President Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon apparently once told a historian that he thinks a "massive new war" is on the horizon. Historian David Kaiser, who worked with Bannon on Generation Zero, a political documentary released in 2010, told Time that when he interviewed Bannon for the film he was "taken aback" when Bannon — now Trump's right-hand man — "began to argue that the current phase of history foreshadowed" an impending war.
Bannon's basis for the theory was The Fourth Turning, the same book that inspired the documentary Bannon directed. The book suggests that history comes in repetitive four-phase cycles that last, on average, about 80 years. In each cycle, generations "have fallen into crisis, embraced institutions, rebelled against those institutions, and forgotten the lessons of the past — which invites the next crisis," Time explained.
Bannon interpreted the 2008 financial crisis as an indication that this cycle is nearing its end. "I remember him saying, 'Well, look, you have the American revolution, and then you have the Civil War, which was bigger than the revolution. And you have the Second World War, which was bigger than the Civil War,'" Kaiser told Time. "He even wanted me to say that on camera, and I was not willing." Kaiser noted that, overall, Bannon seemed to have a "rather severe outlook on what our nation is going through."
Since Trump assumed office, Bannon has played a key role in concocting Trump's torrent of executive orders, one of which includes a ban on people from seven Muslim-majority nations entering the U.S. Recently, Bannon was given a seat on the National Security Council, which The New York Times noted puts Bannon "over the president's top military and intelligence advisers."
Head over to Time for more on "the second most powerful man in the world."