Beyond the Cusp

July 23, 2017

The Subject Best Left Untouched Today is Korea

 

Korea gets stark coverage in the news; a short article here and there often buried with a headline every couple of weeks with sparse follow-up. There actually is a good reason, there is no good coverage or any way Trump can be blamed or criticized as he has taken measured steps increasing pressure slowly without crossing any critical lines as of yet. The distance from where everyone and everything currently stands and those aforementioned lines has shrunk to a very small distance. Kim has not altered his trajectory launching larger and longer range missiles with his latest calculated to be capable of reaching Alaska and potentially the West Coast of the United States mainland. Kim is pressing all the buttons which distress the Pentagon and make some of those older men with the largest number of medals on their uniforms excessively nervous and rightfully so. On the other side, President Trump has ordered three super-carrier groups to the area in and around the Sea of Japan, sufficient airpower to neutralize all known North Korean launch and nuclear facilities and destroy the vast majority of the rocket and projectile artillery placed just north of the demilitarized zone (see map below) all of them targeting Seoul, the South Korean Capital and home to near twenty-seven-million people. This has been the big threat held by the Kim family as they have ruled, or should we say ruined, North Korea making it a virtual hell on Earth for the entire population with the exception of the elites who live lives as if they were the monarchs and royal court over their medieval serfs who live at their pleasure.

 

Demilitarized Zone Between North Korea and South Korea

Demilitarized Zone Between North Korea and South Korea

 

The founder of North Korea was Kim Il-sung who was a believer in the myth of Communism and how it could make everyone live better under its socialized dictatorship with central planning and everybody receiving an equal portion. Just like most Communist dictatorships, North Korea failed with an ever-shrinking economy which remains now based on selling what meager oil and other natural resources they have most often to China. Much of the industrial base went to the manufacture of military hardware and development and little in consumer goods. Such placement of the investment in military hardware and the military left little for the people. Subsistence farming became a larger and larger part of the economy in the hope of feeding the people. Kim Il-sung died unexpectedly from a sudden heart attack on July 8, 1994, and was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-il. Things continued in their steady decline throughout his years leading the militaristic country of North Korea. But at least things appeared sane, Russia and China assisted the nation and they threatened to attack South Korea and annihilate Seoul on a semiregular basis in order to gain some form of relief from the West, meaning the United States, which was regularly met by whoever was in the White House as it beat risking the war resuming in the Korean Peninsula. The North continued to press their demands that the Korean Peninsula be united and all the Korean people be ruled by their rightful rulers, the Kim family. The trades with North Korea were always the same basic deal, the United States sent tons of food and other provisions and of course a fair amount of funds all in return for a promise not to cause any disturbances, or in simple terms, peace and quiet and little if anything else which is a large quantity of basic nothing.

 

The original Korean War was fought with the free world with the backing of the United Nations due to a Security Council vote which took place, conveniently, after the Soviet Union walked out in a show of solidarity with Nikita Khrushchev who walked after slamming the table with his shoe, fighting the Communists, largely the Soviet Union. The forces backed by the United States had been pushing the Communists back when the other Communist nation decided to join the fight, one might say the eight-thousand-ton gorilla in the zone, the Chinese came over the border with forces of hundreds of thousands of soldiers pushing the Americans and their allies almost off the peninsula. The American forces rallied and in the end they decided to call it quits and draw a line on or about the 38th Parallel and rather than end the war, just allow it to stall for the time being, an armistice. Kim Jong-Il died on December 17, 2011, and was quickly succeeded by his son, Kim Jong-un. This is where the problems set in. There are many who claim that Kim Jong-un might be unbalanced, a little unstable and frankly dangerous and a potentially dangerous threat. Add in President Donald Trump and things get really dicey.

