For all of the puzzling things to emerge during the 2016 election cycle, the most enigmatic may well have been the popular perception that Hillary Clinton was more hawkish than Donald Trump and, hence, a greater threat to peace.
Since so many voters were duped into thinking that having a Russian stooge ascend to the top office in the land would keep us out of a war, this is the situation we find ourselves in now. However, it is fast becoming clear that the general ineptitude of the President-elect – who conducts diplomacy via Twitter and openly shuns his intelligence briefings – is a far greater threat to global stability than the competent assertiveness that Clinton would have provided. While Russia will undoubtedly be less frosty toward the man they helped put into office, China is confounded since falling on the receiving end of Trump’s notorious tweeting sprees. He has also called into question America’s long-standing “One China” policy, a cornerstone of basic diplomatic relations with China, and one that should not be recklessly abandoned. Doing so really could spark skirmishes in the South China Sea, especially if Taiwan becomes emboldened by official recognition from the world’s reigning superpower. Even this is small potatoes next to the economic havoc that a trade war could wreak – something else that Trump seems to be rooting for. The coming war with China will not be World War Three. It will be the grotesque spectacle that inevitably comes when the world’s two largest economies look to not only untangle themselves from each other, but come out on top. Perhaps it will be then that voters realize just how inconsequential our new friends, the economically-challenged Russians, really are.