There is one foreign policy goal that matters above all the others, and that is to keep the United States out of a new war, whether in Syria, North Korea, or elsewhere. In recent days, President Trump has struck Syria with Tomahawk missiles, bombed Afghanistan with the most powerful nonnuclear bomb in the US arsenal, and has sent an armada toward nuclear-armed North Korea. We could easily find ourselves in a rapidly escalating war, one that could pit the United States directly against nuclear-armed countries of China, North Korea, and Russia.
Such a war, if it turned nuclear and global, could end the world. Even a nonnuclear war could end democracy in the United States, or the United States as a unified nation. Who thought the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan would end the Soviet Union itself? Which of the belligerents at the start of World War I foresaw the catastrophic end of four giant empires — Hohenzollern (Prussia), Romanov (Russia), Ottoman, and Hapsburg — as a result of the war?
“With just a few weeks on the job, Trump seems to be continuing or expanding the wars of his predecessors.”
These are terrifying prospects, and they may seem unreal, even preposterous. Yet Trump is impetuous, unstable, and inexperienced. His foreign policies swing wildly from day to day. He makes threats, such as attacking North Korea, that could have horrific, indeed catastrophic, consequences.
Great article. The following passage makes one think of today:
Think back to JFK’s Executive Committee as it grappled with the Cuban missile crisis. Many of Kennedy’s military advisers would have led us to thermonuclear war. The Kennedy brothers, John and Robert, with their cool heads and profound sense of responsibility, saved us despite their advisers, not because of them. We should all shudder when contemplating an ExComm meeting in our time.
The bottom line is that nobody wins with a nuclear war.. which is why it always seemed far-fetched that it would happen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem so far fetched all of a sudden!