In a scene evocative of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, a Republican administration has sent US naval forces to the Gulf. As a mark of his influence, it falls to national security adviser John Bolton, a hardline official in each of those decades, to justify the manoeuvre. War with Iran is not inevitable. It is certainly not imminent. But never has President Donald Trump’s popular commitment to military reticence abroad seemed quite so fleeting. At home, meanwhile, a plan for the nation’s fraying infrastructure has itself fallen into disrepair, as Republicans blanch at the cost. As a mark of his influence, it is free-marketeer and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney who talks down the chances of a deal. One may yet emerge. The Democrats seem keen. But never has Trump’s popular commitment to the public realm (“I know how to build”) seemed quite so fanciful. PODCAST: Behind the class action lawsuits against Tiger Brands Subscribe: | Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Pocket Cas...

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