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This week, dignitaries and Western military veterans celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Berlin airlift, the mammoth yearlong effort to break a ground blockade by the Soviet Union. Whether the United States and its allies would go to the same length to support an ally today, however, remains a very open question.

That, at least, appears the growing belief in Moscow and Beijing, both intent on pressuring their neighbors who are also U.S. allies. It’s a perception the U.S. military is going to increasing lengths to counter, despite — or perhaps in some respects because of — questions over where U.S. President Donald Trump himself stands. That uncertainty, however, risks opening the door to ever more dangerous confrontations.

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