It's October, Surpise!

How a Desperate Trump Will Win on November 3, 2020

This is Trump's last chance. The thought dawned on me as I was reading Andrew Krepinevich's 7 Deadly Scenarios. It's a military analyst's apocalyptic look at mapping possible routes to nuclear war. Krepinevich is a prominent figure in Washington. I interviewed him here:

But this short essay is not about him.

It's about the 8th scenario.

It's a familiar one, too: The October Surprise. There may be other, better pinatas out there for an incumbent autocrat angling for re-election, but October captures the imagination. In a moment when Russia desperately wants to influence our elections, and Trump is stepping on his big red tie, a digital dive bomb by the GRU might not do. A more drastic approach might be required, and the scene is being set.

On the sea. For months front-line Russian bombers have been making dangerous low-level combat runs at US warships in the Black Sea. Russian destroyers have set flank speed collision courses at US warships in the Philippine Sea. (Russians in the Philippine Sea?)

In the air. More recently, Russian TU-95 bombers accompanied by lethal SU-35 fighter escorts have penetrated the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (AADIZ). US F-22 fighters have been scrambled to meet them. What could go wrong? If someone got a bloody nose in the Black Sea, or dog fight broke out over the Bering Sea, sabres would rattle. Maybe drawn.

On the ground. If that happens, look for a national knee jerk. The US always rallies around the President in times of military conflict. In one or two headlines, Trump could look tough on Russia, and the Pentagon would be forced to put the political sins of White House aside.

It's 57 days until October and 90 days to the election. Covid-19 has been allowed to run wild. Who's going to be there to vote, when war, the plague, and 8th scenario threaten the nation?

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