet with the Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister May in the U.K., and sit down with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

The big picture: He will arrive to face a Europe on edge, as the two foundations on which the NATO alliance has rested for 70 years — European integration, under threat from economic and political strife, and the transatlantic alliance, whose greatest source of turbulence remains the U.S. — are in deep trouble. The possibility of a fractured, more nationalist and less democratic Europe is much greater than anyone imagined as recently as two years ago.