Monday 24 April 2017

An isolated America is a threat to West

America's greatness does not lie within its own borders but is made abroad - and this is something that Donald Trump with all his posturing completely fails to realise

New US president Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, the US vice-president Mike Pence and his wife Karen each dance with a member of the US armed services at the Commander's in Chief ball this weekend in Washington, DC Photo: Kevin Dietsch - Pool/Getty Images
New US president Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, the US vice-president Mike Pence and his wife Karen each dance with a member of the US armed services at the Commander's in Chief ball this weekend in Washington, DC Photo: Kevin Dietsch - Pool/Getty Images

Edward Lucas

America's greatness, at least until last Friday, was indisputable. But what President Donald Trump has failed to realise, and made abundantly clear in his posturing inauguration address, is that the country's greatness is not made in America. It is made abroad.

For all his protectionist and "America First" rhetoric (he used the word American 35 times in his speech, more than any other president) the United States' power in the world rests only partly on its military might and economic heft. Much more important are its alliances.

No country in the history of the world has had more allies, or has used them to more effect. It was in alliance with other countries that America beat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. It was alongside allies that it won the Cold War.

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