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Donald Trump is the first U.S. president to think that the U.S.-led world order is undermining U.S. interests. Though the current order obviously benefits the United States, Trump is convinced it benefits China even more. Likewise, Trump cannot stand multilateral organizations that strengthen smaller and weaker countries vis-a-vis the U.S.The EU clearly has an interest in preserving the rules-based order Trump hopes to tear down, and its interests with respect to the Middle East – particularly Turkey – and even Russia have increasingly diverged from those of the U.S. Europeans should of course try to work with the U.S. whenever possible; but not if it means subordinating their own interests.If the EU were taking a muscular approach, it would deny any reinforcements until the U.S. drops its threats of secondary sanctions on European companies.So shocking was Trump's behavior that some senior European officials now wonder if U.S. allies should form an independent middle-power alliance, lest they be crushed between the rocks of a rising China and a declining America.
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