There are deeper questions about America’s future reliability as a security partner, especially if the conflict with China becomes kinetic, which is part of Mr. Macron’s argument, Mr. Lesser acknowledged. . “For all of the United States’ commitment to Europe, if things go wrong in the Indo-Pacific, it would change the force structure in Europe quite quickly.”

In Poland, a strong American ally in the European Union and NATO, the reaction to the new alliance has been more positive, focusing not on a pivot far from Europe “but on the United States, with the Brits and Australians, taking China seriously and also defending the free world, ”said Michal Baranowski, who heads the German Marshall Fund’s office in Poland.

At the same time, he said, the Poles see another case where the supposedly professional and pro-European Biden administration “fails to consult and puts European allies under the bus,” he said. “This time the French, but for us it was Nord Stream 2, when we were thrown under the bus for Germany,” he said. It was a reference to Mr Biden’s decision to allow the completion of a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, bypassing Ukraine and Poland, which was a priority for European Central Berlin.

“The United States will say again, ‘We are building strong alliances, with Germany and Australia,’” said Baranowski. “But who is suffering? Other allies.

As for relations with China, Europeans would prefer Beijing not to be angry, said Ms. Balfour of Carnegie Europe. “European allies have been more uncomfortable with more hawkish stances on China” and “very much aware of the need to talk with China about climate and trade,” she said.

So if Europe can keep talking to Beijing without being described by China as having signed a security pact against it, that could be helpful, she said. “If there is a silver lining to that, it will be if the European Union is able to play this card diplomatically, and avoid painting the world as for or against China, which is the rhetoric Beijing is pushing. “