Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/32h2bs

6. The US and the Middle East in 2021: Disengagement or Re-engagement?,

17 September 2020


Unpredictability has also been an involuntary distinguishing mark of the latter part of Trump’s four years in office, with the worst global pandemic in over a century striking the US as well as the world, and forcing the American government to respond to one of the most dramatic health and economic crises in history. [...] The US and the World Covid-19 pandemic and its impact have the potential to affect the results of the November elections, and to go far beyond that at the international level, maybe even reshaping the regional and global balance of power. [...] On the healthcare side of the equation, as of mid-September the official number of deaths from Sars- CoV-2 infections in the US hovered at around 200,000, almost double the number of casualties that the American public experienced during World War I (117,000), and nearly four times those related to the Vietnam war (58,000). [...] This chapter begins summarizing the developments in the party system that set the stage for the intense partisan conflicts of the Obama years, and then it considers how the lines of cleavage amplified by the Obama presidency, and the social and economic dislocations 18 Four Years of Trump. [...] The course of the Trump presidency, and the starkly divergent reactions it has provoked, are the subjects of the third section.