According to US President Donald Trump, Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria “has nothing to do with us”. America’s long-time adversaries in the region – Syria, Iran and Russia – should be left to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). And it’s good that Syria is now protecting the Kurds he has just abandoned.

Mr Trump’s two rambling appearances in the White House on Wednesday are notable not merely for their incoherence, which is by now familiar. They also amount to a raw expression of his foreign policy: He is the leading proponent of what might be called American unexceptionalism.

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