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Op-Ed: Todd Wood: These Will Be A Very Dangerous Six Months

July 13, 2016

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President Obama will leave office at the end of January next year.  Until then, the United States is in for a very dangerous period in our history.  With either a Trump or a Clinton win in the 2016 presidential election, there will be a more hawkish foreign policy, although with a different agenda, depending on the candidate.


Trump will focus on rebuilding America’s military strength and defeating the Islamic State as a threat to our country.  However, he will be loath to get entangled in foreign conflicts unless the United State’s existence or our way of life is threatened.  Hillary most likely will show the same type of instincts she exhibited during her reign as secretary of state, a reckless adventurism that will cost American lives-strong cover up to follow.

The Obama administration has made it a hallmark of the Obama presidency to weaken American power around the world.  This weakness has come with terrible consequences.  Dictators are on the march.  Freedom is being diminished anywhere you look.  Those elements which have gained power at the expense of American security and that of our allies will not go retreating back to their lairs quietly.  They are enjoying their newfound oats.  Without a strong America that stands up for freedom, there is no other policeman of last resort.  The conquest doctrine is alive and well.  All you have to do is look to the South China Sea, Eastern Europe, or the Middle East for evidence of this fact.

I am worried primarily about the South China Sea.  Obama has allowed our navy to atrophy, most likely on purpose, in order to prevent America from pursuing its influence globally.  The Chinese are well aware of this fact and are aggressively placing military capability on their newfound islands in the region, one of the most active shipping lanes in the world.  This is an inevitable flash point and one that could get very scary, very quick.  The best way to prevent a war is to be strong enough that no one will want to mess with you.  Weakness invites war.  Trump understands this geopolitical truism but it will take time to rebuild what Obama has wrought.  The Chinese have a short, finite window to cement their control in the Pacific, formerly the American lake.

Less prominent in the news but just as deadly is the situation in Eastern Europe between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the former Soviet satellites of the Baltics and East Ukraine.  The situation across this region is simmering.  Soldiers are dying on a regular basis in Ukraine despite the Minsk peace accords.  In Russia’s eyes, the best way to prevent its former subjects from going over to the dark side of the European Union is to keep them unstable, off balance, and unsuccessful.  You have seen this technique being used in Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, and to a lesser extent, the Baltic region.

I haven’t even discussed the Middle East or North Korea, but these situations are very dangerous as well.  Yes, these next six months will be very dangerous as our adversaries attempt to use the Obama window of weakness to achieve their nefarious objectives at our expense.  It makes me worry for my children’s future.

L. Todd Wood, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, flew special operations helicopters supporting SEAL Team 6, Delta Force and others. After leaving the military, he pursued his other passion, finance, spending 18 years on Wall Street trading emerging market debt, and later, writing. The first of his many thrillers is “Currency.” Todd is a contributor to The Washington Times, Fox Business, Moscow Times, the New York Post, the National Review, Zero Hedge and others, and he is a foreign correspondent for Newsmax TV. For more information about L. Todd Wood, visit