Cold War One was no picnic for Africa as the superpowers duked it out by proxy. On October 4 US vice-president Mike Pence declared what sounded very much like Cold War Two. This one, with China, should work out better for the continent. Pence’s declaration came in a speech he gave to the Hudson Institute, a think tank. It does not belong in the same class as Winston Churchill’s Fulton, Missouri, speech, which taught us to say Iron Curtain. But that is primarily because Pence, a wan, God-bothering sycophant, gave it and some Trumpy wrote it. At the time, everyone was fixated on something else, as it always is in the age of Trump, the great distractor. The Romans had their bread and circuses. Washington has its fights over whether beer-guzzling frat boys who may have been sexual predators in their teens should be eligible to sit on the Supreme Court in their 50s. Geostrategically, the US has been a bit at sea since the Soviet Union imploded. The first serious replacement enemy, hereti...

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