 

The Kim Family

 

Kim Jong-un is attempting to use the time honored tradition of threaten the world and the Western nations will come up with the goods sooner or later. The problem is, he is basically selling the same nothing for something to a businessman, and that will not fly. President Trump’s answer to Kim Jong-un’s threats has been to slowly build the United States presence sending super-cruiser groups to attend training exercises with allies in the area including South Korea, Japan and others. President Trump attempted to resolve the situation by requesting the North Korean allies in China to talk the situation down. The Chinese and the Russians instead gave the United States an ultimatum to break off their planned operations with South Korea and potentially end their support for the South Koreans. This is all simply another attempt to isolate the South Koreans and allow for North Korea to do the same thing to South Korea as happened to South Vietnam after the United States removed their support. The Cold War is back and as healthy as it ever was and Russia is hoping to make President Trump back off in North Korea as if they can push him around there, they will then do more threatening to force the free world to allow Russia to retake as much of their former satellite nations as they are able. That would bring the end to the freedom in the Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova and potentially Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia and even the Czech Republic, and this is simply Eastern Europe. Then there is Central Asia where Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and a few other nations north of Afghanistan. Once again, should Russia force President Trump to trip and retreat in the Korean Peninsula and then continue the pressure in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the break where the West would no longer back further and instead would be up in arms, just as in World War II, might very well be Poland again.

 

This hugely dangerous game of chicken is showing no signs of either side blinking and has every sign of reaching a breaking point. If North Korea launches an actual and undeniable ICBM capable of reaching any point on the globe and then start placing satellites into low Earth orbit, with some crashing back to the planet even striking within the United States or Canada, then all bets are off because telling the difference between a crashing weather satellite and an incoming ballistic missile is impossible. The one and most trusted way of knowing the difference is asking the launching nation and trusting their answer. This is not exactly something in which North Korea would be considered a trustworthy nation as far as truth is concerned. Further, once North Korea reaches such ability for launching ballistic missiles and the miniaturized warheads to place atop of these missiles, then everyone need decide whether they can live with a nuclear armed North Korea or would defanging the rogue nation be the only viable option. These two scenarios are on a crash course with reality and the decisions reached by President Trump and his advisors will be weighty and potentially threatening the peace in Asia. The results against the North Korean nuclear missile threat will also go a long way in resolving the war in Syria and whether or not the killing simply continues endlessly. The decisions made in the standoff on the peninsula will send ripples around the world. What is the right move for President Trump? Should he again return to the days when the United States stationed ballistic nuclear missiles in South Korea or place them in Japan or Taiwan as a message to China and Russia that their nuclear mischief in North Korea had its consequences for them equal or greater than the threat the North poses to the Western World? Let’s just say that we had all better wish him decent advice, certainly better and more useable advice than he appears to have received about the Middle East and Israel. If he is as ill prepared to judge Kim Jong-un as he appeared to be with Mahmoud Abbas and his pack of lies, then the world had best tighten their seat-belts, because a misreading of the ripples in this crisis result in a huge conflagration or an alteration in the power centers of the world, largely from Washington the power would flow to Moscow and Beijing. Best of all, everybody tread quietly and carefully as a misstep will be ruinous for all involved.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 1, 2016

Trump and Policies Simply a Train Wreck

 

Donald Trump gave his version of a foreign policy speech and we did not need even the transcript to be able to predict how it went. Before the Trump supporters start screaming and sending less than happy e-mails, Trump is still slightly preferable than either Democrat choice but only by the slimmest of margins and would be almost as amusing to cover than would Bernie Sanders. That out of the way, perhaps now we can discuss why Trump’s many and conflicting policy positions might be a good thing. First and foremost they show flexibility. Not many candidates can be so far afield so as to be on both sides of so many crucial issues. This allows the Donald to place a finger in the wind and change with the breezes. It also allows him to take advice from those who actually have a clue and read the teleprompter while still sounding bombastic to the frustrations and joys of the media. Donald’s problem is he is the best news possible to those that hate him and the worst possible candidate to those who actually support him. The real difficulty for both is to cobble together a core set of beliefs and mold a coherent set of policies to call them Trump. Instead, they should just revel in whatever one wishes to believe. Trump trumps the competition because somewhere in his policy statements, as varied as such may be, are those magic lines which each supporter can cling to like a life vest on the Titanic as his next sentence will be throwing you overboard as he crashes headlong into the iceberg everyone else saw coming.

