Donald Trump continues his strong performance in the Republican primaries, but his foreign policy is worrying and could lead to World War 3.
As Matthew D. Taylor writes in the Huffington Post, U.S. elections are rarely decided on foreign policy. The United States is well known for being insular during political campaigns and politics in general. That is not to say that candidates for the highest office have not used rough rhetoric in the past, but somehow Donald Trump has gone further and caused concern that World War 3 could be looming if he is voted in.
Foreign policy fantasies please U.S. voters
While Trump rambles on about his foreign policy fantasies, his fans applaud his plain talking style. The scary thing is that he has proposed some insane policies.
When it comes to foreign policy, Trump has some truly dangerous ideas. He talks of border walls, expanding the use of torture, targeting the families of terrorists and engaging in trade war with other large economies.
The overarching idea is to flex U.S. economic and military might to “make America great again.” One particular target of Trump’s policies is Islam.
Anti-Islam rhetoric truly frightening
He says he wants to impose “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” at least until “our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
As with many Trump policies it is important to note that there is no end in sight, just the threat of a dismal future. The Brussels bombing this week led Trump to underline that policy proposal.
While the practicalities of such a ban show its near impossibility, it is also important to note that Trump is suggesting shutting out every single member of the world’s second largest religion. Nearly 25% of the global population is Muslim.
World War 3 could be around the corner with Trump
Trump says that “Islam hates us,” which cannot be true in the case of a living tradition. It is not a person or a singular perspective. Even if Trump said “Muslims hate us,” he would be generalizing massively.
It goes without saying that putting an entire religion in the focus of his foreign policy makes Trump a dangerous man. He does nothing to shift the image of the U.S. in the wider world, which has come to be characterized by bluntness and a willing to intervene without any subtlety.
Trump as president would be a recipe for disaster, and could spark World War 3. The old world order is threatened by instability around the world. The European Union is tearing itself apart, Syria is a proxy war between Shi’ite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia with effects felt around the world.
Existing world order under threat
Not only do waves of Syrian migrants threaten to destabilize Europe, the conflict is affecting other countries in the Middle East. At the same time China is being more aggressive militarily while struggling to maintain economic stability, North Korea continues to threaten nuclear war and the Israel-Palestine conflict shows no signs of resolution.
With Trump in the White House the U.S. sets itself up for endless conflict. His pantomime villain persona will not wash with other world leaders like Vladimir Putin.
Putin won’t take kindly to playground insults bandied around on Twitter. The Muslim world won’t accept flippant insults of the Prophet Muhammad if Trump feels like stoking anti-Muslim feeling once again.
In his quest to get America “winning again,” Trump is fanning the flames of prejudice and violence in the United States. Nativism and nationalism have always struck a chord with worryingly large sections of the population, and his policy proposals are so devastatingly simple that even a child could understand them.
Trump believes that America cannot win unless someone else loses. In fact a quick scan of his foreign policy proposals shows that America winning would see most of the rest of the world losing. Can anyone imagine the rest of the world lying down while Trump rides roughshod over years of de-escalation and integration work?
While foreign policy may not be the first factor that U.S. voters base their decision on, a Trump presidency would have profound effects on the relationship that Washington has with the rest of the world. If you thought that the United States figured among some of the least popular countries because of past foreign policy, imagine what it would be like under Trump.
Voters need to think about the wider effects of Trump’s populism. It might seem like a leap to talk about World War 3 at this stage, but a quick look into the future of a Trump administration reveals a hugely worrying appetite for conflict.