Are We Caught in a Thucydides Trap? Part I


There has been much discussion on this blog about the recent war in the Ukraine, most of it thoughtful and balanced if I may say so myself.  

However, there is much more to consider; namely, how did we get here? and what can we expect?  Are we in fact, missing the point?

And so, for several weeks now, I have been pondering this issue intensely.  Things started to click for me when I came across an essay by Graham T Allison entitled:  “The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?”1

The name for this essay comes from Thucydides (ca 460-400 BC), the Athenian general who fought in the Peloponnesian War, the most tumultuous war in all of Ancient Greece.  Upon retirement, he later wrote the definitive history of that conflict, called The History of the Peloponnesian War.


The Peloponnesian War: An Overview

This war, which lasted twenty-seven years, was between Sparta and Athens, the two most powerful states in Greece at the time.  The so-called Thucydides Trap was coined by Allison to describe the tendency of a recognized hegemon to lash out at an emerging rival.  In Greece, the hegemon was Sparta while Athens was the upstart. 

Thucydides believed that the rising threat of Athens made war with Sparta inevitable.  Allison essentially agrees; in his estimation of the modern world, it is the United States which is the  hegemonic power while China is the emerging one.  

Allison studied sixteen such historical incidents in his essay “The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?”  Among these sixteen episodes, twelve resulted in war, that is to say, a rate of 75 percent.  If in fact we are caught in the vise of a Thucydides Trap, then war with China is very likely according to Allison’s thesis.2  This us troubling to say the least.

Neither Athens nor Sparta could foresee the consequences of their belligerence which ultimately led to the war.  Indeed, Thucydides could only discern the inexorable events in retrospect, when in his retirement from civic life, he wrote his historic book.  

We on the other hand, have millennia of historical study in order to gauge the situations we find ourselves at any specific time.  Moreover, we have more sophisticated tools to help us avoid such traps.  This means not only econometric models but advanced methodologies that can help us predict the future, or at least to try to avoid certain outcomes.

The ancients for example, could not predict droughts, annual harvests or famines.  Nor could they predict plagues.  (Athens for example, suffered from a plague in the middle of that war.)  Communication was difficult at best, especially in Greece, which is mostly mountainous.  The most that the leaders of any given city-state could do was sacrifice animals and gaze at the entrails of the victims in order to discern the future.

How then, did we, with the benefit of all our science, technology, instantaneous communication and an advanced understanding of economics, allow ourselves to get into this position, to be  trapped in an ever-increasing cycle of bellicosity?  Especially, since America, unlike Sparta, is not a militaristic nation?

And if war is inevitable, what are our chances of victory? 

In other words, will America emulate Sparta and emerge victorious?  Or will our moral failings coupled with the increasing disparities between the classes, crippling debt, and waves of illegal immigrants, doom us to an ignominious failure?


Sparta vs Athens and America vs China.

Some may believe that comparing America to Sparta is an absurdity.  Sparta was a highly militaristic, totalitarian state, one not known for its embrace of liberalism or humanity.  Boys were taken from their mothers at seven and subject to the agoge, a brutal regime of drill instruction that lasted ten years.  Beatings were common.  If they wanted to eat more than their meager ration, they had to learn to steal. 

Upon graduation, they were sent to live in barracks and lived there until they were sixty, even if married.  If they wanted to enjoy their wives’ favors, they had to sneak out in the dead of night and if caught, were subjected to humiliating hazing. 

In contrast, Athens was a liberal, thriving and vibrant democracy.3  It was already the intellectual center of the ancient world.  Where Sparta had the largest and most feared  infantry in all of Greece, Athens had the largest navy and a growing maritime empire of overseas colonies.   

Sparta was the accepted hegemon and while it did not have an empire, it highly distrusted the growing influence of Athens, which it viewed as decadent in every respect.  Sparta’s entire social, political and economic structure was specifically designed to keep it permanently isolated from all foreign influences, which they believed to be morally corrosive.  Equally restricted on the domestic front, Sparta had to maintain a permanent reserve force, ever at the ready, to put down any possible slave rebellions from the helotes. 


