Cambridge, MA – Former Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter will join the Harvard Kennedy School as the Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. As Secretary of Defense, Carter, a physicist, became known for pushing the Pentagon to “think outside its five-sided box” in order to transform the way the military fought adversaries and strengthened alliances, managed its budget and talent, developed its technology, and more. He will now lead the Belfer Center’s programs and will focus his scholarship on the role of innovation and technology in addressing challenges at home and around the world.
China and the United States are heading toward a war neither wants. The reason is Thucydides’s Trap, a deadly pattern of structural stress that results when a rising power challenges a ruling one. Twelve of 16 cases in which this occurred in the past 500 years ended violently.
If Hollywood were producing a movie about China and the US on a path to war, central casting could find no better lead for Team America than Donald Trump. Is China serious about replacing the U.S. as the dominant power in Asia in the foreseeable future? Could Americans accept becoming No. 2? How will Trump’s vow to “Make America Great Again” impact this epic rivalry? Could a trade conflict or accidental collision in the South China Sea cascade into war? Is war between Washington and Beijing inevitable?
To answer these provocative questions, please join Graham Allison, Niall Ferguson, Samantha Power, and Arne Westad for a JFK Jr. Forum at 6:00 pm on March 22nd. The Forum event, held on the first floor of the Littauer Building, is entitled Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? This event is open to the public.