Americans who reject Trump will fear most for what he could do to their own country, and they are right to worry, says an editorial in The Economist. But Americans gain some protection from their institutions and the law. In the world at large, however, checks on Mr Trump are few and the consequences could be grave, the magazine warns.
'Without active American support and participation, the machinery of global co-operation could well fail. The World Trade Organisation would not be worthy of the name. The UN would fall into disuse. Countless treaties and conventions would be undermined. Although each one stands alone, together they form a system that binds America to its allies and projects its power across the world. Because habits of co-operation that were decades in the making cannot easily be put back together again, the harm would be lasting. In the spiral of distrust and recrimination, countries that are dissatisfied with the world will be tempted to change it – if necessary by force'.
The magazine asks what can be done and suggests that the first task is to limit the damage. Among other things, Trump needs to be persuaded that alliances are America’s greatest source of power. But if this advice is ignored, America’s allies must strive to preserve multilateral institutions for the day after Trump – and plan for a world without American leadership.
Reviewing Trump’s second week in office, The Nation examines the record of Gina Haspel, his pick for second-in-command at the CIA, who oversaw the torture of two detainees at a detention site in Thailand in the early years of the George W Bush administration. 'One of the men was waterboarded more than 80 times in a single month, confined for hours in a small box, and slammed into walls'. Haspel’s appointment does not require Senate confirmation, the magazine adds.