How Did America Become Complacent?  

Sparta was therefore reactionary by necessity, ruled by a compulsion to maintain the status quo at all costs.  The United States on the other hand enjoyed more freedom to experiment, even while it enjoyed political and military supremacy.  Not only in the cultural sphere (with a resultant laxity in morals), but in the economic one, as well. 

In the first century and a half of its existence, the United States operated under a protectionist market system that relied on high tariffs.  Until 1913, these tariffs funded the entirety of the Federal budget, an economic system that favored home-grown industries, making the U.S. self-reliant. 

The regulation needed to support such a system risked intermittent, economic, paralysis, however, because America was largely agricultural, it could weather economic storms.  Still, it was largely minimal in scope.  It was only during the 1960s “Great Society” of the 1960s that a hyper-regulatory system came fully into being. 

By the mid-1970s, America was unable to meet the challenges of foreign competition.  It also failed to meet its own domestic demand for oil, though it was one of the world’s largest oil producers.  The resulting “stagflation” crippled America and drained it of its self-confidence during a time when the Soviet Union was challenging American around the globe.  This was a devastating blow to our national psyche, especially when viewed in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the first war America ever lost.

With the election of 1980 things began to turn around.  A tight monetary policy under Paul Volcker at the Federal Reserve, coupled with tax-cuts and deregulation under Ronald Reagan, enabled the economy to break free from the stagflation of the 1970s.  On the economic rebound, Reagan began the largest military build-up since the Second World War, turning the tables on the Soviet Union.  

Deregulation was not without its limitations, however.  While it did break the heavy regulatory chains that crippled domestic entrepreneurs, it unwittingly encouraged others to find ways to maximize profits by minimizing labor costs.  Chipping away at the power of the labor unions by closing down factories, and shipping manufacturing overseas became the norm.  That entire towns were decimated when the factories were shuttered mattered little to the Wall Street class.  Surprisingly, both political parties bought into this economic regime.   

China, devastated by the Cultural Revolution, became the destination of choice for American oligarchs to set up shop.  This became especially easy to do once President Nixon, together with his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, succeeded in prying China out of the Soviet Union’s grip.  This process of extreme economic liberalism spread throughout the world, accelerating during the 1990s and remaining in force until the election of Donald Trump to the presidency in 2016. 


China on the Ascendant

It seems hard to believe but China is now well on its way to becoming the world’s largest economy.4  And therein lies the rub.  This possibility is the Thucydides Trap that has gripped the American Establishment.  For some unfathomable reason, they have now come to the realization that their economic liberalism has given the Chinese the upper hand and they’re desperately trying to regain the initiative.    

Moreover, China is flexing its economic muscle throughout the entire world.  In East Africa alone there are over one million Chinese immigrants who have permanently settled there to oversee Chinese corporations’ infrastructure.  Piraeus, Greece’s largest port, is owned by the Chinese.  (Ironically, the Chinese Communist Party broke the back of the Greek Communist Party which had a stranglehold on the unions that controlled all shipping to and from Piraeus.) 

The crown jewel of the Chinese Communist Party is their “Belt and Road Initiative”, a grand scheme designed to recreate the fabled Silk Road of the ancient past.  While China has profited handsomely from these endeavors, so have American and European magnates who have invested heavily in China.  

And then there’s the fact that the trade deficit between the U.S. and China is tremendous.  In selling us their exports, they turn around and finance our ever-increasing national debt.  In other words, should we stop buying their cheaper goods, they would stop buying American bonds and our economy would crash overnight.  The dollar would become worthless, plunging us into a Weimaresque economy.  Foolishly, in turning over our manufacturing base, we have empowered China.  We have done what Lenin once said about capitalists:  we would sell them the noose which they will use to hang us.  

