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Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 04:54 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 | 04:54 | SYDNEY

Thursday links: Big ideas, Syria and the Shia, China predictions, Iran's party island and more

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COMMENTS

9 January 2014 16:05

Will 2014 bring another Great War? My bet is almost certainly not, but with a note of caution. Claims that war is "inconceivable" are not statements about what is possible in the world, but rather, about what our limited minds can conceive. The fact that Presidents Obama and Xi understand that war would be folly for both China and the US is relevant but not dispositive. None of the leaders in Europe of 1914 would have chosen the war they got and that in the end they all lost. By 1918, the Kaiser was gone, the Austro-Hungarian Empire dissolved, the Tsar overthrown by the Bolsheviks, France bled for a generation, and England shorn of the flower of its youth and treasure. Given a chance for a do-over, none of the leaders would have made the choices he did.

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