Enlightened Conflict

a naïve view of NATO and global connectness

July 22nd, 2016


November 24, 2015



The country’s role as peacekeeper and protector of human rights – and its responsibilities as a provider of nuclear deterrence – he suggested, would only continue if they came with some form of economic benefit to the US.


He repeated his threat to withdraw US forces around the world, a policy that has sparked alarm in countries such as Japan and South Korea, which host tens of thousands of American troops.








Just when I think weakTrump has set a new low in terms of … well … anything think global worldly… he turns around and shows a complete naiveté with regard to globalization and how America benefits.


He spews simplistic American interests first which sound good, sound an awful lot like common sense … but shows a stunning depth of naiveté.


Trump sounds a lot like some old relative sitting in the living room when the family gets together who has the answer for everything based on something he has read in the local paper or heard at the barbershop.

He seemingly knows nothing beyond what he thinks as common sense.


Frankly, his version of common sense is actually a danger to American national security, is a danger to the delicate economic infrastructure which enables the economic success we have today and, ultimately, is a danger to overall global economics & conflict.




His version of what should be.


It sounds good and even almost edges into a common sense purview.



But it ignores economic reality, American security reality and … well … reality.


 Let me start with economic benefit & reality.


He is a numbers guy. He focuses solely on ‘the win’ therefore far too often business construction decon globalsimplistically looks at the topline. In his eyes all he sees is what America spends on military overseas … and what the trade deficit is … and draws a line between them.

What a wacky naive way of looking at something.


Economics is rarely a straight line discussion. The manufacturing & business infrastructure which supports a military global presence is stunningly deep. Everything from food manufacturers, transportation, healthcare, paper products, plastics, etc. all are beneficiaries of a global military presence. Remove the global presence and, like dominoes, the unintended economic consequences with regard to US businesses is frighteningly dangerous.


Do I believe we should seek to better align ‘services provided to monies received’? Sure. We should always do that.

But suggesting that it ties directly to economic ROI is … well … silly if not stupid.


weakTrump dangerously deals with economics and NATO <military & security> like dealing out bargaining chips on a poker table.


Neither military nor economics should be dealt with like a poker game.



Let me go to America security.


Whew. You would think a quasi-business guy like Trump would understand “white space.” If you don’t fill the white space someone will.

Finding the white spaceSimplistically America’s global presence is part of a larger nationalistic strategy of keeping conflict at arm’s length, i.e., conflict dealt with ‘there’ means I don’t have it deal with it ‘here’.


So let’s say America reneges on its NATO commitments <under the guise of ‘it is not a good economic deal’> and we leave … or maybe even just pull back.


That absence will be filled with something.

Filled by what?


I have no clue <although I could guess>. But just as in the business world … if I leave an empty space someone will fill it. Choices have larger consequences.




Maybe even scarier? Unintended consequences.


Far too often we view foreign policy and global affairs through a lens of “what we did and what happened.”


Why shouldn’t we do that? Well. That’s easy.

Doing so provides answers that are frankly so easy that … well … are just too simplistic for something like the intricate world of foreign alignments, alliances and global affairs.


What’s hard?


“What would have happened if we had done nothing?”




“What would have happened if we had done something else?”   



Trump is a master at having a ‘big brain’ when viewing what happened but seems unable, and unqualified, in assessing the consequences of doing nothing <which is incredibly hard and anyone who suggests it isn’t … well … is wrong>.

“We should have” is the most common phrase used by people with little brains.



Let me now go to … well … global conflict.

conflict enlightened


Trump simplistically views the world as “every man for himself” in combination with a seeming point of view that Word War 2 was the last of the world wars and another could never happen. That naive point of view got us into … well … World War 1 and World War 2.


Whether you believe America gets too involved globally or whether you believe America is no longer “strong enough” America has a global role in the delicate balance of … well … creating balance so that conflict is managed <which positively affects global prosperity>.


I have said it before and I will say it again … conflict will always exist.

Eliminating conflict is a pipe dream. That doesn’t mean we should accept conflict and ignore it … it means accept conflict as not a reflection of having done anything wrong and deal with it when it occurs.





‘Every man for himself’ global breeds an attitude where the consequences look … well … not that attractive. A stronger nationalistic attitude globally would naturally breed a stronger “I versus we” attitude. There will be more winners and more losers and … well … from a national perspective … a nation losing begins to think desperate measures type actions.


Today’s world is almost dependent upon at least a strong thread of a “we” attitude.


Needless to say … there is nothing “we” about Trump <who is all about ‘I’> and there is nothing “we” about Trump’s global perspective. Inherent in “we” being successful is a belief, and understanding, that “I” will not always get everything I could get every time … but will get more in the end.


There is nothing in that last sentence that Trump subscribes to.


So while I clearly subscribe to a ‘there will always be conflict’ belief … there are degrees of conflict. weakTrump’s ‘every man for himself’ attitude increase the likelihood of a higher level of conflict than a ‘we’ attitude driven policy foundation.



In the end.


I fear he is a hollow man.


One who can only fill the hollowness with narcissism <”I am well liked & I have a big brain & only I can fix this”>.


I fear he is hollow because his ideas & thoughts far too often reside on the simplistic surface of reality and ignores the depth & breadth of what reality is.

He either purposefully ignores the depth & breadth or he is ignorant of the depth & breadth.


I get aggravated if it is the former and get scared if it is the latter.


Last night in a darkly painted vision of today’s world & country Trump said:


“Our plan will put America First. Americanism, not globalism, will be our credo.

As long as we are led by politicians who will not put America First, then we can be assured that other nations will not treat America with respect.”


want to be like you hollow man trumpWell.


That in a nutshell summarizes the naïve view of … well … Life.


For in those words he implies the only way to gain respect is to act only as an “I” and that within a “we” world a country, or a person, no one can be first. And, well, first is all that matters.


For in those words he implies globalism is a hollow idea and that first can never be achieved, at any time, by creating a rising tide for everyone but rather if it is only our tide that rises.


For in those words I can only find a wretched hollow view of what America is … and what it needs to do to be ‘exceptional.’


Welcome the hollow man at your own risk. His naiveté with regard to reality is … well … frightening.

Enlightened Conflict