Sparta, probably due to its brutishness, did not provide any such assistance (wittingly or otherwise) to Athens. 

America therefore, is caught on the horns of a dilemma.  Should we continue to enrich China and watch it continue to expand its wealth and influence (all the while we are sinking into ever-growing depths of depravity and economic profligacy) or are we to get all belligerent and put them “back in their place”, as Sparta did to Athens? 

For some reason, our elites cannot envision a third choice:  do not provoke them while we try to get our own economic house in order.  If that means drawing down our military expenditures and protecting our borders, so be it.   

Based on all the bellicose Sinophobic noises coming out of Washington, one has to question the sanity of our leadership class.  Especially when one takes into account our manifest weaknesses.  Unless this is some ingenious never-before-tried diplomatic strategy, one is left to assume that the Establishment is insane if they truly believe we can defeat China without incurring any costs to us.  Heck, they’ve even pinpointed the date for the festivities to begin:  2025 according to one general, 2027 according to another.


Next: Part II:  The Military Situation in Ukraine


  2.  In Part III, we will explore the possibility that the hubris of the neoconservatives may have created a way out of the potential conflict escalating to all-out war. 
  3. Athenian democracy was very different from modern democracy:  in Athens, only free-born men who had served in the army were allowed to vote and hold office.  Women, resident aliens, slaves, and homosexuals were forbidden from doing so.




  1. Well, it seems to me that while we have made lots of material progress, modern man is still repeating the same old, same old.

    Jesus referred to human beings as being like sheep. “All we like sheep have gone astray “. I understand that sheep are among the dumbest of animals. Jesus told Peter to feed my sheep.

    We’re still going astray. We still need feeding of the type Jesus told Peter to do and we need feeders.

  2. This is a little off-topic, but please take the time to say a prayer for those men who served their country. You may also want to read this excellent summation of Memorial Day published by Helleniscope:

    • Remembering my Uncle Eugene today. He fought in the Korean War. He was imprisoned in a Korean concentration camp for one year. He returned home a broken man. Memory Eternal…🇺🇸☦️

  3. This is what I mean by bone-crushingly stupid insanity that is one of the hallmarks of the Thucydides trap: Lindsey Graham praising the killing of Russians:

    Shades of Admiral Bull Halsey who said “the only good Jap is a dead Jap”.

    • These people are demonic

      • I have a feeling that despite his present defiance, Miss Lindsey is going to regret those words one day.

        • I’m not sure that Russia can let this go:

          I have mostly held my tongue on the Russian strategy for the SMO; however, this is part of the problem with the “slow grind”. You are teaching your enemy how to defeat you. Speed is important. Russia has had the luxury until now of taking their time. It has paid some serious dividends. But it may be time for a real onslaught that puts the fear of God into the enemy.

          • Agreed. BTW, I just heard that the Russians destroyed the Military-Intelligence HQ in Kiev.

          • Nate Trost says

            Practically speaking, Russia can’t really do much that they aren’t already doing. And this sort of thing is only going to be an increasing problem for Russia in the future.

            Generally, Ukraine’s technical capabilities are only increasing as the war goes on. This is not limited to systems they are getting from the West, but indigenous development. The latter is important because Ukraine is much less constrained on using those systems to hit targets in Russia. As the war continues, expect to see increasingly sophisticated UAV and cruise missile attacks on Russian territory.

            For one, this forces Russia to make choices about GBAD deployment and tasking priorities on fixed wing systems that can do interdiction. At some point, increasing coverage against attacks on Russian soil comes at the expense of coverage of Russian forces in Ukraine.

            To be clear, the military threat of these strikes are limited, although it will grow over time as capability does. But there is a political dimension that can dictate priorities. The fiction that the “SMO” is something other than a major protracted war against a peer adversary gets punctured when the skies over Rubiovka sound like Kyiv.

          • I have to agree Misha. The slow grind in the beginning of the SMO was more than likely a good thing, and was probably necessary due to optics for the rest of the world to see. Look how the world is pivoting “East.”

