Posted BY: Matt Rowe
It is folly to believe that the US should engage in a repeat of the Cold War with the rising world power that is China, reflecting the maxim that “Generals always fight the last war.” That implies that the current military strategy focuses too much on what happened before rather than what will happen next. Rather than repeating the Cold War, the US should rethink how it views its place in the world and work to partner with China on high-priority issues that affect both countries, like nuclear weapons, trade policies, natural resources, economics, etc. This requires that the US and China negotiate and live up to expected behaviors and procedures and partners in combating global threats that both countries face.
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The US-Soviet Cold War involved two world powers of relatively equal military might who also had significant access to natural resources and technology, although the US enjoyed a significant lead on the technology side. The key to the US success in the Cold War was that the US economy was far stronger than the Soviet economy due to the Soviets’ fundamentally flawed central economic management. In the end, the US could outspend the USSR in everything from technology and military to supporting allies with various forms of foreign aid—including sending shiploads of wheat to the Soviets.