Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, November 11, 2018

His Bone Spurs Were Acting Up

President* Trump faced criticism on Saturday while traveling in France after the White House canceled his trip to a cemetery in the northern part of the country due to bad weather.
Trump's conduct during the Great War Centenary has been nothing short of disgraceful and a national embarrassment.

Which brings me to my next point.

History may not repeat itself, but it has a rhythm. One of those rhythms is a situation known as a Thucydidian Trap, in which a rising power, seeking to assert itself, ends up in a devastating war with an established power.

There have been two such traps since 1900. One, primarily between Great Britain and Germany, which took place in three parts (war from 1914 to 1918, armistice from 1918 to 1939, and war from 1939 to 1945) ended up with well over 100 million dead and the effective destruction of the empires of Great Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, Austro-Hungary, Russia, Japan and the Ottoman Turks.

The second one, between the USA and the USSR, was avoided at a few points when cooler heads prevailed at different times. What helped was that the leadership of both countries had bright memories of the cost of a large war, were under no illusions as to the ease of such a war, and set up mechanisms to talk to each other in times of crisis.

We may be approaching another such trap between China and the United States. Only this time, nobody has any memories of the cost of an all-out war. One nation has spent the last quarter-century beating up on inferior foes. The other one hasn't fought a war in decades and, the last time they did, kind of got their asses kicked by a much smaller country.

The leadership qualities to avoid falling into a Thucydidian Trap are, to my mind, lacking in both nations. There may be some pissant junior officer on either side who sparks an incident that will lead to a general war and, quite possibly, a nuclear one.


dinthebeast said...

China is building up its military, and sooner or later some of them are gonna want to play with those expensive toys, and bullying Taiwan might not be the fix they're looking for.

-Doug in Oakland

CenterPuke88 said...

India, Doug, India.

Ed said...

Paranoia will destroy ya.

Unknown said...

The Bedford Incident

"Fire one!"

Comrade Misfit said...

Unknown, sorry to be late on this, but in the Navy, the word "fire" is exclusively referred to unwanted combustion... "fire in the galley", etc. Discharging any sort of weapon is "shooting".