            But, the time for the slow grind is past. My guess is they know this, or, at least the top military officials know this.

            You have to wonder at what point the Russian people and Russian military are going to get tired of this.

            • In the meantime, the Russians were able to penetrate the vaunted Patriot missile system in Kiev, weren’t they?

              • Nate Trost says

                The short answer is yes and no. The longer answer is the Patriot battery covering Kyiv appears do be doing a decent job at intercepting the class of priority targets it is intended to defend against (Iskander/Kinzhal, S-300 in ground attack mode, perhaps Kalibr and Kitchen depending on if there is ballistic on the incoming strike package). That is only a subset of what Russia launches at Kyiv. There is no be all and end all wonderweapon of air defense and a comprehensive network involves multiple platforms with different capabilities.

                Russia has been leaning very very heavily on Iranian drones, because they are so production constrained on their modern cruise missile systems. You’re not using a Patriot on those, and generally speaking, you’d be using SHORAD systems on them anyway because it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to spot them until several kilometers out. Russia can salvo enough of these that they are inevitably going to get some through. They are undoubtedly getting some ballistic and cruise missiles past defenses, but it’s pretty clear Ukraine has been able to intercept most Kalibrs. Prior to Patriot they didn’t have anything that could really engage ballistic missiles, or the Kitchen (which was too fast, but is also wildly inaccurate since was mean to be an anti-carrier missile and using it for land attack is out of lack of other options, not because it’s a good use case).

                The detection challenges for the Iranian drones are also why Ukraine was able to put a bunch of their own UAVs over Moscow despite that extensive air defense system. It’s why you see Russia doing things like putting Pantsir systems on high rooftops.

                The military value of the actual strikes on Kyiv is very limited to nonexistent, the primary value is tying down systems that could be at the front. That said, Ukraine has been using their other Patriot battery aggressively in an anti-aircraft role that has been giving the VKS a lot of grief in the past couple weeks.

              • True enough George! Good point

            • Russia could be doing much more. They have over a half a million troops near the Ukrainian border. They could overrun the entire country in a couple of weeks if they wanted to. And that would all be with conventional (non nuclear) forces.

              My guess is that they simply don’t want to govern Western Ukraine. However, they can’t leave Western Ukraine with an army and weapons either. Thus the war of attrition. Eventually, the Russians will take Kharkov and Odessa and probably a substantial part of the eastern half of the country. The five provinces (including Crimea) are now Russian and off the table. Not enough people get that. They voted to join Russia and are now oblasts of the Russian Federation – sovereign Russian territory. Countries (other than Israel) do not cede sovereign territory. Everybody in power on both sides knows this. That was the point of annexing them.

              The Russians will take just as much of the Ukraine as they feel they need to in order to secure areas where Russophones are predominant. But they also have to cause the surrender or implosion of the Kievan gov’t. The Kiev government has been on life support since April of 2022. Without Western support, they would fold in a week.

              But the West will not continue to pour money and equipment into a black hole. There is a “back end” of course. Much of the funds make their way back into the coffers of American politicians and the MIC. But Ukraine is losing the American Right slowly, Lindsey Graham notwithstanding. And Europe itself, Germany, France and others, are having serious second thoughts for both economic and military reasons. Russia has proven dramatically stronger than they previously gave it credit for and theirs are the economies that are “in tatters”, not Russia’s.

              This is Moscow turning the tables on Washington. If you recall, Reagan’s plan was to bankrupt the Soviet Union by reinvigorating the arms race. The USSR had to choose between economic security and military imperialism. This is similar to the fate that the West, and America in particular, are now facing. They simply can’t afford to contain both Russia and China. They don’t have the industrial base to manufacture sufficient weapons. Their economies are operating on monopoly money backed by unicorn farts. In short, they are desperate, bankrupt and emitting nonsensical propaganda that would cause Baghdad Bob to blush in order to rationalize the whole sordid mess. The corruption is open and palpable.

