I am in the process of reading Professor Allison’s very fine study on the present state of global geopolitics titled “Destined for War”. In this very methodical examination of what is happening between the superpowers, Allison posits the idea that if everything continues to play out as it has in the past, we could be looking at an inevitable military showdown between China and the United States in the not-to-distant future. At the cost of sounding alarmist and sensational, Allison argues that a Thucydides’ trap may well have been set between these two world powers decades ago as both began seeking regional, and eventually, global dominance. This parlous condition exists when one country views another as becoming more economically and militarily powerful to the point of threatening its very own national security. We see the makings of this troubling development with the recent rise of economic nationalism and Trumpism in the US. The ‘plausible’ explanation for these phenomena is the growing fear within certain parts of American society that the country has lost its place as a world powerhouse to China, ¬†an inconsequential old empire comprised mainly of peasants, uneducated workers, and outdated thinking. Such an underestimation of the facts only distorts reality further as populist leaders like Trump attempt to correct the course of history by returning America to its earlier glory. According to Allison’s findings, China is currently ahead of the US in a number of critical areas such as economic dominance of Asia, gross domestic product, annual productivity per capita, research & development, and military expansion. To begin solving the deepening Korean crisis, to trade across Asia, to break into Africa’s lucrative mineral markets as an economic partner, to even expand exports to China, or sail through or fly over certain parts of the China Sea means going through Beijing. China is on a course to becoming numero uno because its leaders see it as its unstoppable destiny. It has, by Allison’s calculation, the manpower, money, intelligence, global reach, and unscrupulous verve to make it happen. So, does the US stand a chance in changing this outcome? Until now, America has, through an elaborate set of alliances and timely interventions, been able to contain threats to its hegemony as undisputed world leader and global cop. Now, that sense of greatness lies in tatters as China has become the alternate real power in reshaping the affairs of men. So where is the tipping point or critical mass in this unfolding drama of the nth magnitude? If it comes to war between these two heavyweights, Allison believes that, at the very worst, everyone loses big time. History shows, in at least sixteen other cases including the Peloponnesian Wars and the advent of WW I, that triggering events generally happen when least expected and, once started, are hard to stop. What is very troubling about this present picture is that there are few mechanisms or safeguards in place to prevent a large-scale conflict breaking out. America and Trump have no visible means at their disposal to deal with the complexities of North Korea, especially when its default position seems to hinge on making America great again through military might and trade sanctions.