You are invited to join Hall Gardner himself in a special discussion and signing of his new book,
World War Trump: The Risks of America's New Nationalism!
Hall Gardner will be discussing his book, World War Trump: The Risks of America’s New Nationalism, at WH Smith in Paris on Friday September 14, 2018 at 6pm.
Gardner has long warned that the uncoordinated NATO and European Union enlargement into former Soviet spheres of influence and security would provoke a Russian revanchist backlash. That Russian backlash has already taken place since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Yet contrary to general perceptions that Trump is soft on Russia, the Trump administration had actually begun to strengthen the “containment” of Russia almost immediately since it came to power. Trump has tightened sanctions, urged NATO members to spend at least 2%, if not 4%, of their GDP on defense, while providing Ukraine with greater military capabilities in the ostensible aim of regaining the Crimea. Trump believes that his “peace through strength” policy will press Moscow toward a solution, but as it stands now, without pursuit of viable peace negotiations since the collapse of the Minsk accords in 2017, Trump’s policy is a formula for permanent war.
Gardner’s book examines the twists and turns of Trump’s foreign policy pronouncements from the beginning of his presidential campaign to his first 300 days in office. The book argues that Trump’s economic protectionism and major military and nuclear weapons buildup will alienate America’s friends and rivals alike. The unintended and perilous consequences will be to press Russia, Iran, Turkey, and China into a closer counter-alliance versus the United States, Europeans, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, thereby polarizing the global system. And despite Trump’s efforts to impose sanctions on China, it is Beijing that will benefit most from US conflicts with both Russia and Iran.
The book warns against too strongly backing Saudi Arabia against Iran, as this will exacerbate the horrific war in Yemen and make it more difficult to stabilize the conflict in Syria, while concurrently pushing Iran closer into the Sino-Russian orbit. As Trump had refused the advice of Jordanian King Hussein, the book likewise warns against official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, without granting the Palestinians a viable confederal state as an offshoot of the two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as a capital. As seen in the ongoing conflict among the Israeli-Palestinian border, the risk is that the Palestinian question will continue to destabilize the entire region if a fair resolution cannot soon be found.
The book predicted that Trump would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, and it urges the creation of a “peace and development community” for the Korean peninsula, somewhat similar to Trump’s proposed “peace community.” But the book also argues that it is not certain that this crucial project will succeed, if Washington and Beijing cannot work together. Not only do the two countries need to find a mutual accord in working with both Koreas, but both the US and China also need to work out an accord over Taiwan and the “One China” policy as previously formulated by the Nixon administration. A US-Chinese rapprochement will prove even more difficult given Trump’s strong protectionist measures and sanctions against China.
Against this dangerous and destabilizing unilateralism and militarism, it is argued that the only workable means of maintaining a peaceful world order is through patient and thoroughly engaged diplomacy and a realist rapprochement with both Russia and China that is intended to ameliorate global tensions and prevent the formation of polarizing alliances that will bring Moscow and Beijing even closer together with Iran, Turkey, India, among other states.
Although the major focus of World War Trump is on international issues, the book also examines the interrelationship between domestic politics and foreign and defense policy. The book thereby addresses the issue of Trump’s possible impeachment and argues that the US should consider implementing a one-term presidency as has been proposed since Andrew Jackson’s time. In essence, it is argued that both global peace and the amelioration of class and ethnic tensions within the US itself—given the burgeoning gap in the distribution of wealth, power and influence—will require radical reforms in the American system of governance and in the huge socio-economic and geopolitical costs of sustaining the monstrous US military-industrial-congressional complex, much as President Dwight Eisenhower had forewarned in his farewell address almost 60 years ago.