              This is a society in freefall.

              Yes, it is too slow moving for many of us. But, frankly, if it were to happen too rapidly it would be terrifying for the Western public.

              • Misha, you’re absolutely correct. BTW, did you know that the Russians just sank the last naval vessel of the Ukrainian navy? Now they must take Odessa (along with Nikolaev which is north of it) and the Ukraine will be a land-locked country.

                For what it’s worth, two weeks ago, the Russians destroyed all bridges linking Moldova to the West, thereby preventing a NATO invasion from that corridor. With 150,000 Russians stationed in Byelorussia, they have prevented the Poles (or NATO) from entry into the Ukraine from that corridor.

                Essentially, the Ukraine is caught in a cauldron.

                • Then there’s this (courtesy of Stamatakis):

                  “It would help if all realized that as long as the “Deep State” has the upper hand in DC, it does not make much of a difference who the president is. But the “Greek Lobbyists’” expectations that “Biden-opoulos” (who was the one who eagerly supported the gas pipeline from Eastern Mediterranean through Turkey) will do anything but support Turkey is truly laughable…

                  “For now anything that is given to Turkey has to have approval from Congress and so far, Senator Menendez is still opposed – according to the most recent report from Politico just a few hours ago…”

                  The GOA and the Democrat Party are caught in a vise of their internal contradictions.


                • I wish they would get on with the push toward Transnistria before the Ukrainians start suing for peace. They still have Russian speaking territory to liberate, after all.

              • Nate Trost says

                At some point, a dread realization will sink in that it isn’t Russia doesn’t *want* to some of these things, but that it *can’t*. Eventually there is one event too many that makes you wonder, if Russia really had a vast half million man combat ready reserve sitting around, twiddling their thumbs, wouldn’t they have come into play by now? Less bravado, more ORBATs.

                The notion that Russia could roll up all of Ukraine in a few weeks if they felt like it simply isn’t supported by any available evidence, or the past 15 months of the war. Sure, I could tomahawk jam right over LeBron, I just don’t feel like it.

                Russia declared it was going to annex Kherson and then couldn’t hold onto it, but who knows, maybe they’ll wake up this morning and take Odesa after some morning coffee. Russia faces intractable problems if Ukraine continues to receive modest levels of external support, which is why the Kremlin has to wishcast as hard as they can that everybody is going to get bored and abandon Ukraine.

                • “Modest levels of external support”? The US has supplied Ukraine with much more than the entire yearly military budget of the RF and they still have lost ground to the Russian grind.

                  No doubt Russia could use the troops accumulated around the Ukraine from its two mobilizations and its massive superiority in artillery, missiles and the air to blast across the Ukraine if they wished. But they would incur serious losses in men and equipment. As it stands, they’re only losing one soldier for every 7-10 Ukrainians lost. Given their manufacturing advantage, they could sustain the current effort indefinitely (and financially profit). Moreover, allowing the Kiev govt to exist has depleted Western weapons stocks and coffers. You presume that Russia had this war gamed out and understood the natural consequences of their actions. They prepped for this thing since before the 2014 coup.

                  Putin has made it clear in the past that he has no desire to govern Western Ukraine. He thinks it was snatched from Poland by Stalin and he wants no part of Banderastan if he can help it.

                  Now, the West may not give him a choice, but if he signals to Poland at some point that he has no problem with them annexing Western Ukraine then that solves the problem.

                  More later, I’m at the barber.

                  • Actually, Putin wants what Russia was at the start of World War I. The borders of the Russian Empire extended west to the German and the Austro-Hungarian Empires and south to the Ottoman Empire as well as Persia. The Russian Empire at that time included Finland, Poland, and Ukraine, giving it access to the Gulf of Bothnia, the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. (Is it any wonder why Finland wanted to come into NATO and why Turkey wanted to screw it up?)

                    Leaving Western Ukraine open would continue to threaten Russia’s borders.

