Japan and China: Not Yet 1914, but Time to Pay Attention | Foreign Policy Magazine

“In other words, the current state of affairs increases the chance of escalation. Nobody is sleepwalking in Beijing. It seems as though Washington is.”

If there are parallels to be drawn to 1914, they had better be the right ones. The prevailing narrative in Barack Obama’s administration seems to be drawn from Christopher Clark’s book The Sleepwalkers, which portrays the Great War as a tragic escalation by all sides with equal complicity and moral failing. …

A better read on 1914 comes in Max Hastings’s new book, Catastrophe 1914, or the classic studies on origins of war by Donald Kagan. Here the narrative is not a failure to accommodate a rising power, but rather the failure by Britain, then the prime actor in the international system, to maintain a favorable balance of power and meet its alliance obligations, and the resulting imperative to fight rather than have Germany upend the prevailing European order. …

What is Japan really doing do merit all this venom from China? …

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Japan and China: Not Yet 1914, but Time to Pay Attention

The current state of affairs is this: China does whatever it wants, but everybody else has to be very careful. Oh really! Why is Obama not telling the US military to prepare for war? Why is the US not explicitly telling China that is on the path to war? Why is there no talk of canceling New Start and increasing the US nuclear arsenal? Well, all of these things would upset China. But, does China worry about upsetting anyone? Instead of sleepwalking, it’s time for the US to start upsetting China.

In reality, the US is not sleepwalking. The Obama administration is executing a modern liberal strategy: US non-interference in foreign affairs will lead to a more peaceful world. US non-interference plus the disarming of the US military through sequestration and nuclear reductions will lead to a safer and more peaceful world. But as the authors of this article pointed out, this strategy will actually have the opposite effect.

If the Obama administration is executing a strategy to prepare for peace, then history has something to say about that: If you want peace, then prepare for war. The opposite must be true as well: If you want war, then prepare for peace. So the current path that we are on is clear – prepare for war.

Is it in fact in1914 again? If not, then it must be in 1913. Time is short.