Newsline

Newsline , Society

Chaos Theory and Missing US Leadership

Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2023
|
by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
|
25 Comments
|
Print
chaos spelt out on letter blocks amidst jumble of letters

In physics and math, chaos theory is how we unpack what looks random, get to initial causes, examine underlying patterns, connections, feedback loops, how one decision affects others, how presence or absence makes a difference. The theory also works, to a degree, in global stability. Leadership matters.

You may have heard of the “butterfly effect,” a whimsical notion that one butterfly’s flutter could prevent or create chaos somewhere else, that the whole world tied together in some complex way. In math, specifically in deterministic non-linear systems, this is true.

Central to the butterfly effect and chaos theory, including stopping a chaotic event, is the idea that things could be non-randomly (or deterministically) linked and that much of what happens is “non-linear,” that is, some small input creates a major change in output.

In human behavior, we see shadows of the principle, unlikely connections – often unmeasurable – which nevertheless do affect events in a faraway time or place.

In historical terms, would the French Revolution have happened without ours, World War II without World War I, today’ war in the Middle East without prior conflicts? Probably not.

If we can look back and find links, why not look ahead and game them, use chaos theory to our advantage, reverse-engineer peace from models of a “deterministic non-linear system”?

Of course, we know this is an overapplication of math or we would all be defining the future we want and getting the right butterfly flutters now. That said, there is merit in cross-application for stability.

What we should appreciate – but many do not – is that, even if life is not game theory, actions taken or untaken do absolutely affect the future, some enormously, some slightly, many somewhat.

We know knock-on relationships exist everywhere, even if we live in world of innumerable, unmeasurable variables. Just knowing how interrelated we are, nations are, helps to restore peace.

Thus, a good leader would immediately realize that the United States, China, Russia, Europe, and key Middle East players are involved in a multilevel chess game, at once complex, hopeful, and deadly.

Decisions we make now, their exact proportionality, measured nature, and rightness, will affect many future events. It is worth understanding as many of these contingencies as possible, to avoid chaos.

What do I mean? How about this. Last week, NATO member Turkey broke with US policy by saying Hamas, which precipitated a terrorist attack on Israel and is booth political and militant, is somehow “not a terror group.” This looks bizarre, a sudden fissure in NATO, a jarring statement.

Why did that happen? Does Turkey’s Muslim President Erdogan believe that? Does he want to curry favor with non-terrorist Palestinians, displace Egypt, Jordan, or Saudi Arabia as peace broker? Get closer to Russia for mid-winter energy, hedge his bets with a rising China, prevent terror at home?

Are there other variables afoot? Is Turkey concerned that pro-Kurdish members of the US Congress will accuse Erdogan of being a terrorist, since he just bombed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) bases in Iraq?

Does America’s approval turn on his approval of us, does our approval of him matter, is he trying to look radical now to shift, concede or soften later?

Is Turkey’s sudden change of heart on admitting Sweden to NATO, leaving Hungary the long holdout, a way of Erdogan deflecting from that rash statement about Hamas – which jarred much of NATO?

Is Turkey playing both sides, giving NATO support for Sweden’s admission (as he did for Finland last year) and deflecting to Hungary, while preserving domestic standing with a 99 percent Muslim population?

If we are counting variables, did Turkey suddenly agree to Sweden’s admission to NATO also to get Biden’s State Department to ask Congress to “ok” sale of F-16s to Turkey – which he wants right now?

How, in turn, would ramping up Turkey’s airpower affect Europe, Mideast, Israel-Hamas war’s expansion?

Does Turkey want to avoid, or rather prepare for, being drawn into the war? If drawn in, how would this conflicted NATO member act? Join the US in supporting Israel, broker peace, use the conflict to hit Kurdish separatists in Syria, Iraq, internally?

While the world is complex, such questions are worth asking. This is just one ally. Add to the equation dozens of “hub and spoke” relationships, and you get a messy, multilateral entanglement, Gordian Knot.

Too much? No. The world is complex but we can hardly give up or cede leadership to China, Russia, Iran, Turkey or anyone else.  If hard to understand, the world needs us – our brains, heart, energy, history.

