The crisis is upon us

Discuss whatever you want here ... movies, books, recipes, politics, beer, wine, TV ... everything except classical music.

Moderators: Lance, Corlyss_D

Post Reply
barney
Posts: 2661
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

The crisis is upon us

Post by barney » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:25 pm

From the Washington Post, via The Age

Wait until the Donald Trump faces a real crisis': Here's the problem with that.

David Rothkopf
Published: August 2 2017 - 3:33AM

Washington: "You think this is bad? Wait until the Trump White House faces a real international crisis!" You've no doubt heard this warning.

Here's the problem with that – an extraordinary constellation of complex global crises is boiling over right now in real time – and they are being exacerbated by US President Donald Trump and his team.

The global situation may be more dangerous than it has been at any time since the height of the Cold War.

Of the myriad serious geopolitical problems in the world right now, five of them involve nuclear powers and two involve near nuclear powers. Several of these cases could test whether old notions of nuclear security, like deterrence, can work in the new global risk environment.

Topping the list is North Korea. It now seems certain that during Trump's time in office, North Korea will gain the capacity to deliver a nuclear weapon that can hit the continental United States.

North Korea is also close to having a nuclear stockpile big enough that it would be extremely difficult to eliminate in limited military action. Kim Jong-un, North Korea's leader, believes having a large stockpile and advanced delivery capabilities will make guarantee him job security. But for the US and its allies like Australia, North Korea's offensive nuclear capacity would mark the most destabilising shift since the end of the Cold War.

The choices we have are almost all bad. There are no military scenarios for intervention in North Korea that do not involve massive casualties in South Korea. But allowing North Korea to threaten massive destruction to the US or its allies is also intolerable.

Further, the West's primary leverage with North Korea lies with the Chinese, who seem either disinclined to put too much pressure on Pyongyang or a refusal to be intimidated by the Twitter "pressure" on them by Trump.

On Iran, last week the country launched a satellite into orbit showing that it too is enhancing its weapons delivery capabilities. At the same time, Trump has indicated he will decertify Iranian compliance with the Obama-forged nuclear accord. Naval tensions also rose last week in the Persian Gulf, with confrontations between the United States and Iranian ships.

By announcing America's intention to decertify Iran, Trump gave the Iranians more time to plan their strategy of confrontation with both the US and its allies, who are themselves confronted with another regional crisis: the standoff between four Arab bloc countries and Qatar. The US move would also likely produce a split with the other major powers that are part of the Iran deal, complicating the ability to settle this and other issues.

The weakening political position of Trump and the anti-Iran rhetoric of the administration also makes the Iran situation the one that seem most primed to be the kind of wag-the-dog distraction that might seem desirable to Trump and his team.

In nuclear Pakistan, the country is suffering with political instability yet again, even as its rival, a nuclear India, skirmishes with Pakistan's ally, a nuclear China, along their disputed border in the Himalayas.

The US and nuclear Russia are locked in a political standoff regarding diplomats and sanctions. The US-Russia situation is made murkier by Trump's Russia scandal, the desire of the US Congress to hold Russia accountable and Putin's gleeful willingness to play both ends against the middle to achieve his dual goals of looking tough on the US at home while weakening America from within. That he continues to test the bounds of American influence by expanding Russia's own power: Putin signed a half-century lease on a naval base in Syria last week, he continues to inch deeper into Georgia, and he menaces the Baltics. This all suggests this a diplomatic crisis that could escalate into something much worse.

Further, from the South China Sea to Venezuela's unravelling, famine in Africa to political confusion in Japan, Korea and the UK, the world is reeling.

Indeed, what makes each of the situations above many degrees more dangerous is that the world is facing a parallel pandemic of leadership and institutional failures. At the centre of these is the decline in America's standing as a leader.

Amidst the global turmoil, our modern-day Nero is choosing to tweet as Rome burns.

Trump surrounds himself with generals he views as more gold-plated bling to show off to his buddies. He has gutted America's diplomatic capability just when it's needed the most. Worst, this pig sty of a presidency has sucked all the oxygen out of the room so that none of the above issues are getting the attention they deserve from anyone.

It's no wonder people worry what would happen were these guys to face a real crisis. But that's just the problem. The crises are here. And the fact that neither the President nor the American people seem to know it may be the greatest crisis of them all.

David Rothkopf a visiting professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The Washington Post

RebLem
Posts: 8763
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Re: The crisis is upon us

Post by RebLem » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:26 am

Most people here, barney, think N Korea will be managed. I am far more worried about something else: the need to raise the debt ceiling. Republicons don't like to do that, but most of them in Congress know it needs to be done. Its not a certainty that DJT has figured that out. Many here feel he does not understand the need not to default on the debt. He has done so himself many times, and screwed his investors and business partners out of millions. He often does not pay his bills, and contests any suit filed against him. He has run many people out of business. Many people here think he may veto any attempt to raise the debt ceiling and simply default. If that happens, it could easily send the whole globe into a deep Depression that would dwarf the Depression of the 1930's by comparison.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

arepo
Posts: 417
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 6:02 pm

Re: The crisis is upon us

Post by arepo » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:53 am

Reb..
I'm as frightened as you are about what this simpleton in the White House will do next.
By the way, it's great to see your name again on the forum.
Welcome back. :D
cliftwood

lennygoran
Posts: 12870
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:28 pm
Location: new york city

Re: The crisis is upon us

Post by lennygoran » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:56 am

RebLem wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:26 am
Most people here, barney, think N Korea will be managed. I am far more worried about something else: the need to raise the debt ceiling. Republicons don't like to do that, but most of them in Congress know it needs to be done. Its not a certainty that DJT has figured that out. Many here feel he does not understand the need not to default on the debt. He has done so himself many times, and screwed his investors and business partners out of millions. He often does not pay his bills, and contests any suit filed against him. He has run many people out of business. Many people here think he may veto any attempt to raise the debt ceiling and simply default. If that happens, it could easily send the whole globe into a deep Depression that would dwarf the Depression of the 1930's by comparison.
I`m concerned about managing the n korea situation-how do you think it could be managed? I just can`t think of any solution? Len

barney
Posts: 2661
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The crisis is upon us

Post by barney » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:13 pm

Yes, I too am interested that you are relatively sanguine about North Korea. Why?
It seems highly intractable to me, with China and Russia seeing this as an opportunity to further diminish US influence in its backyard, plus no viable military option. The more Trump threatens and blusters, the more his credibility falters. Or rather, as he has no credibility, the more US credibility falters.
Meanwhile the threat of a trade war with China is serious - that also would plunge the world into recesssion.
But I take your point about the debt ceiling. Can he do that unilaterally? Surely Congress/Senate could override that?

RebLem
Posts: 8763
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM, USA 87112, 2 blocks west of the Breaking Bad carwash.
Contact:

Re: The crisis is upon us

Post by RebLem » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:27 pm

I think N Korea can be managed because Kim Jong Un really has no territorial ambitions. He just wants to stay securely as dictator of N Korea. He thinks he needs a nuclear deterrent to guarantee that, and when you consider what happened to Gadaffi when he finally gave up his nuclear ambitions, who can blame him?
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests