Analysis: Could Trump Take The World To War?
Article by Christopher Lee, Defence Analyst. Picture by Gage Skidmore
Is President-elect Donald J. Trump as grotesque as he appeared to the rest of the world? So megalomanic that he could press 'The Button' just to prove he could?
Before the pomp and ceremony let us not forget that Trump is still the man who called Hillary Clinton "a crook" and promised to "have her jailed", who called US military veterans "losers", who made crude jokes about women, who said Mexican immigrants are "rapists and criminals".
Is that man also more than half of modern America? We should answer these questions ourselves because almost all the experts got it so wrong.
When America votes for a President it votes on our behalf because we are tied into every issue faced by the White House. Trump is de facto President-elect of the lot of us. So what might he have in mind for us all?
Our first concern is security on its grandest scale. Mr Trump says NATO is a failure against modern security threats and that the majority of member states do not follow the 2% of GDP defence budget guidelines. He is saying what most US presidents have said since NATO was formed in April 1949.
He is right. If an Alliance territory were to be threatened it would take ten to fourteen days to get a decision on what to do and even then any NATO decision would have to ratified by individual legislatures. Promises of a state of readiness for 30 divisions is fine if you have the organisation to make it work and then command it. NATO does not have that.
COMMENT: Why Donald Trump Is Dumping On NATO
Vladimir Putin? Donald Trump's view is that you have to get along with Putin especially in the Middle East. So watch for an easy photo-call after Inauguration Day on 20 January next year to say Trump & Putin have a plan to sort the remainder of ISIS.
Big Business? Not surprisingly, Trump's plans to scrap trade deals unfavourable to the US could have a long-term implications for the rest of the world. But he will find that many of the trade deals he dislikes are so tied up that he is not going to get into them, apart from a couple of headline incursions, but none that will reduce, say, Chinese investments without which many US (and global) projects would sink.
The fact that stocks throughout the world fell on the news that he had won, can be dismissed. Anyone with any money should buy all the stock they can today - at rock bottom prices. By next week they will be where they were - so profits all round and even bigger ones on the day after inauguration.
The are two truths to keep in mind: No US president since Lyndon Baines Johnson has made a huge difference to the way in which America is, and its relations with its allies.
The most important difference most presidents can attempt is to the membership of America's Supreme Court. That is the real guardian of American thought and persuasion, not the incumbent president.
The second truth is a reminder that, in spite of headlines about the prospect of Trump's finger on the nuclear button, Congress (now controlled by Republicans as will be the Senate and the Supreme Court) can stop a president taking the US to war - and maybe therefore the rest of us.
Here is the warning: Congress has the authority. But the President-elect has just shown us all, including his own Republican Party (who did not want him), that Trump does not do authority - other than his own.
A scary time to come, but the most frightening question? What sort of America has voted for such a man?
Best go out and buy some stock.
Christopher Lee is the Forces Radio, BFBS Defence Analyst. He can be heard every week on the only radio programme devoted to discussing matters of defence and security, Sitrep. To listen head here, to download click here.
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