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Explaining Trump’s Grand Strategy

July 25, 2018

The New York Times printed an extremely annoying article in which they had a lot of experts being totally confused by what Donald Trump is trying to do.  They sort of assume that Trump is a buffoon, when it’s pretty obvious to me that he has a very clearly thought out Grand Strategy which annoys the Washington-elites, but I think is pretty popular among American voters once you explain it.

Put simply Donald Trump wants to dismantle the American Empire and move to a truly multipolar world in which the United States is “just another nation” and not the only superpower.  It is as profound a historical shift as the end of the British and Soviet Empires, and if you look at this as Trump’s motivation, then it all makes sense.

Right now, the United States is spending USD 800 billion in defense, and you wonder what the United States is getting for that money.  The standard excuse is that the United States needs to spend so much on defense in order to defends its global interests, but then you ask the question why does the US need to defend global interests, and then you ask the question of what it would take to create a world in which the United States withdraws to its borders, and this explains why Trump is doing what he is doing.

North Korea becomes important, because if North Korea has ICBM’s that can hit Los Angeles, then the United States cannot leave East Asia.  But if you can get the North Koreans to dismantle their nuclear arsenal, then nothing that happens in East Asia can miltarily hurt the United States.

At that point your excuse is that the United States needs a big military to defend US trade and supplies for factories.  But then you ask the question of whether it will be necessary to defend the factories if they are in the United States.  If the United States has factories in Detroit and gets its energy from coal, and if North Korea cannot hit the US with nukes, then there is no reason for the United States not to pull its troops from East Asia.  This will leave East Asia dominated by China, but then you’d ask the question, “so what?”

So Trump has to be nice to North Korea, so that the United States can pull out of Asia.  You then ask the the question fo why Trump is so nasty to the Iranians.  In the case of East Asia, once the United States pulls out then that leaves China in control of East Asia.  You then ask who is in charge of the Middle East once the United States withdraws.  At that point, its a battle between the Saudis and the Iranians.  The United States does not want Iran to dominate the Middle East.  The people that the United States want to run the Middle East are the Israelis and the Saudis.  At that point the US needs to do everything it can to weaken the Iranians, and everything it can to strengthen the Saudis and the Israelis.  Once you’ve created a situation where the Iranians are subservient to the Saudis and the Israelis, then the United States can pull out of the Middle East.

Also Trump’s strategy of bashing allies is intentional.  You have to be nice if you want to be an effective leader, but the whole point of Trump’s strategy is to allow Europe and Canada to look at for itself.

The fact of the matter is that the United States is no longer capable either ideologically or economically to be the world’s superpower.  Ideologically, the “liberal democratic” order is dead.  No one believes that the United States is really fighting for “freedom and democracy” and most Americans are tired of fighting for this.  Economically, being the world’s sole superpower doesn’t bring in any benefits to most Americans.

The thing is that there is no real debate on Trump’s grand strategy.  If you talk to the average American voter and say what I’ve said, they are all for this strategy.  The people don’t get it are the elites in Washington and Wall Street.  As long as, the United States runs the world, they run the world.  The trouble is that they are clueless and out of ideas.  They are so clueless that they don’t understand what their own President is doing, when it should be obvious to pretty much everyone else.  And I think Trump prefers to keep them confused.  The trouble with experts is that they are so used to the old world, that they cannot imagine a new one, which is a problem since everyone hates the old world.

One essential trait of a political is to make everyone think that you are an idiot so they aren’t in a position to stop you. Trump is very good at playing the part of the buffoon and the idiot, but is an extraordinarily sharp political operator that has a long term vision.  Once you start with the presumption that Trump has a plan, then it quickly becomes obvious what this is.

If you look at the decisions that Trump is making and ask yourself what is going through his mind, then you have a vision of the United States which is focused on the United States and no longer the leader of the world, because the world can take care of itself.

We are moving away from “government by experts” because the experts have proven themselves competely incompetent.  The experts wrecked Iraq and Afghanistan by not understanding how people in those countries think.  In 2016, the experts showed out totally out of touch they were with people in Detroit and Cleveland.  Now we have the ultimate in incompetence as the experts seem to have no know what their own President is thinking although it should be obvious to just about everyone else that spends an hour thinking about it.





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