Dan O’Brien: A declining and dysfunctional US is not in Ireland’s interests

The recent chaotic withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan and the continuing polarisation of the American hard right and illiberal left means we can no longer take our impressive economic relationship with that country for granted

Members of the Taliban Badri 313 military unit take up position at Kabul airport after the US pulled its troops out of the country: the chaotic withdrawal has damaged the US’s capacity to be a global actor. Picture: Getty

Nobody who was alive 20 years ago will ever forget where they were as the 9/11 attacks unfolded. That day, the optimism of the all too brief post-Cold War era came to an end.

The hopes of a new world order of peace, cooperation and stability, which had been brought about by the collapse of communism, gave way to fears of hyper-terrorism and civilisations clashing. The decade-long “holiday from history”, as some called it, was ...