US political scientist Graham Allison: Can history teach us how to avoid war between US and China?

A War is likely, but not sure?

In his latest book, Graham Allison, the dean of the American security studies establishment, asks rhetorically if China and the U.S. are “destined for war,” as the volume’s title puts it. Graham Tillett Allison Jr. is an American political scientist and the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

Read the book closely, and despite its periodic protestations that it was written to enable Beijing and Washington to avoid conflict, one cannot avoid the impression that this work, which is required reading in West Point, Annapolis, and Colorado Springs, is actually meant to lay out various ways of militarily containing China. This does not surprise those who have a long and deep familiarity with the bellicose history of American society even before its formal declaration of independence in 1776. And it would not be a surprise if the Chinese, who have been taught by experience to be utter realists when it comes to relations between states, would consider a preemptive or provocative move on the part of Washington as not only possible but probable. For the leaders of the CCP, which has lived through 100 years of crises and conflicts, the question is most likely not whether but when, where, and how it will take place.

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