We are led to understand that the unipolar ‘moment’ of US ascendency is giving way – grudgingly – to a multipolar world: a reversion perhaps to a more nineteenth century ‘concert’ of powers (or, of significant ‘poles’ – since size is not always the prime determinant). And that Trump is trying simply to prolong that hegemonic, US moment – albeit through different means, which is to say, adopting seemingly bizarre, and sometimes counterproductive, acts and language, that infuriate the American foreign policy establishment.

But is this view right? Maybe – Trump is more of a crab. Maybe he needs to proceed towards his ends, crab-like, rather than full-steam straight-ahead, precisely because he is subject to such concerted political attack.



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