The Trump administration sought to erode confidence in the international system, which it regarded as an affront to national sovereignty. The COVID-19 pandemic, by raising collective awareness of the need for global cooperation, may help to restore that confidence and encourage renewed commitment to multilateralism. Public opinion polls show that people around the world have greater confidence in global institutions like the World Health Organization than in national leaders like Donald Trump or Xi Jinping. The United States will continue to be an indispensable partner after Trump, but the international order will rest on a stronger footing if Washington is no longer expected to be the prime mover and contributes instead as one among equals.
The United States will only exacerbate the threat of terrorism in Central Asia if it continues to encourage the region's leaders to combat radical Islamic groups with greater militancy rather than with increased economic opportunities and something other than rhetorical respect for human rights.