Just like Rome, America will fall if it continues to be unable and unwilling to defend its borders with the force of arms.
In my negotiating class at Northeastern, we had a cool prof who taught us the hardball tactic of the stinky goat gambit. This gambit is brilliant in its simplicity: you simply bring a stinky goat into the negotiating room and then extract concessions from your opponents for the privilege of removing it. Like all hardball tactics, this one carries a risk. The goat stinks as much to you as it does to your opponents, so you must rely on the element of surprise to get them to cave to your demands. Keeping the goat in the room is no more an option for you than it is for them.
Trump, powerless and out of options, played this gambit last week when he introduced the stinky goat of escalating tariffs against Mexico. Needless to say, Trump was fully aware that these tariffs would never go into effect for the simple reason that their stench is every bit as bad for America as it is for Mexico. While it is true that prolonged tariffs that enjoy broad political support would force manufacturers to abandon the Mexican market in favor of the US, this is not the situation in reality. In reality, the short-term pain that these tariffs would inflict on Americans and especially those in politically crucial border states as well as the bipartisan and bicameral opposition to them in Congress, make tariffs against Mexico very stinky indeed, most of all to Trump himself.
Of course, Mexico signed something. Not to do so would cause Trump an unnecessary loss of face, something that Mexican government would rather avoid, if possible. It is likely that they will pretend to hinder the passage of migrants from Central America through Mexico and somewhat possible that this hindrance will cause a small and temporary reduction in the onslaught on America’s southern border. This ripple, however, will be as short-lived as it will be meaningless in the grand scheme of things. “But then Trump will just hit them with tariffs again, this time for real!” you say. No, my friends, he will not. The stinky goat trick can only be played once, you see, before everyone is smart to it and the element of surprise is lost. Whatever modicum of indulgence Trump has now received from the corrupt and paid-for Senate Republicans, he will not get again.
The idea that Mexican soldiers and police, all of whom are Latinos with lots of Mayan and Aztec heritage will fight to stop people just like them from Central America from coming to the US and taking it over is historically ludicrous. The Roman Empire fell because, while they had the most powerful military in the world, it consisted of Gothic tribes hired to defend Rome from other Gothic tribes. It was only a matter of time of course before these “defenders” and “attackers” who spoke the same Germanic dialects and had much more in common among themselves than they did with the Romans decided that they would join forces and sack Rome together.
President Trump is truly one of the most tragic figures in history. Ostensibly in command of the most powerful and best funded military forces the world has ever seen, sitting atop a federal bureaucracy of unparalleled girth and might, he is in fact nearly powerless. His orders, as has been well-documented, are simply laughed at by the bureaucrats and the generals. He cannot even void the security clearance of a retired apparatchik, let alone command American power and might on the battlefield and off it. American joint command is filled with officers who have never really fought for their country against an equally powerful and determined enemy like their predecessors did in WWII and even in Korea once the Chinese joined the fight.
American federal bureaucracy is chock full of Trump haters who have no intention whatsoever of following his lead come hell or high water. The House of Representatives has a majority of Trump Derangement Syndrome victims who wish for nothing more than to see him and his entire family brought to ruin and the Senate has likewise minded though smaller majority split between Democrats and never-Trump “Republicans”.
A healthy nation, a nation that has retained its will to survive, shoots to kill, once every other means of deterrence has failed, those who attempt to unlawfully cross its borders. In a healthy nation, the Commander in Chief of the armed forces commands his generals to use all necessary force to defend the border against all unlawful crossing attempts, regardless of who is making them. In a healthy nation, military leaders understand that their primary duty is to defend the nation’s borders and consider an order to do so the most legitimate order of all.
