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Destined for War: can America and China escape Thucydides’ Trap? Kindle Edition
China and the United States are heading toward a war neither wants.
The reason is Thucydides’s Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. This phenomenon is as old as history itself. About the Peloponnesian War that devastated ancient Greece, the historian Thucydides explained: ‘It was the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable.’ Over the past 500 years, these conditions have occurred sixteen times. War broke out in twelve of them.
Today, as an unstoppable China approaches an immovable America, and both Xi Jinping and Donald Trump promise to make their countries ‘great again’, the seventeenth case looks grim. Unless China is willing to scale back its ambitions or Washington can accept becoming number two in the Pacific, a trade conflict, cyberattack, or accident at sea could soon escalate into all-out war.
In Destined for War, the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding U.S.-China relations in the twenty-first century. Through uncanny historical parallels and war scenarios, he shows how close we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not inevitable, Allison also reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the past — and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid disaster today.
About the Author
- ASIN : B072QZSR7P
- Publisher : Scribe; B format edition (3 July 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 2127 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 389 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 43,281 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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These set of circumstances is what Graham Allison terms as Thucydides’ trap. He claims since the Peloponnesian war, there’ve been 16 times when countries have faced similar pressures and only four haven’t resulted in war. The Thirty years war, Crimean war and both the world wars have all been a result of Thucydides’ trap. He looks at the current situation of a rising China and established US and wonders if this would end up in war or will they manage to avoid it like the four times countries have in the past?
Brilliant and definitely worth a read.
The reward is a beautifully logical construction of perspectives and arguments leading to the key question and possible answers.
It would be interesting to see this book updated in another 5 -10 years to see what has changed