 

So, if of the choices left of Trump, Hillary and a complete unknown have one leaning towards the Donald, what is it they can say and support about his policies? That actually may be easier than most think and still remain completely truthful. Donald Trump does not sound like he has any policies other than slogans and his unbounded love of self is actually a complete coverage of his current policy positions. Trump supports Trump as a policy and that may be the best of all possible positions as that is one he can really get behind. With Trump as Trump’s policy he can with certainty claim he supports such a policy wholeheartedly. Trump is the perfect answer to any and every question concerning policies and positions as Trump is the position nobody can argue against. What about immigration, he support’s Trump. Foreign policy, Trumps the game. The Economy, he’s wealthy, did you know that? And on taxes, he avoids them because that is Trump. Where does he stand on the Middle East, right here where he is standing at any moment, be it New York, Los Angeles or somewhere in between, let’s call it Kansas City. Hey, Trump’s the man and we all should realize that by now as he has told us so a thousand times just last week, or was that just yesterday, it is hard to keep track of the number of times Trump has touted the Donald as the answer to any question. That is what is so appealing about the man; he is his own best answer.

 

There is always a Steppenwolf song which describes most any situation and Hippo Stomp describes Trump. The particular refrain goes something like,

“If I should go astray and say “I lost my way”
Nobody would know me
But if I don’t believe I can and still say “Hear my plan”
Somebody would follow just because it’s free!

That is Donald as is the remainder of the song,

 

“If I should go astray and say “I lost my way”
Nobody would know me
But if I don’t believe I can and still say “Hear my plan”
Somebody would follow just because it’s free!

We’re all Hippos, rollin’ down the river
Sometimes we can’t touch the ground
Like Hippos slidin’ in the water
Somehow we’re stompin’ around

Now you can see me lyin’ down in my swamp
Any time I feel disgusted
You’ll see me do the hippo stomp
Hey, hey, you can try it when you’re feelin’ blue

If you should go astray and say “I lost my way”
Nobody will know you
But if you don’t believe you can and still say “I’m your man”
Somebody will follow just because it’s free

We’re all Hippos rollin’ down the river
Sometimes we can’t touch the ground
Like Hippos slidin’ in the water
Somehow we’re stompin’ around

You stop and watch me
While you’re out on your midnite romp
And I can feel the silent question
What the heck is the Hippo Stomp?

Let me answer you and let me tell ya true
Just how I feel when I’m down
Sometimes I wonder you’ll see me stumblin’ around
But you just point and stare

Come on, let me hear you
Somewhere there’s a voice down inside
And when you find it let it teach you
How to ask the question ‘Why’

Just because we live together, we don’t have to like each other
So please don’t fall asleep on me again
Nobody, nobody, nobody knows for sure
You just might never wake up from the dream

Hey, speak up, let me hear you, yeah
Let me show you ’round the reservation
I know my way around these parts, I’ve lived here long enough
Now you can have a taste, an indication of things and times to come

If you should go astray and say “I lost my way”
Nobody will know you
But if you don’t believe you can and still say “I’m your man”
Somebody will follow just because it’s free

Early in the morning, late at night
Somebody seems to know just how this thing work’s right
‘Cause every time I come around the corner
Somebody’s looking out my door
He’s been snoopin’ like a hound
I’ll grab his neck and shake him on down

We’re all Hippos rollin’ down the river
Sometimes we can’t touch the ground
Like Hippos, slidin’ in the water
Somehow we’re stompin’ around

We’re all Hippos rollin’ down the river
Sometimes we can’t touch the ground
Like Hippos, slidin’ in the water
Somehow we’re stompin’ around

We’re all Hippos rollin’ down the river
Sometimes we can’t touch the ground
Like Hippos, slidin’ in the water
Somehow we’re stompin’ around

