PERSONAL NOTE: What an insightful title of his book whether China and USA can avoid or escape the Thucydides’ Trap? Professor Allison writes: “When Athens went to war with Sparta some 2 500 years ago, the Greek historian Thucydides identified one simple cause: a rising power threatened to displace a ruling one.” Not too long ago, there was a talk or rumor in mainland China (I was teaching at the university then as a visiting professor) how many Chinese students were up in arms against Japan, that China should just destroy or demolish the islands of Japan with one strike. There was a voice out there: how would that look to the world, a giant trying to step on a chicken or a small animal (Japan)…here we are seeing a new way of looking at the struggles between China and USA, that reminds us of the Thcydides’ Trap, between Athens and Sparta, a rising power (China) threatening to displace a ruling one (USA)…Professor Allison will tell you, you have to know China, because this will never happen to China. And that is why you have to listen to him, again…you have to understand China. The previous leader Hu Jintao was asked many times…is China interested to “colonize” the world…and he flatly said NO! China is not interested to rule the world but China is interested to help the rest of the world in win-win strategies on how to exploit their human and technological knowledge to better the lives of humanity…China is more interested how to help people to have a better life and live in peace, prosperity and harmony…and China has lifted over 800 million people out of poverty within the last 40 years! That is China…so according to Professor Allison, forget any ambitious goals of China to take over the world…or to conquer the world! That is not China’s goal and aim and ambition! China wants to live in peace with all its neighbors and countries around the world…The new Belt and Road Initiative focus on building and improving all the basic infrastructures of any nation or country because China knows very well without these infrastructures (like roads, highways, schools, institutions, communications, etc etc) a nation will not grow and prosper and take care of its peoples. A win-win strategy for the whole world! And is what President Xi Jinping is doing ever since he took over the presidency of China in 2013! So, go to YouTube and type in Graham Allison and listen to is voice and his thinking…you might learn a thing or two about what China is all about! steve, usa, december 19, 2018 firstname.lastname@example.org https://getting2knowyou-china.com
Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? 2017
by GRAHAM ALLISON (Author)
War with China is much more likely than anyone thinks. When Athens went to war with Sparta some 2 500 years ago, the Greek historian Thucydides identified one simple cause: a rising power threatened to displace a ruling one. As the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains, in the past 500 years great powers have found themselves in Thucydidess Trap sixteen times. In twelve of the sixteen from war between the French and the Habsburgs in the sixteenth century to the two world wars of the twentieth. The results have been catastrophic. Today the same structural forces propel China and the United States toward a cataclysm of unseen proportions even as both sides insist that such a war could never occur. In Destined for War, Allison compares the U S -China conflict to its closest parallel World War I. There a rising Germany threatened the supremacy of the British Empire. He sketches several scenarios in which America and China might slide against their intent and better judgment into a similar conflict. But he also examines the rare instances when two clashing powers have avoided disaster. Can our current standoff be one of those exceptions. Allison’s answer is essential reading for our age and those to come.
Who is Graham Allison? (I saw a YouTube interview!)
Graham Allison is the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard University where he has taught for five decades. Allison is a leading analyst of national security with special interests in nuclear weapons, Russia, China, and decision-making. Allison was the “Founding Dean” of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and until 2017, served as Director of its Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs which is ranked the “#1 University Affiliated Think Tank” in the world. As Assistant Secretary of Defense in the first Clinton Administration, Dr. Allison received the Defense Department’s highest civilian award, the Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, for “reshaping relations with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan to reduce the former Soviet nuclear arsenal.” This resulted in the safe return of more than 12,000 tactical nuclear weapons from the former Soviet republics and the complete elimination of more than 4,000 strategic nuclear warheads previously targeted at the United States and left in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus when the Soviet Union disappeared.
Dr. Allison’s latest book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? (2017), is a national and international bestseller. His 2013 book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States and the World, has been a bestseller in the U.S. and abroad. Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe, now in its third printing, was selected by the New York Times as one of the “100 most notable books of 2004.” Dr. Allison’s first book, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (1971), ranks among the all-time bestsellers with more than 500,000 copies in print.
As “Founding Dean” of the modern Kennedy School, under his leadership, from 1977 to 1989, a small, undefined program grew twenty-fold to become a major professional school of public policy and government.
As Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Clinton and Special Advisor to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan, he has been a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Advisory Board for every Secretary from Weinberger to Mattis. He has the sole distinction of having twice been awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal, first by Secretary Cap Weinberger and second by Secretary Bill Perry. He has served on the Advisory Boards of the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and the Director of the CIA.
Dr. Allison was the organizer of the Commission on America’s National Interests (1996 and 2000), a founding member of the Trilateral Commission, a Director of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has been a member of public committees and commissions, among them the Baker-Cutler DOE Task Force on Nonproliferation Programs with Russia, the IAEA’s Commission of Eminent Persons, and the Commission on Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation, and Terrorism.
Dr. Allison has served as a Director of the Getty Oil Company, Natixis, Loomis Sayles, Hansberger, Taubman Centers, Inc., Joule Unlimited, and Belco Oil and Gas, as well as a member of the Advisory Boards of Chase Bank, Chemical Bank, Hydro-Quebec, and the International Energy Corporation.
Dr. Allison was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was educated at Davidson College; Harvard College (B.A., magna cum laude, in History); Oxford University (B.A. and M.A., First Class Honors in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics); and Harvard University (Ph.D. in Political Science).