                    The following is a very revealing look at what is going on in Putin’s head and why:

                  • Johann Sebastian says


                    Just remember, a lot of the folks that settled in the coal-mining towns of the East Coast and accompanied St. Alexis Toth into what would become the Metropolia and ROCOR were staunch proponents of this view.

                    I would be very happy if Galicia and Transcarpathia became Russian territory and, quite frankly, why not even carry on to the Subcarpathian parts of Poland? Slovakia hasn’t been terribly antagonistic toward us, but every last bit of Polish Ruthenia should be absorbed into Russia.

                  • Nate Trost says

                    Actual war is incredibly expensive. Russia’s last peacetime defense budget was around $65 billion in 2021. The Kremlin has classified how much it is spending on the war, but it’s a lot. Spending over the past twelve months is likely north of $100 billion.

                    Not all of the US security assurance topline figure is military support. The military support can be mostly divided into two categories, the Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA) and the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI). The former is provision from existing inventories that the DoD said it can part with. The current value of those donations is assessed at around $21 billion. The USAI is orders to industry for new equipment to be provided to Ukraine over the next few years. That is around $6.3 billion to date.

                    In the context of a military budget of around $875 billion and a $25.5 trillion economy, that *is* modest. Modest for the US. For Ukraine it is not! But it explains why Russia has to hope so desperately that the US and the EU stop supporting Ukraine. For the practical burden of pocket change, it makes a huge impact on the war.

                    Both Russia and Ukraine are being very tight-lipped about their losses, because they are so high. But they will come out eventually, when this is all over. I’m warning you now, your belief that Russia has an incredible 7:1 casualty ratio is not going to stand the test of time. Frankly, even with a low confidence assessment, the ~200,000 Russian casualties and ~160,000 Ukrainian casualties are probably in the ballpark for this stage of the conflict. When Russia did their rushed mobilization last fall they had to hustle a good chunk of that tranche right into Ukraine to shore up defenses. Some of the rest were squandered in the winter offensive or are now in country waiting for the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

                    It is worth noting that the losses aren’t equally distributed across all vehicle classes and variants, but as a big picture summary Russia lost somewhere around half of it’s most modern armored vehicle fleet in the first year. That takes time to replace, especially since new construction is very constrained, there is far more capacity for refurbishing and upgrading older reserve units. But even that is hard pressed to catch up with the loss rate and Russia has the problem of fielding less capable vehicles in a lethal field that chewed up the more advanced ones. One of the dread secrets is Russia’s most advanced weapon systems, including sensor packages and upgrade kits for armored vehicles are chock full of Western electronics. Having to work around sanctions to obtain supply adds a lot of friction to the process, and import substitution with China isn’t always easy, possible, or produces reliable components.

                    All that to say, Russia can absolutely stay in the war indefinitely, but I think you have a rather rose-tinted view of the actual state of things fifteen+ months in.

                    As an aside, lessons learned from this conflict are absolutely shaping future US procurement priorities. The last NDAA was illuminating in that regard.

                    • This is the sheer fanciful thinking that comes from buying the American Establishment’s narrative. Berletic of the New Atlas constantly runs the numbers of Western aid in already and in the pipeline and it pales in comparison to what the Russians are capable of.

                      There is no way to hide large numbers of casualties arriving back in Russia and so the Russian numbers are likely not far from the official releases. Ukraine constantly downplays their own casualties and projects their monumental loses onto Russia. And the US MSM laps it up. You are very ill informed, but that is par for the course of someone who chooses to support the Borg and therefore is in the unenviable position of rationalizing its lies.

                      If one can rationalize the current Ukrainian situation as “winning” then one will be able to rationalize the eventual defeat/surrender of the Kiev govt as a “win” for the West. It’s all self delusion, but you’re welcome to believe it. The Eurasian Alliance is perfectly capable of ascending against all delusions of the West.

                      Just let me know when the Ukies retake Crimea and displace the Russians from the four annexed regions. Then I will take it seriously.

                      All else is bs.

