Avoiding Thucydides’ Trap
What strategists need most at this moment is not a new strategy, but a long pause for reflection. If the tectonic shift caused by China’s rise poses a
challenge of genuinely Thucydidean proportions, declarations about “rebalancing,” or revitalizing “engage and hedge,” or presidential hopefuls’ calls for more “muscular” or “robust” variants of the same, amount to little more than aspirin treating cancer. Future historians will compare such assertions to the reveries of British, German, and Russian leaders as they sleepwalked into 1914.