What Could Follow America’s Trump Slump?

Robert Kagan says we’re all too ripe for further shocks, not unlike those besetting our great-grandparents in the Twentieth-Century’s first half.

Kagan, a neoconservative with the Brookings Institution, says the COVID-19 crisis puts America in danger of a “double-whammy.” The reason? Our international relationships under this president have frayed. Under Trump, we’ve offended historical allies and pulled inward, not unlike America of a century ago amid run-up to World War I, the Great Depression and World War II.

In the wake of pandemic, are Americans especially vulnerable to being dragged by enemies and flabby current leadership into a new war, or worse?

According to Kagan:

Perhaps America’s luck will hold and we will avoid a geopolitical crisis this time. But we have certainly not put ourselves and the world in the best position either to prevent or to manage one. Our relationships with allies are poor. We have picked fights with various potential adversaries that may or may not have been wise or justified, but we have not at the same time effectively deterred them from striking out if they choose. We have waged trade wars against allies and adversaries alike. Overall, we have weakened the fabric of the international order that we created after World War II and that served us and others well through innumerable crises. Let’s hope we don’t reap the same harvest as our forebears.

Read Robert Kagan’s full Brookings commentary at


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