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Even if you’re observation is close to reality (I have my doubts), the fact remains that several American banks have failed, yet no Russian one has so far.

                      Also, we’re heading into a recession (personally I think we’ve been in one for quite awhile; as for Germany, they’re in one as we speak*) yet the IMP predicts Russia’s economy will expand this year.

                      Clearly, something isn’t adding up.

                      *Germany has the largest economy in Europe.

          • Misha, I too, have been wondering why important assets like the Intel/HQ building weren’t taken out.

            For months now, I’ve suspected that Russian intel has moles within these buildings and it didn’t behoove them to take them out. We’ll know this is the case with yesterday’s bombing once the bomb damage assessment (BDA) is done and we find out who didn’t show up for work that day.

  4. This is important: Col MacGregor speaks about what’s at stake as far as China is concerned.

  5. Frankly, I did not know what Thucydides’ Trap was all about. I did some research on the author Graham T. Allison this morning and here is what I found. This is quite interesting.

    Allison wrote a book together with Samantha Power who supports the war in Ukraine and is currently very verbal about it.
    Realizing Human Rights: From Inspiration to Impact (2000, with Samantha Power)!

    Thank you for posting an article written by Graham T. Allison. I had never heard of him. There is no difference between the left or right duopoly uniparty of the USA controlled by another nation.

    My unvarnished truth:


    Only God can save us. Wealth consumes the powers that be. The global super elite are possessed by Satan. They desperately want to destroy Christianity to compete with China for hegemony. Yes, we are caught in a trap.

    • Jane, Allison is definitely not on the side of the angels. That said, his discovery of The Thucydides Trap is to my mind, spot on.

      The irony however is that he doesn’t see the internal contradictions of his own ideology. While he (correctly) warns against war with China he doesn’t see that America conducting a proxy war against Russia is equally disastrous –for the West.

      In Part III, I will examine the possibility that despite all the bellicose rhetoric of the West regarding China, our failure against Russia is depleting our resources.

      In Part II, I will analyze the war in the Ukraine.

  6. I’m not sure the Trap holds in the nuclear age, George. These countries simply can’t go all out against each other anymore without destroying everybody’s business. The US and the UK escaped the Trap early in the twentieth century for reasons of affinity and trade.

    My guess is that at worst we will see proxy wars, like in the Ukraine. Taiwan may be on tap soon depending on the administration in power. But, so far, the direct, open conflict between nuclear powers has been avoided. Given that everyone is making money except the Ukrainian people, that will probably satisfy the ambitions on both sides, both with Russia and with China. It’s very bad for the Ukraine and Taiwan, but that’s better than real war directly between nuclear powers.

  7. I’m not sure the Trap holds in the nuclear age, George. These countries simply can’t go all out against each other anymore without destroying everybody’s business. The US and the UK escaped the Trap early in the twentieth century for reasons of affinity and trade.

    My guess is that at worst we will see proxy wars, like in the Ukraine. Taiwan may be on tap soon depending on the administration in power. But, so far, the direct, open conflict between nuclear powers has been avoided. Given that everyone is making money except the Ukrainian people, that will probably satisfy the ambitions on both sides, both with Russia and with China. It’s very bad for the Ukraine and Taiwan, but that’s better than real war directly between nuclear powers.

    Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way at all. It’s the neolibs and neocons who are bloodthirsty monsters and egomaniacs. But that’s par for the course in recent American history. That’s why our system needs to burn to the ground rather than get new management. Murdoch fired Tucker and now supports DeSantis. He’ll do what the neos want because they can pull his strings. That’s a ticket to endless war.

    • Misha, I hope you’re right. That said, the cupidity of the DS may yet save us from WWIII but I fear the religious insanity of the neocons.

      These people are insane, like their father Trotsky.

      • My guess, George, is that, at the very most, any irrational elements in the US government might let fly with a tactical nuke in a theater of battle.

