Donald Trump is inheriting the leadership of a nation that is only stable on the barest surface. From the economy to terrorism to racial tension to porous borders, the next President is going to find that the surface paint the Obama administration has slapped on the nation is quite thin. Beneath it lies tremendous problems that must be solved with haste.
There are multiple existential threats to the fabric of civilization that are working against us overseas. These elements receive very little attention from a mainstream media and a DC environment that chooses to keep us as distracted as possible, but the reality is that we’re in the most precarious moment of volatile world events since WWII. We are led to believe that these are nothing new when in reality every component has escalated to the point of near-emergency.
Russia is making global moves faster than they ever have, even faster than the USSR in the two decades prior to their fall. They have their greatest foothold in the Middle East and are quickly mobilizing to be more than a nuisance in eastern Europe.
Iran and North Korea are emboldened more than they’ve ever been as well. With two of our strongest allies – Israel and South Korea – squarely in their crosshairs, it’s only a matter of time before one or both of the zealots leading these countries will make moves that force the United States to take action.
China is a giant, but more importantly they’re growing more desperate. Like the former USSR, they are starting to buckle economically under the weight of their own failed policies. Unlike the USSR, they are much less likely to go down quietly. More importantly, they have a stranglehold on the world economy that is a near-match for the United States’ fiscal influence. Their power grows daily almost as quickly as their desperation; most don’t realize they have a bigger debt problem than we do. Their holdings in the United States are substantial and if they get to the point of extreme action, they have the capabilities to take us down with them.
These facts should worry us. Trump may be a great negotiator, but the geopolitical moves that need to be made over the next 4-8 years are far more complicated than anything he’s ever faced. The Art of the Deal won’t help him if Iran continues to feed arms to their terrorist proxies. This is why the Secretary of State needs to be absolutely incredible. It needs to be someone who can fix the problems that have been brewing around the world for the past two decades of failed foreign policy. The next Secretary of State has to be able to make peace and make threats in the same breath. They need to be dynamic, respectable, and capable of undoing the damage that John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and President Obama have done over the last eight years.
The Secretary of State needs to be better at nearly everything than Donald Trump himself. Then, this person needs to be given the authority to make, remake, and unmake deals on behalf of President Trump with the same degree of credibility as if it came directly from the Oval Office.
Unfortunately, I may be describing a fictional person. None of the potential picks we’ve seen so far have been the level of statesman we require in this precarious time. Very few people come to mind who can fit the bill. Whoever it is, it’s imperative that President Trump gives this person every ounce of support he’s capable of mustering for another human being. The world is ready to erupt from more potential hotspots than we’ve seen in our lifetimes. The person who leads the State department will be the difference between a world that turns the corner and a world that explodes into chaos.