Is Stopping World War Three the Donald’s ‘Trump Card’ for Winning the White House?

Donald Trump seems to have hit on a winning plan for returning to the White House – by convincing voters he is the candidate to prevent World War Three.

The Republican candidate is lately pitching the importance of ending “the horrible war” in Ukraine to prevent the United States from sliding toward a nuclear conflagration with Russia.

Trump is slamming Democrat rival Joe Biden for fueling the conflict by recklessly supplying U.S. weapons that are provoking Russia and risking the start of World War Three. That’s true enough.

After Biden’s disastrous TV debate with Trump last week, the polls are showing Trump slightly pulling ahead. The Democrat campaign is in panic mode after the incumbent president’s shaky performance confirmed public misgivings about his deteriorating mental health.

Still, however, Trump has not capitalized on taking a decisive lead in the polls. The Republican is at most a couple of points ahead of Biden –  even after the latter’s slow-motion car-crash TV debate.

Trump could pick up a lot of ballots among large numbers of undecided voters and propel his return to the White House by posing as the “anti-war candidate”.

At election rallies, the former president is touting his supposed ability to bring an immediate end to the war in Ukraine. Trump is saying he would cut off military aid to Ukraine and call on the Kiev regime to negotiate with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump is boasting that he could broker an immediate peace deal if he wins the election in November and implement a settlement even before his inauguration in the Oval Office in January 2025. Thereby preventing World War Three between the nuclear-armed U.S. and Russia.

That might seem like a sound campaign plan. A large majority of Americans – some 70 percent – want their government to find a diplomatic solution to the two-and-a-half-year war in Ukraine. This reflects public opposition to the perception of another endless American war and the growing apprehension over an escalation in the conflict between nuclear powers.

Astutely, Trump is tapping into those legitimate concerns.

On the other hand, Biden’s administration is pushing ahead with military support for the Kiev regime in a way that seems insanely reckless. This week, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced another $2.3 billion in military aid to Ukraine. Biden has said he will support Ukraine for as long as it takes and shows no sign of backing away from military confrontation. The president has approved the supply of longer-range missiles to Ukraine and given his permission to strike Russia.

The issue of war and peace – and without exaggeration the issue of world peace and survival of the planet – could be the one that wins the White House for Trump.

Biden does not have a reverse gear when it comes to his policy of supporting Ukraine in a futile war that it is losing badly and only provoking Russia.

Such madness is bound to be a vote loser and yet Biden and his administration appear to have no way back from the abyss. Combined with Biden’s appalling policy of supporting Israel – especially for younger American voters who would normally lean toward a Democrat – Trump could exploit the anxiety over Ukraine to his electoral advantage.

It’s not just about the danger of an all-out war with Russia. The American public is rightly incensed by the vast amounts of taxpayer money – over $100 billion at least – being shelled out for a corrupt regime in Kiev while so much public need is neglected at home.

The trouble is Trump’s lack of credibility. Ordinarily, a presidential candidate declaring his opposition to starting World War Three would be a clear winning platform, one would think.

Recall the first time Trump ran for the White House back in 2016 when he promised all sorts of splendid things about making America great again by stopping endless U.S. wars around the world and putting an end to “American carnage” at home.

Trump did not deliver then despite all his braggadocio about “draining the swamp”. During his presidency, Trump broke the taboo of supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine. In 2018, he approved sending $47 million worth of Javelin anti-tank missiles to the Kiev regime while it was attacking the ethnic Russian population in the former Ukrainian territory of Donbass. That military backing of the Kiev regime led to the current conflict after Moscow intervened in February 2022 to stop the merciless killing of the Russian population.

On Trump’s recent bragging about how he would quickly end the war in Ukraine, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, dismissed it as empty “subjective” talk. That’s a diplomatic way of saying Trump hasn’t a clue about resolving the conflict.

Trump is all about the expedient winning of votes, not about winning genuine peace. The only way to create a peaceful resolution in Ukraine and elsewhere is for the U.S.-led NATO military bloc to scale back from Russia’s borders and eventually disband in conformity with international law. NATO is a self-appointed war machine to serve Western imperialist power and one that is in flagrant violation of the UN Charter and the upholding of international law. NATO exists to enforce U.S. power unilaterally without any respect for international law – despite the American and European rhetoric about “rules-based order”.

The war in Ukraine is but one symptom of the United States as a failing and frustrated imperialist power. Washington’s hostility towards Russia is consonant with its relentless belligerence towards China and its support for Israel’s genocide in a desperate bid to control the Middle East. Trump is on board with U.S. imperialist power projection against China and slavishly supporting the Israeli regime. His talk about criticizing NATO expenditures is just carping to get Europeans to pay more for the American protection racket. The only thing different from Biden is a superficial matter of style and a seemingly more reasonable view of the conflict in Ukraine.

Posing as a candidate to avert World War Three over Ukraine might be enough to get Trump back to the White House. It might work as an electioneering ploy. But it won’t change a damn thing about stopping U.S. imperialist violence and the constant threat to world peace that Washington and its NATO war machine engender. The Donald’s “trump card” for peace in Ukraine is another worthless deuce.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.