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Craig234

What's likely to happen in 2018: a military conflict

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A dirty secret in American politics and global politics is that war in the short term boosts support for the leaders. The terrible presidency of George W. Bush saw a huge boost with 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. His father saw a huge boost when he invaded Iraq.

In fact, George W. Bush was aware enough of this that when he was running, he said he wanted to be a 'war president' because he recognized how they were more powerful to get their domestic agenda - like his big tax cuts for the rich - passed. And he got what he wanted and it worked.

 

I was hoping trump had somehow missed this lesson, because with his historic bad ratings and his obsession with ratings, he'd be especially prone to use this technique of having a war to boost his ratings. I've been saying his whole presidency it seems very likely he will.

 

Now there's reporting that privately, he's reassuring Republicans that the mid-terms won't be that bad because of a boost that's coming, implying from a military conflict. The main thing we'd hope would discourage this would be some sense of morality by the leader - already an unlikely factor, and a non-factor with this sociopath.

 

So, it seems likely trump's plan is to have some military conflict timed to boost Republicans for the mid-terms.


Take your pick where. China seems unlikely given their power and the effect on the economy, and Iran would be a huge project.

But there are smaller places available - and North Korea isn't off the table.

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I always thought Trump would start a war to rally support behind him.  In one of his campaign speeches he said bluntly " I love war ".   Trump has given many indications that he is itching to use nukes.  He is recorded as having said to an advisor three times, " If we have nukes, why can't we use them? ".  

 

If, in addition to our covert involvement in many small conflicts, worldwide, a bigger war is coming soon, it is to be fervently hoped that Congress will deny Trump the nuclear football before his new war starts.

 

We are the only country ever to use nukes.  It would be appalling if we were to use them a second time.

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7 minutes ago, bludog said:

I always thought Trump would start a war to rally support behind him.  In one of his campaign speeches he said bluntly " I love war ".   Trump has given many indications that he is itching to use nukes.  He is recorded as having said to an advisor three times, " If we have nukes, why can't we use them? ".  

 

If, in addition to our covert involvement in many small conflicts, worldwide, a bigger war is coming soon, it is to be fervently hoped that Congress will deny Trump the nuclear football before his new war starts.

 

We are the only country ever to use nukes.  It would be appalling if we were to use them a second time.

 

The military has always wanted to end the 'taboo' against using nukes - no doubt they see their best chance in trump.

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7 hours ago, Craig234 said:

The military has always wanted to end the 'taboo' against using nukes - no doubt they see their best chance in trump.

 

I really don't think the premise of that is true. No doubt there are some stupid individuals in the military that would want to use nukes ... but I've talked to many military people (in my job, up to the rank of major), and that's something not one of them would want. 

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5 hours ago, laripu said:

 

I really don't think the premise of that is true. No doubt there are some stupid individuals in the military that would want to use nukes ... but I've talked to many military people (in my job, up to the rank of major), and that's something not one of them would want. 

 

Of course not. Like much with the military, the large majority in the service have a different idea about how to do things than those that decide. There isn't a vote.

There has always been military leadership that wants to remove the taboo on using nukes. They have designed small-yield nukes for just that purpose, ready to use.

 

Do you think that the people you know in the military have similar views to people like Paul Wolfowitz, to those on PNAC who were put in charge under Bush, the neocons? For that matter, do you think they agree with Madeline Albright when she chided Colin Powell, what good is his expensive shiny military if they can't use it?

 

Those who want this have waited for a president who would go along with it.

 

trump is the one most amenable, I suspect. It doesn't mean it'll happen, but it suggests an awfully high risk.He already used a never-before-used weapon.

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4 hours ago, Craig234 said:

Do you think that the people you know in the military have similar views to

 

About everything else, the views are pretty diverse. I know some very liberal military people, one who would like to start a grow op in a liberal state like Vermont. She's just left active duty and has gone into Air Force reserve. She hates DoTr. Others are more conservative, but I haven't met one yet that says that DoTr is intelligent. :)

 

But also I don't know any generals.

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12 minutes ago, laripu said:

 

About everything else, the views are pretty diverse. I know some very liberal military people, one who would like to start a grow op in a liberal state like Vermont. She's just left active duty and has gone into Air Force reserve. She hates DoTr. Others are more conservative, but I haven't met one yet that says that DoTr is intelligent. :)

 

But also I don't know any generals.

 

Right. But discussing the views of the members of the military on this has nothing to do with the views that actually set policy. There's a reason they're spending money on designing these more 'usable nukes'.

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During my time in the Army, I listened to much military lore, insights (and plenty of happy horseshlt too) from 20 and 30 year career soldiers.  What I heard, more than anything else was the military need for small wars to test out the latest tactics, equipment and weapons.  Most of the career guys looked forward to war of any kind, because it meant generous promotions, higher pay and elevated status.  That was back when there was a draft.

 

The all-volunteer army is different in some ways.  But I would imagine the principle of reality-testing everything, on the field of battle is still highly valued in the military.  I found most career guys to be fairly callous about the casualties of war.  Respect for the sanctity of life had low priority or was non-existent.

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