I guess what we’re saying is when anybody asks you what you think Donald Trump’s answer or position is on any subject, you can simply answer, “His position is trumps (Trump’s) and as far as that goes, it’s the Hippo Stomp, man, the Hippo Stomp.” That will leave them scratching their heads and they’ll likely never ask you to explain a Trump position ever again and you can wear your Trump is trump button in peace. Granted, you will need to repeat this a lot, but only once per questioner, we promise. It explains Trump perfectly and is almost as straight forward, honest, forthright and as easy to understand as it is to discern actual policies from what Donald Trump states from one time to the next, which often comes as the next sentence, when queried on any subject. The only thing that we have found as a consistent theme from Donald is that Donald Trump is the answer we have been seeking. If that sounds eerily familiar, it should. There will be two main differences between a Trump Presidency and the Obama Presidency, advisors. President Obama honestly does believe he is always the smartest person-hood in the room and no other person matters quite as much. That is not to say he does not listen to those advisors closest to him, it is to say that his advisors share his wide visions just as ardently as does he and they are in complete agreement. Donald Trump, on the other hand, knows he knows little but also knows admitting such is poison to politicians and that he must tout himself as the smartest person in the room and hopefully he is finished goring other people’s hogs and will simply push Trump is trumps as the answer. The difference is Trump will be depending on those he places in positions around him for honest assessments and expertise and they will be setting the policy providing one thing, that they can explain it such that Trump understands the who, what, where, why and how of the position as then he can adopt it as his.

 

Odd as it will sound to many a Reagan enthusiast, that was mostly Ronald Reagan’s key to his success and had been the key to every successful President with very few exceptions. Nobody, outside a few egos around here, knows sufficient about almost everything to be able to be President and make it work. A good leader knows how to delegate, to whom to delegate and how to get the best possible people for every position. This does not mean you choose people with whom you know you will have difficulty agreeing, you choose at least three or four and no more than a half dozen people who care and are capable of taking the opposite side and playing devil’s advocate, or actually are the devil in the details, and then be capable of preparing you to take a position and defend it against all challenges. The secret is the team as a whole being more than just its individual parts. That is what one desires to keep them informed and on an even keel, or at least not capsizing constantly. Donald Trump has been all over the place on policies because he is avoiding being pinned to a particular position with a few core exceptions which are really as he believes. If Trump has been consistent on his position and not taken opposing views, and there have been a few more than those we have noted, then those are his core and his advisors will have a ‘huge’ (pronounced ‘Yuuchge’) job changing his position as they will need to both prove him wrong and then prove themselves right before he will budge.

 

Now these positions do not mean he knows how he will actually make actual policy out of his position and that is where his advisors will have their work cut out for them as he will insist that those items be executed faithfully. The Donald will also have a standing order that nobody correct him publically and instead allow him to disagree and correct himself as only he can and otherwise back him and make him look ‘Good,’ very good. The real Donald will become known by the people he chooses for his Cabinet and other advisors. Probably the most important advisors he will choose will be his foreign policy chief, his defense advisor and once he gets to it, the General he appoints as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Generals who will serve under that person as these will be the tactical advisors responsible for executing and advising on all things military as well as providing additional information on which foreign policies will rest. These Generals will likely be chosen in close concert with the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State, two people who will be indispensable for the success of Trump as President. Until these people are in place and the new civilians have been briefed on the realities in the world, the threats, promises, promises of threats, threatening promises, adversaries and whether each is sane, rational, irrational, insane, predictable, or a loose cannon, then all intended policies can be adjusted to fit the reality and everything can proceed forward from there. Examples, Russia’s Putin is sane, cold, calculating and fairly conservative and very risk adverse and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is irrational, irreverent, dangerously unstable, unpredictable and possibly the greatest threat to pop up at the worst possible moment and finally the leadership of Iran is a group of religious fanatics led by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei (سید علی خامنه‌ای) who are calculating, unpredictable, self-serving, fanatical, supremacist and believe themselves directly guided by Allah and as such infallible.

