Destined for War.
Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?
by Graham Ellison The author is Harvard professor, a student of Henry Kissinger, and served presidents in defense department roles since the 1980s. I heard about the book on the Think show on the local NPR affiliate KERA.
Thucydide':s Trap is the historical situation where a rising power threatens (maybe not intentionally) the existing power making war either inevitable or dangerously possible. It was first articulated by the Greek historian Thucydides regarding the conflict between Athens (rising) and Sparta (existing). The author goes through several examples through history including America's rise in the early 20th Century when Britain was the existing world power. War did not result but well-managed cooperation prevented conflict.
The book examines a rising China bumping up against the existing United States. A well-managed, patient and cooperative relationship is required to navigate the inevitable transition. Chapter 8 ("From Here to War") lists five scenarios that start off small but might lead to armed conflict between China and the US. Thought-provoking stuff. Makes me hope that leaders on both sides have read Professor Allison's book.