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Mourning a phantom: the cherished “rules-based order” never existed

US dominance has always rested on coercive power—Trump just puts less effort into hiding it

A truth-teller after all? PHOTOFUSION/SHUTTERSTOCK

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron may not agree on the future of the EU, but they are of one mind in understanding its origins. Both believe it was founded as part of a precious liberal, rules-based international order—that Europe must now rally to defend. In a joint press conference with Canada’s Liberal premier Justin Trudeau last year, Macron declared that “the rules-based international order is being challenged not by the usual suspects, but by its main architect and guarantor: the US.” He vowed…

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