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Thursday, August 04, 2016

Worst-Case Scenario

Trump on foreign policy. The man has no clue. Via TPM:

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough reported on the air Wednesday morning that when Donald Trump met for a briefing with an unnamed foreign policy expert, the GOP nominee allegedly asked, “Why can’t we use nuclear weapons?” several times.

Scarborough made the claim during an interview with retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, who expressed concern about how Trump would be an “erratic” and “inconsistent” commander-in-chief.

When Hayden curtly said he’s not aware a single one of his colleagues advising Trump on foreign policy, Scarborough spoke up.

“I have to follow up with that, but I’ll be very careful here. Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on the international level went to advise Donald Trump, and three times he asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked, at one point, ‘If we have them, why can’t we use them?” Scarborough said.
(Video at link.)

What? Does Trump think no one's going to shoot back? We're not the only ones with nuclear weapons, and it's generally recognized that nuclear war is not something anyone wants to get involved in. Just try tossing a couple of nukes into the Middle East and see what happens.

And if you think things like this don't get heard overseas, see this post from Digby:

I've been writing for a while that if Trump wins, the morning after the election we will wake up to a world that is far more unstable than it's been in over half a century. The system we have, for better or worse, will no longer be operative and what replaces it will be an unknown and frightening. And the man in charge of changing it is a cretinous demagogue. In fact, it's already happening:

Phillip Lohaus, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, says that in his personal experience, as he has traveled abroad over the last year, "every conversation begins and ends with Trump."

"A lot of these people don't understand why a candidate would seek to change an international system that was designed by America and benefits America," Lohaus said. "They don't understand why we would undermine that when it is in our interest to keep things together."

The idiot is not only giving people here with two brain cells to rub together the heebie-jeebies, he's scaring the hell out of our allies. Vladimir Putin (who, according to Trump, will not invade the Ukraine -- mostly, I guess because he doesn't have to: that's a done deal) is licking his chops.

There was a thing that I ran across when I was studying European diplomatic history, way back when, called the Pax Britannica. Essentially, the British Navy was, for the period after the Napoleonic Wars and up to World War I, the pre-eminent military force in the world. So, while there were conflicts, they remained localized because no one wanted to deal with Her Majesty's Navy. Theodore Roosevelt sort of encapsulated the concept in his famous dictum, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Since the end of World War II, we've been the ones with the big stick, and, except for some boneheaded decisions by our leaders (Vietnam and Iraq spring immediately to mind), have managed to avoid major conflicts.

The point is, You don't use the stick. You don't ever use the stick. We spent decades negotiating with the USSR and others to put the biggest stick on ice. Everyone was well aware of the consequences of nuclear war after seeing what we did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

And Trump doesn't understand why we can't use them if we have them? We already know that he's completely lacking any connection to the world outside his head, but this is beyond belief. Given Digby's post, even if Trump is not elected, we've got a lot of patching to do.

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