Spoiling for a Fight.
The question is not ‘if’ Trump will go to war during his term but ‘when’ and ‘with whom’. Despite all of his rhetoric about not intervening in more foreign conflicts, it’s just too much in the nature of his ego and the hawkishness of his entourage for there not to be a war. He’ll also need a high-profile distraction for the inevitable failure of all of his pre-election promises. Heck, one needless war even got that dolt Bush Jr. re-elected for a second term, so I don’t see what Trump has to lose.
So, who will be the lucky invadee?
Too big and powerful and nucleary. I reckon the hostilities with China will be limited to posturing, light brinksmanship and a few trade kerfuffles. Even Bannon couldn’t be ‘that’ stupid.
A possibility. Both Israel and the Saudis would certainly encourage it. But this war would make Iraq and Afghanistan look like a slapping match in a kindergarten. The resources required could send the US economy into a tail spin.
It would certainly be very handy, having them so close by and everything. Not a whole lot of modern military might to deal with either. Quite tempting as a sort of feature-length version of the invasion of Granada. A lot of his supporters on the loony right would also be thrilled. However, one has to consider the profit motive. How much is there to gain by taking over a semi-strategic island with few natural resources? Sure, the idea of a Trump Tower in Havana and opening a half dozen golf resorts near Guantanamo Bay might appeal to the old fart but that won’t go very far to recoup the costs of a full-scale military campaign. The same argument concerning economic gain would apply to North Korea.
Naw. Why kill your whippin’ boy when he’s so darned good at being whipped. I honestly think Trump really enjoys the Biff Tannen-George McFly relationship he currently has with his friends in the south and wouldn’t want to spoil it. He might however carry out a few high-profile ‘incursions’ into Mexico to extrajudicially harass the narcos there. He has undoubtedly also considered schlepping a No Man’s Land on the Mexico border, North-South Korea style. That would bully the Mexican government nicely and show himself to be a strongman to his immigrant-fearing voter base. But an all-out invasion? I don’t think so.
The European Union?
Highly unlikely. Although he might allow Putin to muscle in on Eastern Europe without doing anything about it. Pissing all over NATO does seem to be on his agenda.
Now, this for me is the number one candidate. Why? It’s a poor, desperate, disorganised country that’s floating on oil. Its leader is an ignorant bully, much in the same mould as Trump himself, and professes to some sort of pseudo-left wing revolutionary tripe. It’s relatively easy to sail a fleet to and doesn’t get on particularly well with most of its neighbours. Excuses for an invasion? Oh, come on, provoking Maduro to do or say something idiotically hostile would be child’s play. And anyway, a large portion of the American public don’t seem to mind when Trump blatantly lies to their faces, so they’d hardly need much preconditioning for propaganda.
Mark my works, there may not be any overt hostility between the US and Venezuela at the moment, but there will be. It’s just too ripe for the picking.