But, as Leslie Vinjamuri asks, where is the firm ground on which to base policy in world of ‘playground diplomacy’ where the president seems to delight in courting bullies and bullying friends?
Europe is still struggling to find a new America strategy, she concludes. Our other contributors fill in the global picture: China is sizing up advantages; Russia is drowning its sorrows; and India sees a transactional relationship, where the purchase of Boeings is rewarded with the sale to it of drones.
In our interview Alastair Campbell, the archetype of the modern spin doctor, offers advice on dealing with US presidents, and cannot resist a swipe at the British media’s ‘neo-nihilist’ treatment of his old boss, Tony Blair.
And what about Australia? As Cleo Paskal writes, there is mounting concern in Washington that the close military ally is drifting into the Chinese orbit.