By Keith Nobles

I suspect that in regard to trade, Trump has a strategy and that strategy is a component of foreign policy and defense.

I am just gravely doubtful that the strategy can succeed. I think there are just too many dependencies and too many moving parts.

I know Trumpsters like to call these people who have recently left the administration ‘swamp creatures’ and what not, but these are the people that Trump selected and I am thinking they don’t think the strategy can work either.

Earlier this week Mattis released a call for changing the direction of our defense. It was oriented around parity with countries like Russia and China. In other words, the era of the United States having unquestioned military superiority is drawing to a close. To the point made, it has been decades since the United States lost a ship in combat or squadron of aircraft in an entire war let alone in a single engagement. That is probably not what future military conflicts look like. It has been a very long time since we fought someone that had parity with us. In the document Mattis specifically said military success for the United States is not preordained.

Seems to me that most everyone, pro-Trump and anti-Trump, are trying to refight past battles and assuming what has been will be when Mattis quite explicitly said this week that will not be so. The world is changing and that change will only accelerate over the next decade.

I will give Trump credit for trying to drive those changes in the favor of the United States but I think Trump is doing that in a context of trying to save things that cannot be saved. The United States has tremendous, even lethal, internal problems that we are socially and politically unwilling to sort out in any intellectually or morally honest way.

We in the United States do not want what has been to change – we feel we are entitled to what has been and we behave as though it always will be. Math and everyone other country in the world do not agree with what Americans feel they are entitled to.

Rather than working and focusing on how to succeed and prosper in the new era that we are entering, we are fighting against that change happening at all.

It will happen if we want it to or not.

We will lose that fight and perhaps also the opportunity to prosper and succeed in the new era if we keep at this fratricide we love so dearly.

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