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...A warning label: It’s going to scare the hell out of you. It starts with the Athenian historian’s chronicle of the conflict between Sparta and Athens in the fifth century BC as a way to tackle the larger question of whether war can be averted when an aggressive rising nation threatens a dominant power. Allison, a renowned Harvard University scholar and national security expert, studied 16 such cases over the past 500 years; in 12 there was war. For three-quarters of a century, the US has been the dominant world power. China is now challenging that hegemony economically, politically and militarily. Both countries, with vastly different political systems, histories and values, believe in their own exceptionalism. The two nations, Allison argues, are “currently on a collision course for war,” which he says can be averted only if both demonstrate skill and “take difficult and painful actions to avert it”. ...Live Mint on June 12, 2017, 11:58 a.m.
...That’s wishful thinking by the Washington chattering class (of which I’m a longstanding member). The chatterers flatter themselves with the thought that the president is listening more to people like them, favouring mature, global-minded advisers boosted by his son-in-law Jared Kushner over the coterie of nationalists led by White House strategist Steve Bannon. In that narrative, Trump is growing toward mainstream Republicanism as he begins to appreciate the grave responsibilities of his office. If you look at the way that he has been moving, despite all of the talk about broken campaign promises, he’s actually moving closer to the mainstream of the Republican Party. Maybe even the broader, bipartisan mainstream about America’s role in the world. That heartens a whole bunch of Capitol Hill Republicans. ...Live Mint on April 19, 2017, 10:24 a.m.