Graham Allison is the Douglas Dillon professor of government at Harvard Kennedy School, where he has taught for five decades, and a leading analyst of national security. Allison was the founding dean of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and served as director of its Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs until 2017. He was assistant secretary of defense under President Clinton and special adviser to the Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. A best-selling author, Allison’s latest book is “Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?”
More About Graham Allison
The authors suggest guidelines for American foreign policy, ways in which it should be carried forward, and considerations which should be taken into account in the process.
Fifty years ago, the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Today, it can help U.S. policymakers understand what to doand what not to doabout Iran, North Korea, China, and presidential decision-making in general.
Other than the security of chemical weapons, there are no vital American national interests in the developments in Syria.
The companion website for Graham Allison’s book, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’ Trap?, offers supplementary materials well-suited for a classroom.
"In the long sweep of history, when a rising power threatens to displace a ruling power, alarm bells should sound: extreme danger ahead."
"Graham Allison expresses broad agreement with Kori Schake and admiration for her work. He notes three areas of potential discussion, however: First, he notes that strategic realities particular to the nineteenth century shaped the transfer of hegemony from the UK to the United States; second, he suggests we need to be clearer on what is meant by “contesting” China’s rise; and third, he argues that each country’s domestic challenges are likely to be more important than we may know."
"Graham Allison shows why a rising China and a dominant United States could be headed towards a violent collision no one wants -- and how we can summon the common sense and courage to avoid it."
America and the USSR found ways to avoid military confrontations as they engaged in a fierce but peaceful competition to show which system worked best. Perhaps this model offers hope for Washington and Beijing today?
" 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."
"Are the U.S. and China doomed to battle? Or to put it another way, are they Sparta and Athens? That’s what’s meant when foreign affairs observers toss around the phrase 'Thucydides Trap.'"
"In 1978, nine in every 10 people in China - with a population of 1 billion then - were scrambling for a living below the 'extreme poverty line' at just under $2 per day as set by the World Bank. Today, that's been flipped on its head."
"Defying the long-held convictions of Western analysts, and against huge structural differences, Beijing and Moscow are drawing closer together to meet what each sees as the 'American threat.'"