What Is the Most Dangerous Place in the World? Washington

With increasing audacity and aggressiveness, Donald Trump is putting the Constitution and the norms upon which American democracy depends to the test.

Experts in international security often prepare lists of the most dangerous places in the world. Kashmir, for example, always appears in those rankings. It is a border territory that is being fought over by India, Pakistan and China, and has been the cause of armed conflicts. India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons, increasing the danger of a minor armed confrontation growing until it becomes a grave threat to global peace. Syria, another dangerous place, also illustrates how local conflicts that escalate end up affecting an entire region and beyond. These days, we are seeing how Turkey is taking advantage of international circumstances to conquer new territories, alter borders and repress the Kurds. The Arabian Peninsula, Persian Gulf, Northern Caucasus countries and Korean Peninsula are some of the places where local or binational conflicts have the potential to become international.

However, this list of the most dangerous places in the world needs to be updated. Today, the epicenter from which serious threats to global stability radiate is … Washington. More precisely, the White House.

The same president who presented himself to us as a master in the art of the deal and as a consistent winner has done nothing but lose and allow the most infamous dictators of our time to manipulate him. His new friend, the bloody North Korean dictator, made Trump believe that he was willing to dismantle his nuclear arsenal in exchange for Washington removing sanctions. Meanwhile, the North Korean tyrant has continued testing his nuclear bombs and the long-range missiles that carry them. The autocratic president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, persuaded Trump to withdraw American troops from Syria and let Turkish forces invade the north of the country and “neutralize” Kurdish militia. Trump did not care about the decisive role that the Kurds played in the fierce struggle against the Islamic State. Trump’s concession to his Turkish friend is costing him dearly inside and outside his country. In fact, allowing Erdogan his military adventure achieved what up to now has been impossible: making Republicans in Congress vote overwhelmingly with Democratic senators in criticizing the president’s decision.

It is also evident that President Trump feels more comfortable with his other best friend, Vladimir Putin, than with his country’s Congress. The latest evidence of this was his decision to veto a resolution proposed by the European Union condemning Turkey for its invasion of Syria. The other country that vetoed the resolution? Russia. Trump has not had much success in his commercial war with China either, or with the decision to withdraw the U.S. from the nuclear agreement with Iran, his management of the crisis between Saudi Arabia and its neighbors, negotiations with the Taliban, his relations with his European allies, and of course, his attempt to put U.S. international policy at the service of his personal interests, both electoral and commercial. In general, the United States’ loss of power and influence in the world brought about by Trump’s actions will go down in history as one of the most devastating geopolitical developments. But in spite of the seriousness of the instability that Trump has caused in the world, the greatest danger that today emanates from the White House is not international, it’s domestic.

With increasing audacity and aggressiveness, Trump is putting the Constitution and the norms upon which American democracy depends to the test. Trump has challenged Congress, denying senators their constitutional right to obtain documents or to subpoena public officials or citizens who have relevant information. The president’s grotesque attacks on opposition politicians, against people who have worked with him and ended up repudiating him, against the media and journalists, are constant and growing. This is not the simple verbal excess of a histrionic politician; it is dangerous, anti-democratic behavior.

The threats that democracies face were pointed out by a young American politician in 1838. Abraham Lincoln, at 28 years old, explained that, in order to counteract such threats, his country’s democracy had to cultivate a “political religion” that emphasized reverence for law and dependence on “[r]eason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason.” It is obvious that Trump does not feel any great reverence for law or fact, and that the U.S. is going to depend on its institutions and leaders to preserve its democracy. A lot is at stake.

A strong American democracy benefits not only America but also the rest of the world. That is why the efforts to undermine democracy that we are seeing today in Washington make that city the most dangerous place in the world.

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About Lisa Carrington 64 Articles
Lisa is a freelance translator in English, Spanish and Portuguese. She has a BA in Spanish for Translation and Portuguese and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists. She is passionate about languages, specifically translation.

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