Using Game Theory To Understand Our Dangerous Times – OpEd


“If you want to kick the tiger in his ass, you’d better have a plan for dealing with his teeth.” – Tom Clancy, The Teeth of the Tiger

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: “Game theory is the study of the ways in which interacting choices of economic agents produces outcomes with respect to the preferences (or utilities) of those agents, where the outcomes in question might have been intended by none of the agents.”

Two quotes which could not be more different but have the same defining results. Here’s why – we live in a dangerous world, created by the naïve wisdom that the U.S. can run up more than $600 billion in debt in one month and have zero consequences, negotiate away realist balancing with Iran, while having the U.S. national security advisor, Jake Sulivan state publicly on September 29th two weeks before the slaughter against Israel, “The Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades,” and allow over 8 million people illegally into America since Joe Biden dubiously took office for the dual purpose of cheap labor and they will vote for the Democratic Party. 

Millions of these economic agents hate America, American citizens, and American values based on the Judeo-Christian understanding of separation of government and human rights for all. Our elite universities have embraced this fatalistic nihilism exhibited by their worship of Hamas, rabid antisemitism, and demonstrations in most Democratic-run cities glorify violence against Jews, including babies being ripped out of mother’s wombs. 

To make my point, the Wall Street Journal reported, “Hamas operatives behind the Oct. 7 terrorist attack were given specialized training in Iran, and it involved up to 500 militants.” 

Continuing with interacting choices leading to questionable outcomes.

China is now engaged in an economic war against the U.S. China monopolizes a staggering number of rare earth metals and materials vital to a modern economy such as lithium, cobalt, gallium, germanium, graphite (unbelievably dirty to mine but crucial for so-called energy transitions), magnesium and others used in everything from electric vehicles to iPhones. This geopolitical gamesmanship is backed by voracious amounts of cheap and reliable coal-fired power plants. U.S. national security is now at the doorstep of the Chinese Communist Party for all of these materials. The U.S. Geological Survey has recently published what it has identified as, “the top 50 mineral commodities critical to the US economy and national security.” Predominantly, China dominates rare earth metals and mineral mining and processing.

Chinese proxy, North Korea, the week of October 20-26th staged provocative military actions, “including missile launches, air drills, and artillery firing over a single night in what appears to be unprecedented belligerence in recent years.” Then, weakness by a U.S. President who cares more about climate change, unachievable net-zero mandates which will literally destroy electrical grids, and power for the sake of power have severe consequences

Now add Moscow into the mix. On February 5, 2023, Tehran and Moscow reportedly agreed to build a factory in Russia to produce approximately 6,000 drones. Moving forward to May 9, 2023, the U.S. revealed Iran was supporting Russian efforts to build a drone factory near Moscow. Now, U.S. forces have carried out airstrikes in Syria against Iran-linked militants and installations backed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) after drone and rocket attacks on U.S. bases. Iranian strikes left over a dozen U.S. troops with Traumatic Brain Injury according to the Pentagon. 

In addition, on October 8th – “a subsea gas pipeline connecting Finland and Estonia was damaged, in what Finland investigators believe may have been deliberately sabotaged.” Finland and Estonia have ongoing investigations into the nature of the sabotage. NATO has vowed “determined” responses if the allegations are true. Signs point to Russia and Putin. Putin typically feels emboldened when America is weak and distracted. With a possible brutal, northern European winter upcoming there is no better time to destroy a vital natural gas pipeline. After a recent cold snap, Germany fired up a refurbished coal unit (LEAG’s Jänschwalde block F) in the eastern part of the country disintegrating away their dreams of a world without fossil fuels while animating Putin to continue his quest of NATO disintegration

Putin also would have watched and likely laughed when his newfound Chinese allies welcomed Gavin Newsome to China to talk about climate change. Surely Mr. Newsome (the ostensible Democrat to replace Biden) knows China, “has permitted 152 GW (of new coal-fired power plants) and 169 GW of new plants have been announced since the current spree in early 2022.”

