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Chinese and Russian flags are flying.

How the U.S. should counter Sino-Russian defense cooperation

America’s Geostrategic Advantage

October 2021, Number 11.04

“Over the past 500 years, 75% of the cases (12 out of 16) in which a rising power has confronted a ruling power have resulted in bloodshed, according to Graham Allison in his 2018 bestseller, “Destined for War.” In today’s context, China is the rising power and the United States is the ruling power. But what about a declining power like Russia, which still has great power ambitions and nuclear weapons on par with the U.S.? What if it aligns itself with the rising power? On the surface, it seems that such a scenario — which is precisely what is occurring right now — could lead to global catastrophe. However, in the modern era, maybe there is hope of avoiding the dreaded Thucydides Trap. In fact, Allison’s team at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs concluded that the last two great power confrontations (including the Cold War) ended peacefully. Nevertheless, if the Thucydides Trap is to be avoided, a coherent U.S. strategy — currently at a crossroads between two vastly different presidential administrations — is paramount...”

Excerpt from Ryan B. Ley, “America’s Geostrategic Advantage,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 11, No. 4, 2021: 40-47.

Lt. Col. Ryan B. Ley, U.S. Air Force, is a senior U.S. fellow at the Marshall Center. He has served in operations worldwide as an F-16 instructor and evaluator pilot and as an F-15E weapons systems officer, accumulating over 2,500 combined hours and 433 combat hours. He has served in multiple nonflying roles at the squadron, group and wing levels.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.