 

Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Sayyed Ali Khamenei

Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Sayyed Ali Khamenei

 

Of the three, Putin is the least dangerous and should be kept in regular communication such that he feels confident he will not be double crossed or ignored in those things he has a vested interest. The next least dangerous is probably Kim Jong Un as his resources are limited and he has desperate problems at home as his people are literally starving which does not bode well for extravagance, which is unfortunately how Kim Jong Un lives and this could eventually lead to a revolt especially as he has proven to be capable of turning even against his own family at the drop of a hat. The Iranians are likely the largest threat as they very likely already have nuclear weapons and are adding to their numbers as quickly as they can assemble additional and more powerful warheads. Their nuclear arsenal will likely soon outstrip those of the United States European allies and soon surpass Israel’s undeclared weapons and Iran is very likely to use their nuclear weapons as a first strike option and not as a deterrence and nuclear security weapon allowing their freedom of action unencumbered allowing them complete hegemony in the Middle East.

 

Iran has a discernible intent to want to supplant Saudi Arabia as leader of the Arab world despite they’re not being Arabs themselves and to then move to lead the entirety of the Muslim world converting all under their thumb to Shia Islam placing the Shiites over and above the Sunni who have held the predominant position in Islam since the split between the two main sects between the years 630AD and 650AD. After unifying all of Islam the Iranians will then proceed to unifying the world under the rule of Islam and eventually forcing all to convert or face the sword of Allah. Their war to convert and conquer the world may not wait until all of Islam has been mastered and converted to the Shiite banner, though the lion’s share of that will be required to facilitate the final conflict. This conflict can be initiated in the most violent and broad a front as imaginable and very easily could have the general use of nuclear weapons to decapitate the leadership of the strongest of forces which would stand in opposition. In the time leading up to such and in parallel to the conquest of all Islam, there will be measures taken to subjugate and take steps to assume power throughout as much of the world as possible using infiltration, much as Europe is currently facing.

 

Iran will be one of the main, if not the main, challenges for the foreseeable future and the most dangerous. They will also offer the greatest of opportunities to ally forces which currently appear to be in conflict even if mostly through economics (China) or through spreading influence (Russia and Iran). Whoever the Americans choose to be their next President, once again the biggest and most crucial threats and challenges will be in foreign policy. This was true during President Obama’s terms and he fell dreadfully short as many, ourselves included, feared he was destined to do. The world is that much more dire a situation as President Obama strengthened the most dangerous of regimes directly and did little if anything to discourage the rest of the threats allowing all threats to the Western World and culture to fester and grow more threatening. It may come to pass that history will lay the subjugation of Europe to Islam as directly attributable to President Obama and his petty policies executed apparently to spite the United States for perceived sins, some real and others imaginary. The reestablishing of the United States a predominantly a forced for good and an empowering ally more than a domineering imposition will be the greatest challenge going forward. It will be in this theater by which Presidents will be rated by history going forward as it has been since President Truman first chose to actually save the lives of countless Japanese military and civilians as well as probably approaching a million or two American and allied servicemen which would have been lost if Japan would have needed to be invaded on her home islands not to mention the strong likelihood that the Russians would have helped themselves to the Japanese northern most island. There has been temptations by revisionist historians to paint the use of the atom bombs by Truman as the greatest war crime ever perpetrated, but in reality it saved millions of lives as the Japanese would have fought to the last individual had the Emperor and military commanders not been shown the impossibility of their position.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 28, 2016

It’s Final and It’s Clinton and Trump

 

Sure it is still possible for Cruz/Kasich or Bernie Sanders to steal the limelight with the teaming up of Cruz/Kasich to temporarily stop Trump or for Bernie to turn the world on its head and win the nomination outright, but pigs have a better chance of flying. So we may as well face it that the United States election will place a criminal against an egotistical buffoon. Such a choice will likely produce the smallest turnout for a Presidential election in American history with over half the eligible voters blowing off the election out of sheer disinterest. The election will be won by whichever of the two candidates sickens their base less than the other. Call it the election where large portions will be voting for the one that makes them less ill. The question must seriously be looked at as to what each Presidency would look like and what the world can expect.