Now ask yourself: is America such a nation? Is America healthy? Can the American Commander in Chief issue such an order to the American military? Will American generals, knowing the situation, have already prepared a plan of action that calls for the occupation of a strip of Mexican territory ten miles deep everywhere that illegal entry of personnel and other illicit materiel is occurring and holding that “security buffer” for as long as is needed to put a complete stop to illegal cross-border activity and help the Mexican government break the back of the criminal cartels? The answer to all these questions, as we all very well know, is a resounding no. None of this is remotely plausible, which is why, unless something changes, America, like all nations in history that found themselves unable or unwilling to defend their borders, will most definitely fall.
Great essay! Close to my own opinion but when i I point out the endless historical facts supporting it, the reaction from my pals is generally a puzzled look. They are bombarded with nonsense that makes them feel too special and secure. Not likely they can be sufficiently awakened any time soon either.
On the other hand, savvy people–maybe more than you think– realise that we’re hardly likely to survive this mess without taking some short and maybe long haul losses. If that’s Trump’s only card maybe he should sell the reasoning to the public.
Trump is suppose to be the Commander and Chief of the army. His vision was always simply to make a better deal for American business. Truthfully, he has no ideology. He never had any ideology. He was a business major. He never read history. He has never read literature. Trump is marketing and branding. He was once a builder. Deals are what he does, all he does.
And now you say he is really powerless. Perhaps and to a larger extent, in a wider context certainly. Everything you have postulated is true, but not insurmountable. Trump has 60 millions Americans supporters. He has the scandals and public opinion and the mid term elections to consolidate political power. What he lacks is vision and commitment and you can’t paper over that void with gold leaf.
“He never read history. He has never read literature. Trump is marketing and branding.”
hä? Do you actually know that he has red Sun tzu, is citing old greek generals and talks about Aristotle?
Do you know how complicated and hard it is to be a “builder” and a “marketeer”? You need to know everything about marketing, psychology and physics, chemistry and so on..
you are dumb.
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This is the stupidest essay I have read in ages. Your history lesson lacks substance. The Roman empire did not fall because the ‘soldiers’ would not fight against their own blood. The empire fell because they were too spread out and lacked the ability to maintain disparate objectives. They collapsed under their own weight. Additionally, the Romans did not have ‘borders’ to defend. As for your analogy of the stinky goat, your professor is a fool. There are only two elements of strategic negotiation. Entry and exit points, and determining what these are is the essence of strategic negotiation. As for tariffs; the use of tariffs from an economic standpoint only hurt the consumers if a ‘best alternative forgone’ does not exist. In the case of Mexico, the US has plenty of options to purchase replacement good without the encumbrance of tariffs. There is essentially nothing that Mexico provides the US that we cannot purchase elsewhere. Therefore, the tariffs hurt Mexico, not the US.
nice try never trumper pletner, but only idiots are going to swallow the drivel you are spewing. its funny how never trumpers just can’t bring themselves to appreciate our president, who has done so much to bring America back from the brink of socialism and oblivion. their hatred and stupidity runs deep, under the guise of academia and superior intelligence.
Trump may have come into the presidency without as much background knowledge & developed philosophy as some might like, but he is a quick study & has done an admirable job in sifting through people to find the most talented for each slot. He inherited an organization that the communist Obama spent eight years building into a leftist fighting machine. There is so much to do, I cannot fault Prez Trump. He faces the greatest congressional opposition that any president has ever faced from a leftist foe that is 100% supported by our communist enemies.
What has caused this incredible buildup of illegals attacking our southern border are NGOs funded by communists that are recruiting, training, equipping & transporting illegals to our southern border in order to both overrun our systems, but especially import voters for Democrats to win all future elections. These NGOs must be eradicated if the problem is to be solved.
However, the longterm problem for the world doesn’t center around the USA. It centers around Israel & the Middle East. And it is with this that Prez Trump is being very effective in his support for Israel. The war to end all wars is coming soon, and it will be held at the borders of Israel…
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The Mexican Finance Ministry said on Thursday it blocked the bank accounts of 26 people for their alleged involvement in human trafficking, as Mexico broadens its migration clampdown under intense pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump.