From Truman to Trump - the end of US global leadership

Chinese President Xi Jinping (left picture, at right) congratulates Russian President Vladimir Putin after presenting him with the Friendship Medal in Beijing last month. The writer says that their shared strategic goal has long been to put an end to
Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulates Russian President Vladimir Putin after presenting him with the Friendship Medal in Beijing last month. The writer says that their shared strategic goal has long been to put an end to the American-led order sketched out by President Harry Truman, and they could never have imagined that a US president - Mr Donald Trump (above) - would deliver to them such a prize.PHOTOS: REUTERS
Chinese President Xi Jinping (left picture, at right) congratulates Russian President Vladimir Putin after presenting him with the Friendship Medal in Beijing last month. The writer says that their shared strategic goal has long been to put an end to
Chinese President Xi Jinping (above, right) congratulates Russian President Vladimir Putin after presenting him with the Friendship Medal in Beijing last month. The writer says that their shared strategic goal has long been to put an end to the American-led order sketched out by President Harry Truman, and they could never have imagined that a US president - Mr Donald Trump - would deliver to them such a prize.PHOTOS: REUTERS

The guiding assumptions of modern American foreign policy were set out in a document written in 1950 for President Harry Truman. NSC-68, as it was called (it was prepared at the National Security Council), was Washington's answer to Soviet communism.

At its core was a belief that US national interests were best pursued through international leadership. This is the foundation stone to which President Donald Trump has taken a sledgehammer.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2018, with the headline 'From Truman to Trump - the end of US global leadership'. Print Edition | Subscribe