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At the eleventh hour, Congress has agreed a short-term deal to raise the US debt ceiling. Although a worst-case scenario of debt default has therefore been dodged for at least a few more months, the troubling episode has nonetheless sent seismic shockwaves across the globe.

For some time, world leaders and senior US officials have warned that the impact of recent Washington political infighting has undermined the country’s reputation as a responsible international power, both in terms of domestic and foreign policy. As Secretary of State John Kerry has asserted, this episode has sent a message “of political silliness” that…

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