Elsewhere George Monbiot in the Guardi the stark assertion that the inability

Elsewhere george monbiot in the guardi the stark

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the ‘real risks’ that Trump’s policies could ‘spark US social unrest or geopolitical uncertainty’. Elsewhere, George Monbiot in the Guardian, makes the stark assertion that the inability of the US and other governments to respond effectively to public anger means he now believes that ‘we will see war between the major powers within my lifetime’. If these warnings weren’t troubling enough, no less a figure than Henry Kissinger argued on BBC’s Newsnight that ‘the more likely reaction’ to a Trump presidency from terror groups ‘will be to do something that evokes a reaction’ from Washington in order to ‘widen the split’ between it and Europe and damage the US’s image around the world. Given that Trump has already vowed to ‘bomb the shit out of ISIS’ and refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons against the group, it goes without saying that such a scenario could have the gravest consequences and must be avoided so that the US does not play into the terrorists’ hands. Looking more widely, President-elect Trump’s existing and potential cabinet appointments, which Glenn Greenwald has summarised as ‘empowering…by and large…the traditional, hard, hawkish right-wing members of the Republican Party’ also point to the US engaging in future overseas conflicts, rather than the isolationism which many in the foreign policy establishment criticised Trump for proposing during the presidential campaign. William Hartung and Todd Harrison have drawn attention to the fact that defence spending under Trump could be almost $1trillion (spread over ten years) more than Obama’s most recent budget request. Such projections, alongside Trump’s election rhetoric , suggest that the new nuclear monarch will try to push wide open the door to more spending on nuclear weapons and missile defense, a situation made possible, as we have seen, by Obama’s inability to implement progressive change in this area at a time of persistent Republican obstruction. Conclusion The problem now, for the US and the world, is that if Trump does make good on his campaign promises then this will have several damaging consequences for international peace and security and that if Trump does not sufficiently satisfy his supporters then this will likely pour fuel on the flames at home, which may then quickly spread abroad. The people of the US and the world thus now have a huge responsibility to act as a restraining influence and ensure that the US retains an accountable, transparent and democratic government. This responsibility will only grow if crises or shocks take place in or outside the US which ambitious and extremist figures take advantage of, framing them as threats to national security in order to protect their interests and power. If such scenarios emerge the next administration and its untried and untested President will find themselves with a range of extremely powerful tools and institutional experience at their disposal, including nuclear weapons, which may prove too tempting to resist when figuring out how to respond to widespread anger, confusion and unrest, both at home and abroad .
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  • Summer '20
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