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Are China and the United States Headed for War? (newyorker.com)
11 points by DLay 120 days ago | hide | past | web | 14 comments | favorite

War exists now in many more dimensions than in previous centuries including non-conventional weapons and cyber, in addition to public sentiment, economic, social, political and military.

Considering the CIA's loss of double-agents, I'd say China maybe winning the HUMINT arms race at the moment.

There's too much to lose with direct military engagement (nuclear MAD), so competition will be limited to proxy wars, "sharp-elbow" island capture and overflights, trade wars and cyber attacks. The question becomes at what point does hard proof of attacks in these other domains necessitate an escalation of limited hostilities in the conventional dimensions (ie military).

See previous HN discussion on China and the 'Thucydides trap' (2015) [1]

And also - "There is no Thucydides trap' - an essay/review of Graham Allison's book by Chinese history scholar Arthur Waldron - "In this book review, he argues persuasively against a concept that has become a pillar of establishment thinking on China." [2]

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10309448

[2] http://supchina.com/2017/06/12/no-thucydides-trap/

It's a concern, but hardly in the Top 5 of Problems Facing Humankind.

War is inevitable. It's tragic that still sounds like a reasonable statement thus far into the 21st Century.

Why is war inevitable?

Because the article all but see so.


No. China recognizes it has far too much to lose in a war with the United States, and America realizes it too. There will always be saber rattling, and tension, because each wants to dominate a sphere of influence. But war? No. Proxy wars? Absolutely but all out, country to country combat? No.

No way. Who would produce the stuff for west then? Western world will be in big trouble if that happens.

china is growing into its mantle as world hegemon to replace the crumbling US.

there might be war, or there might not be. china isn't about to start shit when they could be making money hand over fist with anyone and everyone. they're not about to be bullied, either.

In all honesty with all of the things the US is entangled with in the Middle East and Europe, I cannot imagine yet another conflict. It just feels like we would be stretched much too thin with our resources and at some point would collapse.

Some people are much more enlightened in this day and age but history has taught us that war is inevitable. We are a violent species, and eventually chance prevails and enough mistakes are made to trigger something unstoppable.

I don't think the tragedy is violent human nature; more the fact that some problems just don't have peaceful solutions.

One group of people don't voluntarily give up dominance over land (and other finite resources) to other group of people. Wars don't happen because people get bored, wars happen because people want what someone else has.

Perhaps, but a more optimistic read might be that we are a violent species slowly learning to restrain that tendency. Many primitive societies lived in a state of more or less continual war; today war is the exception rather than the rule. Certain types of wars, like wars of conquest and wars of genocide, are much less common today than they once were. Concepts like "war crimes" have emerged to restrict battlefield behaviors that a thousand years ago would have been considered unremarkable. And so forth.

If we can keep from killing ourselves for long enough, maybe this trend can lead us to a place where violence is just one more chapter in the history books.

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