America has spoken. Its friends in Europe are raising half a cheer. If diplomacy permitted candour most of Washington’s partners in the Nato alliance would admit they had hoped the US midterm elections would deliver a much bigger thumping to President Donald Trump. These days, they take what they can get. Fewer than two years into Trump’s term, the extraordinary has become the unremarkable. Not so long ago Europeans were fairly clear about the hierarchy of threats to their continent. The belligerent unilateralism of the US president’s America First foreign policy has since buried the old certainties. The revanchism of Vladimir Putin’s Russia was high on any threat list. So too was the present danger of Islamist terrorism and potential spillovers from the conflicts in the Middle East. In the background lay China’s strategic ambitions, the pressures of migration and the existential challenge of climate change. Put the same question today and most European leaders would add Trump to th...

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