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The West is slowly losing the contest for pre-eminence in the emerging international order. Brexit is just one manifestation of the crisis of confidence enveloping liberal democracies beset by a rising tide of dissent, self-doubt, identity pol­itics and a loss of trust in the foundational institutions of the post-World War II order. But the steady erosion of US military cap­abilities is of even greater concern because the West’s traditional ­ad­vantage in hard power has ­under­pinned these institutions and their guiding norms. If we lose our military edge, what will prevent illiberal adversaries from under­­min­­ing our societies and taking what they want by stealth or force?

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