London — As a businessman, US President Donald Trump saw strength in his willingness to keep multiple balls in the air and change approach as they fell. In international relations, that unpredictability may be proving a liability. In recent days, Trump’s sudden policy reversals on everything from tariffs to nuclear nonproliferation have prompted complaints from allies and rivals alike. Such flexible negotiating tactics — laid out in Trump’s 1987 book, The Art of the Deal — have led them to question America’s reliability as a negotiating and, in some cases, security partner. With defence ministers from around the world convening on Friday for the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore, questions about US reliability are likely to rival familiar concerns about China’s growing military assertiveness. "A lot of delegates will be asking the questions they started asking last year about US consistency and its determination to carry on a full defence of the rules-based i...

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