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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has never been regarded as an especially inspiring orator.With Whitsunday fast approaching, many wondered if Merkel had been inspired by the Holy Spirit. There was far more to Merkel's Trudering speech than mere electioneering.Trump's isolationist, "America first" agenda implies that the U.S. will abdicate its leadership role in the world, and possibly abandon its security guarantee for Europe.At the same time, Merkel was addressing ongoing debates among pundits and press commentators about what Brexit and Trump's presidency might mean for the future of trans-Atlantic and European cooperation.Merkel knows that the U.S. is indispensable to Europe's security.Merkel knows that if the U.S. sacrifices its place at the top of the international order for domestic political reasons, it will not be replaced by a new leading power, nor will a new world order emerge.So, Merkel's speech was first and foremost about strengthening Europe. Given the tumultuous international environment and the EU's own recent close call, there is no alternative but to take action, and her remarks could have far-reaching consequences for Germany's place in the EU, and for its relationship with France.
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