 

Hillary will quite likely be the more predictable of the two as she will be a true leftist performing exactly as advertised. She will continue to spend on social issues taking it from the military. She will cut the NASA budget and we will hear repeatedly about the billions of dollars going to NASA and how such expenditures cannot be justified when the social issues are so dire. She will raise taxes even further on businesses forcing even more companies to flee from what will be an even more oppressive atmosphere. Amnesty for illegal immigrants will be a given and will include a number of millions additional from the troubled Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The flood gates will open for Syrian, Afghani, Iraqi, Libyan, and who knows where else from the failing MENA nations and will be brought in as Europe refuses to accept millions of these immigrants and their nations of origin will disavow them leaving them as people without a country until Hillary rides to their rescue. All financing will be returned to Planned Parenthood. All this and more will result if Hillary has a democratic Congress, especially if they remake the rules preventing filibusters in the Senate by requiring a mere majority vote for cloture as was enacted early in President Obama’s first term.

 

Clinton vs Trump

Clinton vs Trump

 

There will also be a push towards raising the minimum wage above $12.00 and eventually up to $15.00 an hour. This will speed up the automation of fast food service centers, calling such a restaurant would be a stretch. The first company amongst the burger giants to come out with a completely automated service and retrieval and cleaning using robotic servers and cleaning robotic units, especially if they appear humanoid but still obviously robotic to avoid that gulch where they are too humanlike but just enough off to be spooky. We believe the term for such robots are they are in the Uncanny Valley where they freak people out and make them uncomfortable. Unemployment will skyrocket along with the minimum wage hike as more and more jobs simply disappear either through automation of certain sectors of industry or simply fleeing to Asia and other places of lower production costs.

 

There will be pressure by the green movement to tighten pollution standards and a strong push to tax gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles to higher prices making electric vehicles more attractive. Expect a European style carburetor tax or even cylinder tax with a tax based on number of cylinders where production of a car has such a tax pushing the prices skyward. Gasoline taxes will also push gas to European levels or higher. Expect a mileage tax to be levied with GPS mileage tracking systems required on all cars including retrofitting older vehicles. If such a requirement makes keeping your old vehicle on the road too expensive to install the GPS mileage tracking system, enjoy walking or the bus. Automated trucking with self-driving vehicles will become more common. This too might also be another item built into the GPS mileage tracking where every vehicle signals its GPS location, direction and speed which can be read by the automated vehicles to assist them in driving decisions. Such systems could also automate speeding tickets as your speed would be recorded at all times and exceeding the speed limit could result in an automated system sending you a ticket for each violation. Who needs speed cameras when the vehicle itself can turn itself in for speed violations? Cities might even enact car free zones where vehicles are forbidden forcing people to use mass transit. All this and more could be a result of a Hillary Clinton Presidency.

 

Donald Trump will be far more difficult to predict as it will depend largely on whom he appoints as his Cabinet and advisors. The biggest danger of a Trump Presidency would be if his policies become unpredictable, especially in economic programs. Should he start one set of economic programs and after five or six months not have the results he desired so he changes the game and again every four to six months then investors will sit on their money as such a game would become too risky and they would turn into risk adverse investors placing their investments in predictable sectors or overseas. Trump might react to pressures from ecology lobbies and make some concessions and it would depend on which as to the effect. CAFÉ standards might be increased demanding higher MPG ratings for vehicles. Taxes on businesses would likely be lowered which would be a positive; and minimum wage, where it may be raised, would not approach $15.00 which would permit for lower unemployment numbers.

 

Certain advances are going to be unavoidable. The driverless automated trucks are coming and there is no preventing that short of making them illegal, not going to happen. Mileage taxes will be levied by the individual states even if not done by the Federal Government. Requiring GPS reporting mileage and possibly constant recording and reporting trip data to the government is coming and will be used to try and force driverless vehicles to replace human drivers even before the technology is perfected, though it is very close, which is why it will be unavoidable. Trump might actually listen to the car manufacturers and allow for hydrogen powered vehicles as an alternative to electric cars. What the ecology lobby does not want people to know is that electric cars do little to lessen pollution and just change the location of the pollution as charging the electric cars requires greater output by power plants most of which burn fossil fuels with extra demand making up for the pollution presumably not produced by driving gasoline powered vehicles. The hydrogen powered vehicles exhaust is water vapor and its main pollution is thermal as the exhaust is in the form of steam predominantly. Perhaps some system could be installed which would permit some degree of condensation before release into the atmosphere, but the efficiency of such a system would need to be proven before any great claims could be made.

