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Now that Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States, the end of what was heretofore termed the "West" has become all but certain. That term described a trans-Atlantic world that emerged from the 20th century's two world wars, redefined the international order during the four-decade Cold War, and dominated the globe – until now.The West shouldn't be confused with the "Occident". More fundamentally, the West was founded on an American commitment to come to its allies' defense. The Western order cannot exist without the U.S. playing this crucial role, which it may now abnegate under Trump. Trump won the presidency by flouting virtually every unwritten rule of American politics.The new course Trump will chart for the U.S. is already discernible; we just don't know how quickly the ship will sail. Much will depend on the opposition (Democrats and Republicans alike) that Trump encounters in the U.S. Congress, and on pushback from the majority of Americans who did not vote for him.But we should not harbor any illusions: Europe is far too weak and divided to stand in for the U.S. strategically; and, without U.S. leadership, the West cannot survive.
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