How might this super-paranoid Trump scenario play out?

If you’re going to suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome, might as well have some fun with it, right?

Say it’s summer, 2020. The Dems won the House in 2018, the economy’s slumping, and Trump’s getting killed in the polls. Desperate for a boost, he nukes North Korea, claiming he was alerted to an imminent attack necessitating a pre-emptive strike. Let’s also say the strike was 100% successful, destroying Kim’s nuclear capabilities (along with most of Pyongyang) before a counterstrike could be launched.

I’m not interested in a political debate. (I loathe Trump and don’t need to be reminded why.) But I’m interested in two threads of discussion:
[li]Domestically, could anyone provably demonstrate that the strike was made under false pretenses? (There’s no one left in Pyongyang to dispute Trump’s claims.) Does anyone in the US military break the chain of command to tell the truth, and does anyone believe them?[/li][li]Internationally, do China and/or Russia launch strikes against us? How do our allies (if we have any left) react?[/li][/ul]

Have at it, Dopers!

(btw, I’m at work, so may not be able to respond promptly)

You don’t need North Korean to dispute the claim, you need US intelligence reports that validate the claim.

OK, clarifying the scenario: Trump’s lackeys have cooked up intelligence reports beforehand that validate the claim. It will take someone in the military or intelligence chain of command to challenge their validity.

Even then, the radioactive fallout would poison Russia, china, South Korea, Japan, and other countries. Trump would anger Putin as well as the entire world.
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Do either of those countries have a defensive pact with North Korea? I don’t know, that’s why I am asking.

China does, and they recently said that they would fulfill their defensive commitment to North Korea if they were the subject of an attack; but they would not if North Korea started a war.

This scenario is so far out there that it’s not worth trying to discern what China would do in such a scenario. So I’m going with… in response to the attack, China will revive The Apprentice and convince Donald Trump to come live in luxury in Shanghai for the taping of the new season.

He would certainly anger all kinds of people, but what would be the response? Probably not retaliatory nukes, because whatever country that fired them would be glassed.

I think the likelihood of a predictable chain of results is very low. I think expecting the unexpected is about all there is.

I don’t think Trump is paranoid in any real sense. Just focused exclusively on whether you’re making him feel good about himself. If you’re not, then off with your head. He does not switch in and out of this attitude, this attitude is the sum total of his thoughts and of his existence.

The paranoia I referred to in the OP is not Trump’s, but my own.

Don’t encourage the nincompoop!

Trump goes on to demand a Nobel Peace Prize for “solving” the Korean War, suggesting that if he doesn’t get one, he’ll “maybe light up Oslo too, who knows folks, it could happen, I dunno…”

27% of the American public fully support his actions.

Just 27%? No wonder he’s desperate.

The big problem is that of course his opponents would claim that the attack was launched under false pretences. So Trump will lay out the evidence presented to him, and if it turns out to be false, well, he can only act on what information he has. Remember Stansislav Petrov?

So anyone claiming a put-up job has to present good evidence of that claim. Not only proof that the evidence was false but proof that the conspiracy originated in the Trump campaign.

Indeed, just to take your paranoia further, the masterstroke might be for Trump to stand down as a candidate afterwards in favour of his VP-select.

It’s worth pointing out that in this scenario, Seoul is completely destroyed. And the remnants of the South Korean government are going to verify that their intelligence services said that there was no attack imminent. In an international situation like that, I’d expect that all of the world’s nuclear powers would be against us. We probably will have incoming Chinese ICBMs, because at that point, there’s no reason for them not to launch: A deterrent isn’t any good versus a madman, and no other nation on Earth is going to oppose them.

Internationally the US becomes a pariah. Nobody is stupid enough to launch an offensive particularly given how unstable and itching for a fight Trump is. But severe economic and diplomatic sanctions are put in place until Trump is deposed and his successor takes verifiable actions to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.

As far as the military/intelligence services goes, there are enough principled members that somebody is bound to spill the beans. Its not illegal to break the chain of command in response to a war crime. I actually think there might be a better than even chance that it gets scuttled somewhere along the way before the missiles would actually be launched.

A far likelier scenario is that of a large domestic terrorism incident, false-flagged to Antifa, days before the election so that people only have time to react to it viscerally, rather than intellectually. Remember, you heard it here first.

Just remember that the US intelligence services went along with the invasion of Iraq. Not as serious, sure, but that is why I have a bit of sympathy with Trump’s distrust of the CIA and FBI. They have their own agendas and it is not mine. Remember James Comey who for some reason decided he wanted Trump.

That is not a given. Indeed, a strike done properly would ensure that Seoul was not harmed.

I highly doubt China loves North Korea to the point of risking its own cities by nuking America on Pyongyang’s behalf.

“Properly”? I’m curious as to how you are envisioning a nuclear strike on North Korea would happen without NK having enough warning of incoming missiles to fire on Seoul (assuming all those batteries of weapons pointed at Seoul are as functional as believed).