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FDR and Churchill, 1941. Photo: Print Collector/Getty

Again and again, President Trump has laid body punches into America's foremost allies, calling them deadbeats and threatening to withdraw from NATO, the military alliance that for 7 decades has helped prevent a new great power war.

The big picture: While they will dispense with Trump's firebrand rhetoric and threats, a Democratic administration in 2020 — should Trump lose his re-election bid — would not bring the Atlantic alliance back to what it was.

"The Atlantic alliance as we know it is dead," write Philip Gordon and Jeremy Shapiro, both former officials in the Obama State Department, this week in Foreign Affairs.

  • In that framework, they look at how both a Trump or Democratic 2020 victory would play out, making their assessment from both sides of the Atlantic — Gordon as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and Shapiro as research director at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
  • If Trump wins, "the alliance could be reborn as a populist, nationalist, and racist partnership between the United States and governments in Hungary, Poland, Italy, or others."
  • Should a Democrat win, "we hope the new president will be more on the same page with Europe on climate change and Russia. But don't expect the nostalgic past in which Americans pay for Europe's defense and not expect Europe to pay its part," Gordon told Axios by phone today.

What would change under a Democratic administration, Gordon said: It would not question the legitimacy of the alliance. But Derek Chollet, executive vice president at the German Marshall Fund, said President Obama, too, drubbed European allies for a failure to meet the NATO spending floor of 2% of GDP on defense, and griped about "free riders" on the U.S. dime abroad.

  • One of Obama's signature foreign policy moves was a pivot to Asia, which upset Europeans. Chollet tells Axios that the Europeans saw their relations with the U.S. "in zero-sum terms."
  • Six straight U.S. defense secretaries have "banged the drum on spending more for defense," Chollet said.

Go deeper

Scoop: Caitlyn Jenner makes it official for California governor

Caitlyn Jenner. Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Former Olympic decathlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner has filed her initial paperwork to run for governor of California and will officially announce her bid later today, her campaign tells Axios.

The big picture: Jenner, a longtime Republican, is seeking to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election, hoping her celebrity status and name recognition can yield an upset in the nation's most populous state.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
36 mins ago - Sports

New laws, new rules bring big changes to college sports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The college sports landscape could change more in the next six months than it has in the last 50 years, as the NCAA grapples with new competition, new laws and new rules.

How it works... 1. Startup leagues: Investors are flocking to new leagues that aim to compete with the NCAA, evidence of just how much opposition there is to the amateurism model — and how much belief there is in new ones.

2 hours ago - Health

Malaria vaccine from Oxford highly effective in early trials

Family in Brazil under a malaria net. Photo: J R Ripper/Brazil Photos/LightRocket via Getty Images

A malaria vaccine developed by Oxford University was found to have "high-level efficacy" in phase II trials, according to a pre-print study released on Friday.

Why it matters: Malaria kills over 400,000 people a year, more than half of them children under the age of 5. Deaths have fallen in half over the past 20 years thanks to investment in prevention and drugs, but a truly effective malaria vaccine would represent one of the greatest victories in the history of public health.