In Destined for War, the eminent Harvard scholar Graham Allison explains why Thucydides’s Trap is the best lens for understanding U.S.-China relations in the twenty-first century. Through uncanny historical parallels and war scenarios, he shows how close we are to the unthinkable. Yet, stressing that war is not inevitable, Allison also reveals how clashing powers have kept the peace in the past — and what painful steps the United States and China must take to avoid disaster today.
"Instead of sowing doubt and rancor, Trump missed an opportunity to move transatlantic relations in a constructive direction. Instead of lecturing America's allies on meeting an arbitrary defense spending target of 2 percent of GDP, he should have given his blessing for a sustained, long-term effort to harmonize defense efforts and create a genuine European defense force."
"U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has now released its budget plans for fiscal year 2018. Among the details provided in the document, entitled America First – A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again, are projections for the expected path of gross federal debt as a percentage of GDP, which is shown to decline from its current level of about 106% to about 80% in 2027. Debt held by the public is expected to mirror this path, shrinking from 77% to 60% over this period....Unfortunately, neither projection is credible."
"Within a month of becoming China’s leader in 2012, Xi specified deadlines for meeting each of his 'Two Centennial Goals.' First, China will build a 'moderately prosperous society' by doubling its 2010 per capita GDP to $10,000 by 2021, when it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. Second, it will become a 'fully developed, rich, and powerful' nation by the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic in 2049. If China reaches the first goal— which it is on course to do—the IMF estimates that its economy will be 40 percent larger than that of the U.S. (measured in terms of purchasing power parity). If China meets the second target by 2049, its economy will be triple America's."