Could the U.S. and China back into a war? From Ron Unz at unz.com:
Over the last couple of years I’d begun seeing our growing conflict with China described as an inevitable consequence of “the Thucydides trap” but hadn’t been entirely sure of the source of that idea. Decades ago, I’d had a very strong interest in Classical Greek history, so the reference was obvious to me: the bitter rivalry between a dominant Sparta and a rising Athens that had led to the decades long Peloponnesian War that devastated Greece. But only recently did I discover that the term had been popularized in Destined for War, a 2017 national bestseller by Harvard’s Graham Allison, which had followed his earlier 2015 Atlantic article on the same subject.
- The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?
In 12 of 16 past cases in which a rising power has confronted a ruling power, the result has been bloodshed
Graham Allison • The Atlantic • September 24, 2015 • 3,700 Words
Although I’d never read any of Allison’s previous works, he’d become the founding dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government just a couple of years before I’d entered the college as a freshman so I’d been quite familiar with his name for decades. His topic concerned me so I decided to read his relatively short book as well as his original article on the same subject.
Allison’s entire academic career has been extremely sober and respectable, and this surely magnified the impact of his incendiary title and dramatic prediction. The front of the paperback edition was packed with a remarkable ten pages of glowing endorsements by a long list of the West’s most prestigious public figures and intellectuals, ranging from Joe Biden to Henry Kissinger to Gen. David Petraeus to Klaus Schwab. It seemed obvious that his message had struck a deep chord, and his national bestseller received enormous acclaim, being selected as a book of the year by the New York Times, the London Times, the Financial Times, and Amazon. So even as far back as six years ago, the serious possibility of an American war with China had become a very hot topic to our political and intellectual elites.