The shadow of 1914 falls over the Pacific – FT.com

The flickering black and white films of men going “over the top” in the first world war seem impossibly distant. Yet the idea that the great powers of today could never again stumble into a war, as they did in 1914, is far too complacent. The rising tensions between China, Japan and the US have echoes of the terrible conflict that broke out almost a century ago.

“The mechanism in 1914 is instructive. Who could imagine that Serbian terrorists could kill an archduke no one had heard of and trigger a great war, at the end of which all contestants were devastated? …”The shadow of 1914 falls over the Pacific – FT.com

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How could the death of an archduke set off a massive war? Because the parties involved were in a pre-collapse state.

How could the self-immolation of a fruit vendor in Tunisia bring down the Middle East? Because the collapsing countries were already in a pre-collapse state.

Signs of a pre-collapse state:

1. A long period of relative stability.

2. Rigidity of thinking and governance.

3. Rate of information flow.

4. Signs of sensitivity to minor events.

What long peace brings – war.

“The Long Peace,” or Harbinger of Doom?

There has not been one war between the major powers in over 60 years. Historians say this is unprecedented and call it the “the Long Peace.” It seems to suggest that we have entered a new era of declining war and more peace. If your view of looking into the future is through a rear-view mirror, then this historical analysis is great. But what about the rest of us?

Please watch this video titled, “The Mathematics of War”:

“The Long Peace,” or Harbinger of Doom?

Rigidity of thinking and governance brings collapse.

Is the Collapse of China’s Communist Party Rule Near? – Project Syndicate

One question that should have been asked about the Chinese Communist Party’s just-completed leadership transition is whether the entire elaborately choreographed exercise was akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The installation of a new leadership may matter little if the end of CCP rule is both foreseeable and highly probable.

Many observers would find this assertion shocking. The CCP, they insist, has proved its resilience since the Tiananmen crisis in 1989 and the collapse of Soviet communism in 1991. Why should predictions of the collapse of CCP rule be taken seriously now?

Regime Change in China? by Minxin Pei – Project Syndicate

Is the Collapse of China’s Communist Party Rule Near? – Project Syndicate | 1913 Intel

The Coming Collapse: Authoritarians in China and Russia Face an Endgame

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The two countries have created the illusion of durability. Vladimir Putin has just begun a six-year presidential term, with an option for another. Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao are planning to hand over power in October to a new tandem, Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, who are expected to serve for ten years. Yet the evidence is growing that the apparent stability in Russia and China is untenable. For similar reasons, the two states have exhausted their current political and economic systems. Their rulers have grown rigid and are mired in corruption. Both their political elites and their average citizens are growing visibly restless. In the next decade, it is likely that one or both of these global powers will undergo an economic crisis and a dramatic political transformation. When and how it will happen is the most important “known unknown” that Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will face during the next US presidential term.

The predictions that systemic change is inevitable, and that it might be tumultuous, are coming not just from lonely dissidents or hostile Western observers but from stalwarts of the establishments in Moscow and Beijing. In February, a report prepared by experts from China’s Finance Ministry and the Development Research Center of the State Council, in cooperation with the World Bank, concluded that “China has reached a turning point in its development” and that a “strategic” and “fundamental shift is called for,” comparable to Deng Xiaoping’s embrace of the market economy three decades ago. “China 2030” warns:

Similarly, in late May a group of experts convened by Aleksei Kudrin, a mainstay of the Putin government for more than a decade until his resignation last year, issued a report declaring that “research shows that the crisis” in the Russian economy and political system “has become irreversible, regardless of the scenarios of its further development. Maintaining political stability, let alone a return to the pre-crisis status quo, is no longer possible.” In a press conference, Kudrin said there was a fifty-percent chance that Russia was headed for a recession that would produce a political breakdown and a change of government.

The Coming Collapse: Authoritarians in China and Russia Face an Endgame | World Affairs Journal

The Coming Collapse: Authoritarians in China and Russia Face an Endgame | 1913 Intel

Signs of sensitivity in Russia and China. Of course, both Russia and China are experiencing protests. But the real issue concerns threats of war as they become sensitive to the West.

Russia warns of a ‘very big war’ if West meddles with Middle East | Mail Online

  • Russian foreign minister says war would cause ‘suffering across the world’
  • Iran says neighbours in ‘dangerous position’ if they ally to U.S.
  • ‘Iran would go guerilla in war with U.S.,’ says Pentagon-linked report

Russia has warned of a ‘very big war’ [nuclear war] causing suffering across the world [the US] if Western countries encourage anti-government uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa.

Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Western meddling would lead to ‘a very big war that will cause suffering not only to countries in the region, but also to states far beyond its boundaries’, the New York Times reported.

A ‘seriously worried’ Lavrov spoke yesterday at his annual press conference, where he said a military attack on Iran would trigger a ‘chain reaction’ to destabilise the world.

Russia warns of a ‘very big war’ if West meddles with Middle East | Mail Online

Russian Comments About Nuclear War in Context | 1913 Intel

Return of warlike rhetoric from China – FT.com

For many years, Western military officials working on China have been urging Beijing to be more transparent about its military modernisation and strategic intentions.

You should be careful what you wish for. Beijing is now being much more straightforward and few like the message. To put it simply, China is talking about war.

Return of warlike rhetoric from China – FT.com

Return of warlike rhetoric from China – FT.com | 1913 Intel