Amid a global economic downturn and civil unrest, analysts across the ideological spectrum have acknowledged that the world appears to be on the verge of a potentially unprecedented conflict.
Former President Donald Trump weighed in on this ongoing discussion by sharing his concern that “we could end up in World War III” because of disputes involving Ukraine and Taiwan.
He offered his stark assessment during an interview on Tuesday, citing Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine and China’s hostility toward Taiwan as two of the issues that cause him the greatest concern.
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Following Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s latest provocations, Trump noted the possibility that nuclear weapons could ignite a powder keg with global reverberations.
“I think we’re at the most dangerous time, maybe in many, many years — maybe ever — because of the power of nuclear,” he said.
Putin called up military reservists earlier this month to advance his goals in Ukraine, asserting that his country “will use all the instruments at its disposal to counter a threat against its territorial integrity,” ominously warning that “this is not a bluff.”
Citing the Russian leader’s claim, Trump said: “For a major nation that’s equal with us on nuclear power to be throwing around the word cavalierly, like nuclear, is a very bad time — a very bad time for this country and a very bad and a very dangerous time for the world.”
Although Trump’s critics disparaged his apparently congenial relationship with Putin at the time, he now says that the ability to communicate with the Russian leader would have likely prevented the current situation.
“I got along with him very well,” Trump said. “I spoke to him. I understood him. He understood me, probably. But I understood him well, and he would have never done it.”
Meanwhile, China has increased its threats to take over Taiwan by force, which U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently acknowledged “poses a threat to peace and stability in the entire region.”
President Joe Biden complicated matters by repeatedly insisting that U.S. troops would defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack, which seems to run contrary to the standing policy of strategic ambiguity endorsed by previous administrations.
Most recently, the president fielded a related question from “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley, affirming twice that American forces would defend Taiwan “if, in fact, there was an unprecedented attack.”