On Sunday, Iran’s Defense Minister issued a warning to Donald Trump: tear up the Nuclear Agreement and we’re prepared to declare war.
Now, Iran declaring war in this situation is counterproductive, but it’s not nearly as counterproductive as Trump’s idiocy in condemning the agreement in the first place. But if we pull back and place this in the context of the last few weeks, a disturbing trend emerges. Toss in his tissue-paper thin skin, giant ego, inability to admit when he’s wrong, and his constant tendency to lie to stay out of trouble, and we’re confronted with a terrifying reality: Trump might be an existential event.
How? Well, let’s take a look at three ways that Trump’s idiocy and narcissism could possibly start or contribute to World War III.
In September of 2015, the Atlantic published a piece called, “The Thucydides Trap: Are The U.S. and China Headed For War?” The thrust of the article is a simple one: when a fading power on the world stage is confronted with a rising power, war is usually the result.
This has played out many times world history, but the article examined 16 case studies — of which 12 resulted in war:
The United States and China are now locked in a similar situation.
And it’s into this tense environment that Donald J. Trump made his call to the president of Taiwan and then showed his ignorance of the One-State policy. This call may well have upended more than 40 years of foreign policy, and the jackass isn’t even in office yet.
Trump has also called for China to be labeled a currency manipulator and appears to be doing everything in his power to trigger a trade war. China is a powerful nation — it’s the largest economy in the world if measured in GDP per capita (PPP) – so the trade war Trump is spoiling for won’t end happily. China, for instance, has nukes.
So how does this play out? It might not — China uses U.S. debt to support its currency, like most Asian countries after the 2007 economic crunch. A war would be bad for business. However, that’s assuming China remains a fully rational actor, which it probably won’t, since humans aren’t fully rational actors.
At any rate, I suspect we’ll get some warnings from China before things come to blows. They’ll probably close their embassy long before it comes to actual fighting. The same can’t be said for Europe.
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Here we find ourselves in the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The middle one, Latvia, is the possible trigger point. But first, a few things have to happen that haven’t happened yet.
First, Trump has to pull us out of NATO. He’s already promised to do that. I have no idea how successfully he’ll be, since one of the saving graces of appointing Mattis is Mattis’ support for NATO.
Second, Marine Le Pen has to win in France. France, like Germany, is one of the major powers of the European Union. If Le Pen wins, there’s a good chance she’s going to push for a Frexit, which, if successful, will obliterate the European Union.
American readers are probably wondering what any of this has to do with Russia, who hasn’t even been mentioned yet. Right now, the European Union is locked in an ideological conflict with an expansionist Russia, who is powered by ethnic nationalism.
Latvia has a substantial ethnically Russia population in the eastern part of the country. Right now, it’s protected, since Latvia part of the E.U. and NATO. Remove NATO and the E.U., and suddenly, Russia has an open door.
The exact process is outlined here, but here’s an overview: Russia won’t directly march into Latvia and Estonia, who have as much as a quarter of their population as ethnic Russians. Instead, it’ll probably use agitprop campaigns in those countries to cause the Russian minorities to agitate and riot. The riots escalate into bombings, assassinations, and eventually, civil war.
Russia will use its position on the United Nations Security Council to block all resolutions, and force NATO into a position where they either invoke Article V — thereby declaring war — or allow Russia to basically take those countries like they did Ukraine. That’s if Trump keeps us in NATO, and he’s already said he doesn’t want us there anymore.
Trump has very close ties Russia. I suspect that Trump will block any attempt to push for Article V, favoring Russia. In that event, NATO falls apart and the clock rewinds to 1939. This kicks off a new arms race that ends with war between the west and Russia.
Once this process starts, there’s not turning back. And it’ll happen fast, too.
If a World War III doesn’t happen under Trump in this situation, Trump will be the Neville Chamberlain that sets the stage for it to happen under the next president — if we have another president at all, which may be a possibility if Trump injects himself into the India-Pakistan situation and causes them to go to war.
India and Pakistan are the quintessential enemies, and our final stop on the tour of the potential apocalypse.
Just to give you an idea how deep this division is, Gandhi himself couldn’t solve this problem. It’s religious, it’s political, and, if you consider the Jammu and Kashmir region, it’s territorial.
Oh, and both of them have nuclear weapons.
Pakistan has been called the “most dangerous country in the world” (by Trump himself, natch), and is a source for regional instability. In particular, with its weak government and its support for Muslim insurgents in Kashmir — a territory claimed by India, as well.
So, naturally, President-Elect Trump offered our support with this problem when he called the President of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, telling Sharif: “I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems.”
Historians call this sort of thing “a blank check.” For some historical context, it’s similar to the one Germany gave to the Austro-Hungarians, which lead to World War I.
This phone call triggered what the Atlantic described as a “caustic” response from India, since India opposes the United States injecting itself into the border dispute.
India and Pakistan have gone to war before. Four times, in fact, with the most recent in 1999. And with this phone call, Trump may well have upset this delicate balance — a delicate balance that was already under siege — and pinned the United States in a very uncomfortable position. After all, if Pakistan does go to war with India, do we follow?
Trump’s phone call seems to imply we do. It would certainly give Pakistan support for war in any case.
American made a huge mistake on 11-9, but in retrospect, we put ourselves on this path back in the 1700s. Trump is a natural culmination of American politics.
Now, there’s a good chance none of this happens. But there’s an equally good chance it does — remember, Trump himself had a 20% chance of winning. That’s a 1/5 chance, which, while not likely, wasn’t statistically impossible, just like the above situations.