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"If Trump wins we're going to be in a much more fragmented, competitive, nationalist world," said Karin von Hippel, a former nonpolitical senior adviser at the State Department under President Barack Obama. "I think that Trump's second term would be the end of America as a superpower." She believes this election is the most significant in her lifetime. For her, a Trump re-election would see Washington walking an increasingly isolated path, eventually abandoned by its weary longtime allies and making way for its adversaries to capitalize. "But even if Biden wins, the U.S. will never be trusted in the same way as before," said von Hippel, who is now director-general of the Royal United Services Institute, a London think tank.