Why The Risk of World War Is Rising
Washington’s Blog
January 13, 2014
Top economic advisers are forecasting war and unrest.
They give the following reasons for their forecast:
Countries start wars to distract their populations from lousy economies
Currency and trade wars end up turning into shooting wars
The U.S. is still seeking to secure oil supplies, and the U.S. doesn’t like any country to leave the dollar standard
Additionally, the American policy of using the military to contain China’s growing economic influence – and of considering economic rivalry to be a basis for war – is creating a tinderbox.
As the New York Times noted in 2011:
For a superpower, dealing with the fast rise of a rich, brash competitor has always been an iffy thing.
Just ask … Thucydides, the Athenian historian whose tome on the Peloponnesian War has ruined many a college freshman’s weekend. The line they had to remember for the test was his conclusion:“What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta.”
So while no official would dare say so publicly as President Hu Jintao bounced from the White House to meetings with business leaders to factories in Chicago last week, his visit, from both sides’ points of view, was all about managing China’s rise and defusing the fears that it triggers. Both Mr. Hu and President Obama seemed desperate to avoid what Graham Allison of Harvard University has labeled “the Thucydides Trap”– that deadly combination of calculation and emotion that, over the years, can turn healthy rivalry into antagonism or worse.