If we believe in our moral and physical power, and in global peace, even knowing the variables are countless, we need to ask tough questions of ourselves and others, act wisely, call the shots.

Even knowing we cannot reverse-engineer events to a butterfly flutter, prevent sectarian passion, or expect math to fix our chaotic human world, we must still try, have faith in our power to move the dial, assert real leadership, embrace “the good fight,” advance global peace, never cease.

Chaos theory has limits, as does American leadership. That does not mean we do not use it, learn from it, that it is not relevant. It is relevant. In some situations, leadership turns the dial. We have to try.

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

We hope you've enjoyed this article. While you're here, we have a small favor to ask...

The AMAC Action Logo

Support AMAC Action. Our 501 (C)(4) advances initiatives on Capitol Hill, in the state legislatures, and at the local level to protect American values, free speech, the exercise of religion, equality of opportunity, sanctity of life, and the rule of law.

Donate Now
Share this article:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
25 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
PaulE
PaulE
6 months ago

RBC,

Another excellent article, which hopefully will be appreciated by those here.

What may at first appear to be random, disconnected global events, by various world leaders and their respective countries, are in actuality part of an intricate, well-orchestrated plan with a clear set of objectives in mind. Frankly, all the foreign players you mentioned in this article were easy to read as to their ultimate intentions and motives well before they got what they wanted. Nothing truly happens in a vacuum when it comes to major global events. If they did, there would be no need for our intelligence services or State Department. Their jobs, after all, are to gather information and sort through ongoing events to determine the probable or potential effects that may result from the sort of actions you outlined in your article today and then hopefully pass it up the chain of command in order to take some appropriate counteraction before the situation gets out of hand.

What is sorely lacking today, by the current administration occupying the White House, is both the political will and frankly the intellectual heft to deal with the vast majority of situations that typically crop up on the global stage. Their default reaction to virtually everything is simply to throw more taxpayer money at whatever the problem is and hope the problem goes away or at least they can kick the can down the road far enough, so it is someone else’s problem. That’s NOT leadership by any stretch of the imagination. That is simply appeasement. As a result, all our adversaries, and there are many, have quickly learned that this administration is merely a carbon copy of the Obama administration. Which also saw international tensions boil over in a number of instances. Weakness and stupidity, coupled with a deep-seated hatred for the United States as it was founded, invite aggression from all directions and right now the United States government is oozing both in spades. Again, excellent article. Very enjoyable.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
6 months ago

Butterfly Effect: Elect a Democrat mayor, your city goes to s-t. Elect Joe Biden President, the world goes to s-t.

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
6 months ago

This article gets the gears turning , in the sense of reasoning related to mathematical thinking. Very good writing Robert . What you mentioned toward the end of article , I do believe is good for the spirit ,about how the world needs this Nation — our brains, heart , energy , history . That is optimistic to contemplate , it can help keep balance in a world that involves political power moves in various directions for different reasons at unpredictable times. And after that how we must try to do what is needed to fix the chaotic human world — I figure it would be much better if it were not chaotic .And giving it thought it is a matter comparable to the changing of the seasons really, things can be chaotic at times , and then certain patterns take over that bring s very welcome sense of order to the whole deal ! The idea of being open to giving things s try is very important .The value of real leadership to fight the good fight — surely needed since the attack on Israel earlier this month. And as long as there is an invasion taking place involving criminal gangs from south of the United States – Mexico border – that puts National defense in jeopardy – good leadership is a major part of the equation to keep things functioning right, to keep balance in the world . With respect for Honor, Honesty, Integrity ,Courage and Loyalty. Well Done with this article Robert ,much appreciated ideas.

.

Jeri
Jeri
6 months ago

Hamas is a terrorist group whose goal is killing and destroying for Allah and being rewarded with virgins to rape in the after life. What does that say about their mind set? Seriously think about that question?

Joyce
Joyce
6 months ago

Time to pull off the blindfolds and blinders! Terrorist groups exists! They are not your friends! They will kill any and all without a second thought!

