In this episode of the MWI Podcast, Maj. Jake Miraldi speaks to Dr. Graham Allison. Earlier this year, Dr. Allison completed his 22-year-long tenure as director of Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His latest book—Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?—examines the likelihood of war between the United States and China, based on a series of historical case studies in which a dominant power was confronted by a rising power.
That the book’s title takes the form of a question is important, because there are a range of complex and interconnected factors that will determine whether the two countries will fall into the trap that so many countries in similar situations have throughout history. In this fascinating conversation, Dr. Allison examines some of these factors and describes what he believes to be the most likely drivers of any future conflict between America and China.
Listen to the full episode below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the MWI Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app. While you’re there, we’d love it if you would take a moment to give us a rating or leave a review. It’s a great way to help us reach even more listeners interested in the conversations we feature.
Note: this episode originally ran in 2017.
Image credit: Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle, US Army
There are a number of things that weren't addressed.
The notion of "saving face" – China has always felt like a third-class country and it drives their viewpoint of the world. They lie and think nothing about it. Their agreement with Great Britain over Hong Kong; their signature as a member of the United Nations (human rights, freedom of religion, etc.); and not abiding by an international court ruling concerning the S. China Sea are but a few examples.
China's tentacles stretch far and wide into S. American, Africa and the Middle East. China's neighbors are intimidated, not only by their naval and military forces, but by the money they lend or wave over their heads.
Past administrations have turned a blind eye towards China and many, even today. There are some who can be found visiting it and the U.S., usually always cautioning whatever current administration is in place to ignore Chinese aggression, as they make a lot of money as advisors in their consulting firms, for instance.
China means to do us ill and they will when it is advantageous for them, not us.