Now that 2017 has ended with a whimper it is possible to look forward to what the new year might bring. Nuclear armed North Korea is the potential flash point for a new war, but unless leader Kim Jong-un is actually intent on personal and national suicide, it is unlikely that Pyongyang will take the steps necessary to escalate and trigger such an event. Far more dangerous is the Trump White House, which seems to confuse acting tough with acting smart. Every time Secretary of State Rex Tillerson mentions negotiating he is contradicted by Nikki Haley or the president saying that diplomacy has played out, but the reality is that the incineration of the Korean peninsula and the deaths of hundreds of thousands or even millions, which such a war would inevitably produce, might just be a bridge too far even for the generals and assorted psychopaths that appear to be running the show. Which means that at a certain point the diplomats, perhaps in an arrangement brokered by Russia or China, will have to take over. Let us hope so anyway.
And the United States has also shot itself in the foot regarding Russia, an adversary with which Donald Trump once upon a time wanted to improve relations. But that was all before a politically driven Russiagate happened, turning Moscow into the enemy of choice once again, as it once was during the Cold War. In any event dealmaker Trump did not appreciate that you can't improve relations when you threaten a vital interest of those you are wanting to improve relations with. The United States and its allies persist in running military exercises right on Russia's borders under the false assumption that President Vladimir Putin heads an expansionist power. The recent decision to sell offensive weapons to Ukraine is a move that serves no American interest whatsoever while at the same time threatening Moscow's vital interests since Ukraine sits right on its doorstep. It is a bad move that guarantees that relations with Russia will continue to be in the deep freeze for the foreseeable future.
Note that all the major problems that America is experiencing versus the rest of the world are pretty much self-inflicted. In my view, looking beyond Russia and North Korea, America's principal foreign policy problems continue to be centered on the Middle East and all originate in the deliberate instability generated by Israel, currently joined in an unholy alliance by its former enemy Saudi Arabia. The Tel Aviv (excuse me, Jerusalem) to Riyadh axis is current working hard to bring a new war to the Middle East as part of their plan to have the United States military destroy Iran as a major regional power.
One might reasonably observe that the United States has no vital interest in what either Israel or Saudi Arabia does, but it does have some minor interests in the region, which include not allowing the area to become a breeding ground for transnational terrorist groups and safeguarding the movement of energy products so there will be no surge in prices that would hurt the energy dependent U.S. economy. That's about it, and the interests neither include nor justify starting World War III.
The problem with Israel is that it and its powerful billion-dollar domestic lobby have their hooks so deeply embedded in the American political system as well as in the national media that the Jewish state is virtually bullet-proof. Most recently, we have learned that Facebook has been deleting critical accounts at the request of the Israeli government. Meanwhile, that same government has been working hard to make any consideration of Palestine or the Palestinians disappear, recently successfully demanding that the National Basketball Association remove a website reference to Palestine, which Israel's sports minister described as an "imaginary state." NBA Commissioner Adam Silver apparently agreed. Even recent blockbuster revelations that Israel rather than Russia had been corrupting Team Trump produced a few Israelgate stories before disappearing completely down the memory hole.