Donald Trump and US exceptionalism

Two recent events must give pause to Australia's foreign policy establishment and prompt some serious thinking about our alliance with the United States.

First is Donald Trump's behaviour at the NATO and G7 meetings last week, in which Trump not merely flagged the US might withdraw from the Paris climate accords, but refused to confirm the United States' commitment to mutual defence with its NATO allies. Forget the oafish body language and the sight of the slovenly president -- who may be struggling with the early stages of dementia -- needing a golf cart to transport him in the wake of other G7 leaders walking to a photo op. His words -- and more particularly their lack -- were far more significant.