Seventy years ago, as a new major book suggests, America helped rebuild Europe and assumed the role of global peacemaker
Behind the Twitter storms and hyperbolic self-promotion, Donald Trump is nothing if not consistent in his approach to the world. A single aim runs through his international policy – to liberate himself and his country from constraints and to leave it free to pursue whatever he determines to be its destiny.
Thus, this month, he has rounded on allies in the G7 and formed a “partnership for peace” with Kim Jong-un. His complaints about how America has been ripped off may not be unjustified, as when they target China’s commercial behaviour or the low European contribution to defence. But in the broad sweep of the president’s view of the world, that is becoming rather beside the point as he sets a pattern of reaching for his six gun regardless of others, proclaiming victory come what may and gingering up his electoral base. The rest of the world has only been able to stand by, trying to absorb each bump as if they were isolated incidents. Trump’s shock-jock style obscures the way in which the global order of the past seven decades is being shifted amid the constant agitation from the White House and Air Force One.