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Americans themselves will of course be in deep shock at this outcome, and it may take some time for the shape of Donald Trump’s new America to become clear. But we can be pretty sure that the old image of America’s role in the world, so confidently asserted by the policy elites on both sides of the US political divide, has been smashed by American voters. They have elected as president a man who does not believe in the vision of American leadership on which Australia has for so long relied.
Mr Trump does not think that America can or should accept costs and risks to lead the rules-based order in distant parts of the world. He is clearly happy for Russia under Mr Putin to play a bigger role in Eastern Europe, and he plainly does not think it is America’s business to perpetuate the old US-led order in Asia.
Hence his view that Japan and South Korea should get their own nuclear weapons so they can look after themselves. He is not going to stand up for US allies. But without those allies American cannot remain the leading power in Asia. Indeed without those allies, America cannot remains a significant strategic player in Asia at all. If Mr Trump acts as he has talked, we might be seeing the end of the American era in Asia.
Read the full article A global role smashed by US voters by Hugh White in the Australian Financial Review.