David Millikan
David Millikan
6 months ago

Excellent article.
We haven’t had a Real Leader since President Trump.
That’s what happens with Election Fraud and Election Interference and for the past going on 3 years we have a COWARD and TRAITOR in the White House instead.

Barbara
Barbara
6 months ago

Just remember this. If hamas has access to nuclear weapons they will immediately target Israel then America. Do whatever is necessary to stop them. If we don’t then god help us because our government has been a failure so far in foreign policy.

Rik
Rik
6 months ago

Anyone with Common Sense KNOWS that HAMAS IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION whose ONLY EXISTENCE IS TO DESTROY ISRAEL! . . . They would also destroy America if given the chance but of course America doesn’t live “By an Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure!” But we shouldn’t be surprised if it happens since this Jackass leaves our Borders Open and Inviting to America’s enemies!

Melinda
Melinda
6 months ago

There’s the problem in a few words: the variables are countless. While I appreciate the premise of the article, no one can foresee all the possible unintended consequences no matter how well thought out. And for some reason, Americans seem to care what other nations think of us, while most of the world doesn’t give a damn what we think about them.

John Bass
John Bass
6 months ago

Another good article by Robert Charles.

Leadership matters. We’re living in a time when it’s never been more noticeable than it is right now. Look at the difference in the world compared to when Trump was at the helm and now that demented Joe is in control.
The world is in complete chaos. It’s not by accident either. Joey couldn’t figure out how to get out of a wet paper bag let alone handle the complexities of withdrawing from Afghanistan, securing the southern boarder and keeping adversaries like Iran, Russia and China at bay. The big guy seems to be more worried about keeping Trump out of the picture and shoving Climate Change down our throats than he is anything else. The world see’s this and the powers that be are taking advantage of it while they can, and that’s why the world is on fire today. America needs a true leader, not a self-centered thief whose selling his country down the drain to the highest bidder.

As for the nation of Turkey, I believe they’ve been playing both sides for sometime now. It hasn’t been that long ago when Turkey bought their air defense missiles from Russia and refused to buy American/NATO versions. I believe they’ve been the thorn in NATO’s side ever since being admitted in 1952. On the other hand, to play Devils advocate for a bit, what country doesn’t look out for their best interest…besides ours?

A Voter
A Voter
6 months ago

I typed “CHAOS” into an antique German Enigma machine. The result it spit out read “BIDEN”. I was not surprised.

CLIFFORD F GERACI
CLIFFORD F GERACI
6 months ago

“Weak Men (Biden Administration) create hard times (Ukraine invasion, Hamas terrorism in Israel, Taliban takeover of Afghanistan). The party of chaos and anarchy are in power.

Charles
Charles
6 months ago

All that is going on globally right now is leading the world to Armageddon NATO is of no use we are on the collision course to the end of this world as revealed in the Bible. How soon, no one knows but God.

Joanne4justice
Joanne4justice
6 months ago

Do U think America and our freedoms are stupid ?????

Joanne4justice
Joanne4justice
6 months ago

Indeed, a huge chess game is in progress. It is a huge global threat to all! I have said this before; this Potus and comrades are definitely leading America down the wrong path!!!!

bob Flechtner
bob Flechtner
6 months ago

Is that because you have been AARsanitized? I was there until Dan Weber broke through the BS in 2007 and allowed me to understand that I was being led down a road to big government.

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service
The knowledge, guidance, and choices of coverage you’re looking for. The exceptional service you deserve.
The AMAC App on 3 different iPhone
Download the AMAC App
The AMAC App is the place to go for insightful news wherever you are and whenever you want.
President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
Los Angeles - 22 October 2020: Man Watching Trump vs Biden Presidential Debate on a Smartphone, Close-up
Text fake news written with a typewriter. Closeup of an old typewriter and the text fake news typewritten with it in a yellowish paper
Summary of statewide results of the 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections by state Won by the Republicans in all four elections Won by the Republicans in three of the four elections Won by each party twice in the four elections Won by the Democrats in three of the four elections Won by the Democrats in all four elections

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

25
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games