China, likely along with Russia’s backing has added more dirty coal plants to accelerate economic development and geopolitical gains during the current five-year period (2021-25) than compared to other five-year economic planning periods. Delusional policy thinking by Newsome, literally nothing he does in California or America will make a dent in emissions until China, India, and Africa are on-board with cleaning up their environments. 

We have now kicked the tiger of child-like geopolitical, foreign policy, national security, and energy choices without considering the consequences. Here are possible outcomes based on our dangerous, possibly fraudulent electoral choices and geopolitical malfeasance. 

Russia invaded Ukraine, likely destroyed a pipeline in possible retaliation to the U.S. destroying Nord Stream 1 and 2 underwater gas pipelines between Russia and Germany and Putin is now assisting the Iranian mullahs with drone attacks on U.S. forces. Not out of the realm of possibility the Russians helped the terrorist attack on Israel for greater regional influence. They are allies, and the Russians are ensconced in Syria where attacks are happening between Israel, the U.S., Iranian proxies, and other Islamic militant factions. China welcomes the hapless Gavin Newsome to bolster their climate change credibility leading to further badgering of Taiwan. Western education and media institutions back Newsome for U.S. President over Biden since he mentioned their biggest issue – climate change – with the world’s largest emitter. This allows China to back Russia economically who backs Iran, which allows chaos to reign in the Middle East. Then China could achieve the unthinkable and engulf Taiwan, and Russia to continue finishing off Ukraine while allowing Iran their chance to finally kill off the Jews and the State of Israel. 

The other part of this horrid game theory exercise is whether the U.S., Israel, maybe NATO, and certainly Asian allies such as Japan, South Korea, and increasingly Vietnam, which has a putrid hatred of the Chinese will use nuclear weapons?

Follow the steps or outcomes in question. For the U.S. it’s doubtful, but for NATO, whose former Supreme Commander has warned of, “a ladder of escalation,” it is no longer beyond the realm of possibility. Israel has said, “never again.” That means their unacknowledged, “deliberately ambiguous” nuclear arsenal could be unleashed. Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam will not sit back like patsies and allow Taiwan to be engulfed and not go nuclear. Particularly, Japan. China still hates Japan over World War II atrocities, and the South Koreans are the wild card since they still have deep distrust over Japanese brutality during the same war.

The scariest part of these predictive scenarios is within the U.S. We know the Democratic Party used political paramilitary groups such as Black Lives Matter (though changes are brewing in the group) and Antifa thugs similar to Brown Shirts in Nazi Germany in the mid-30s to sway elections and cow the electorate. Besides these two groups the Democratic Party is now unleashing indoctrinated students, antisemitism, and Palestinian and Islamic groups chanting “Palestine must be free and from the river to the sea!” to sway U.S. elections. 

Hell will be paid, but how? 

These nihilistic Hamas-loving warriors are the new SS for the Democratic Party, and Republicans are too scared of the media, academia, and the legal system to fight back. Game theory increasingly shows silence and ideological fervor will kill America, or at the very least elect another weak leader who will bow to America’s enemies. Ending this exercise seemingly unconnected events point to Biden eventually unleashing Israel and the U.S. military, because he is losing to Trump; same way he was during the last election until Democrats loosed Antifa and BLM on an unwitting citizenry shocked at the display of lawlessness and carnage from Seattle to New York. Watch what takes place after Israel invades Gaza, then Lebanon, and tens of thousands of Muslims die from Israeli military excellence. Or will the continuance of  out-of-control inflation based off printing trillions in worthless money leave America vulnerable to a world ruled by China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. 

Currently, there is so much venom and hate within western society, seemingly anything can be justified in the pursuit of winning elections. The world is ruled by judgmental plutocrats in the west, and authoritarian megalomaniacs in China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. With most U.S. elections now being seen as suspicious when ballots are counted, and trust in U.S. institutions at an all-time low based off the last Presidential election, game theory gives a prudent template for where the U.S. and global order is headed in this dangerous crescendo.

Todd Royal

Todd Royal, M.P.P. is the Managing Partner for Energy development, Oil & Gas, and Renewables for Ascendance Strategies, a global threat assessment and political consulting firm that is based in Los Angeles, California

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