At The American Interest, I take a look at how the new US defense review might tee us up for war with China:
Instead of a tit-for-tat race to the belligerent bottom, perhaps the Obama strategy augurs the dawn of a true sphere of mutual prosperity for East Asia.
On the other hand, the differences between the present situation in the Pacific and the one that led to World War One may be far greater than the similarities, and U.S. policymakers ought to beware the limits of such a comparison. In at least four key ways, today’s China is quite unlike the Germany of the now-distant past. More important than the rhymes or echoes of history are the novel circumstances that define the strategic contours of the US-China relationship. Those circumstances, combined with America’s response to them, may make the future of that relationship more dangerous than any that Britain or the United States experienced with the Germans. Unfortunately, American efforts to avoid a Guns of August-style tinderbox could be planting depth charges capable of touching off a worse conflagration to come.