 

The area where either a Trump or a Clinton Presidency would be most in doubt would be foreign policy. Hillary might be more willing to intervene militarily and then leave too quickly after declaring job accomplished which may or may not be a better policy providing the parties understand that intervention remains an option if things are not improved after any regime change. Another Libyan style disaster would serve nobody. Trump, on the other hand, is a complete unknown and the sole plus is that as a complete unknown and with his reputation as being somewhat unstable and capable of flying off the handle, other nations might be tempered in their desires to test a President Trump. There will always be at least one foreign country which will test any new President and how they react to such a test can set the mood for the remainder of their term. After the Bay of Pigs disaster Khrushchev tested President Kennedy by shipping nuclear capable missiles into Cuba sparking the Cuban Missile Crisis and the rest is history. Needless to say there were no more tests after President Kennedy literally blockaded Cuba and prevented any additional missile deliveries and demanded the removal of those already in place. Things got a good deal quieter after that faceoff.

 

What will be the test for the incoming President? We predict it would likely come via the situation in what used to be Syria and potentially Iraq and could be either from Russia or Islamic State. There is the already existing threat in the South China Sea with the Chinese literally building and arming islands right in the heart of the existing sea lanes forcing shipping to detour adding hundreds of miles to the routes between Japan and Asia as they need to circumnavigate around these Chinese newly-fashioned and militarized islands. These also could be utilized to prevent any reinforcement in a timely manner of Taiwan should China finally attempt to make good on their standing threat to restore their province which they claim Taiwan actually should be. Then there is the challenge which is sure to be presented by Iran as they continue to flaunt their disregard for any limitations presumably set by the Iran deal which likely was simply an agreement that Iran not announce or test a nuclear weapon until after President Obama has set off for golfing and placing his Presidential Library between the ninth hole and tenth tee next to the clubhouse on his Presidential Golf Course. Foreign challenges are always an area where second guessing is commonplace as nobody can predict everything accurately as there is always that surprise awaiting around every corner. The one predictable item is foreign powers are less likely to challenge Trump than they are Clinton. That might be a very seriously bad mistake, period. Hillary Clinton could be their worst nightmare if she was having a bad hair day when they pushed her; she could be far more vicious and unpredictable than Trump could ever be. Trump, though potentially unpredictable, would at least be relatively logical even if that logic might be unfathomable to some. Hillary Clinton would be simply terrifying should she feel threatened or being made a fool of or made to appear hesitant and weak as she would be more likely to overreact to any situation and press it to unnecessary levels or even use overwhelming force where a strong show of force without pulling the trigger was all that was necessary to end the threat peacefully. We have far more trepidation when it comes to Hillary over Donald when it comes to foreign threats despite both being unpredictable. No matter which wins there will be no telling the results until either has settled in and the initial actions and reactions have been initiated.

 

The final item is Israel. Trump will depend on who his advisors are on foreign policy, but we believe he will be more even handed and accommodating regarding Israel once he is made fully appreciative of the situation. Trump will need to weigh what the Pentagon and Defense Department give him and what the State Department tells him. With such conflicting information, he will necessarily have to choose and hopefully will have visited Israel and talked to both sides and gotten his measure of the land. Hillary Clinton will likely make President Obama appear to have been a supporter of Israel and best of friends with Prime Minister Netanyahu. We already are fully aware of the lack of good relations between Bibi and Hillary and the special hate she holds for Israel. Expect the chill between Israel and the United States to become an ice age under Hillary with no possible thaw and open threats to become commonplace from the White House to Jerusalem. There will be nobody to answer the calls from Hillary as her animosity is well known in Israel and she will manage to even alienate the Israeli left within the first year of her screeching demands for Israel to surrender completely to Abbas. Any dealing with Hillary by Israel would be suicidal. Trump may initially be an unknown but would at least not enter the situation convinced of their preconceived notions as Hillary would be, and she would be completely anti-Israel no matter what lies she told AIPAC.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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