        I do not think the Russians would retaliate with a full launch on the US. I think they would rather retaliate with one of their own, in the theatre of battle. At that point, I think the US would lose its nerve, regardless of the insane elements.

        The cold hard truth is that nuclear war is more thinkable to the Russians than to Americans. They have always prepared as if it were a given if there were a conflict between NATO and the former Warsaw Pact. They have shelters and pragmatic strategies to minimize whatever damage might be done to the extent possible.

        I do not believe the Russians would be the first to use a tactical nuke, but I believe that if they used one in return for an American one, that that would end the conflict. The reason is simple: Bluff called. If it proceeds, everyone can be assured there will be no winners.

        That, of course, is absolute worst case scenario. And if it were to happen it would be extraordinarily tragic for the country in which the nukes exploded and those downwind. But it is possible.

        The wisdom of the long, grinding approach taken by Moscow is that it makes such a thing much less likely than an overwhelming invasion taking Kiev and stretching to the Polish border. It’s the boiling frog concept.

        • Misha, I see where you’re going with this. The thing that gives me some hope that this won’t escalate to tactical nukes is that despite all the Rainbow Marxism that has infected the DS –and this includes the Pentagon–that there are still some hard-headed realists there who don’t believe this nonsense and still understand what war really is.

          In other words, the profession of arms is not the place for social experimentation.

          On another point, I’ve heard from some of my Russian sources that the Kremlin will impose some form of martial law in the western part of Russia proper (i.e. centering around Belgorod region). This leads me to believe two things:

          1. They’re going to ramp up military action against the Kiev regime, and
          2. In doing so, they’re going to “harden” the Russian border to prevent further incursions from Ukrainian militants.

          • Hard to say, George. They just denied any plan to declare martial law a couple of days ago:

            But that could change. My guess is that they don’t need to given the power the government there already has in peacetime. They have done so at times in the annexed provinces, but that was a more radical circumstance. Drone attack prevention is a problem for the FSB/SVR and military intelligence.

            By the way, listen to Ritter’s discussion of the economic circumstances in Russia from his recent book tour there. It’s about 6 minutes in.

            This war is excellent business for Russia. It is good business for the MIC and for Uniparty politicians. That’s why it hasn’t been settled yet. But this is not good for the West’s geopolitical posture. They are extending a war by refusing to negotiate which is costing them territory and prestige even though it enriches some Western elites. It is globalism at its worst. It pits Americans against America’s actual national security interests.

            And the idiots want a second act in Taiwan.

            Best quote I’ve heard all week:

            “Nothing makes me laugh harder than people who do everything the media/government/entertainment tells them to do and thinking they wouldn’t have been part of the Confederacy if they were born in Georgia in the 1800s.

            You’re a sheep. You’re the Nazi camp guard.”
            -Julie Kelly on Twitter:

      • “These people are insane, like their father Trotsky.”

        John 8:44 [KJV]
        “[They] are of [their] father the devil,
        and the lusts of [their] father [they] will do.
        He was a murderer from the beginning,
        and abode not in the truth,
        because there is no truth in him.
        When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:
        for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

  8. I am looking forward to the next two parts you are preparing for your followers. Here is something I found to think about regarding the US/China issue:

    I enjoy researching about authors. I learn a lot by doing so. In any event, every time I read an article posted on Monomakhos, I learn something new. Grateful. 🙂

  9. rdrjames says

    You said that America is not a bellicose nation? We have been at war or close to it for most of our history!

  10. Saros Matakis says

    Dulles and Acheson got it backwards. Sparta farmed Sicily, spawning Rome and the so-called West. Athens farmed Scythia, spawning Russia. Alexander’s dad took Byzantium to starve Athens of Scythian wheat. Scythia, like Egypt, Syria and even Persia, got seriously Hellenised. But the reverse was true as the Scythian Yovan became the Attics of Athens. Celts and Slavs all derive from Scythians as even King David had red hair. But the “west”, because of their Hun, Lapp, Finn, Viking, and American Indian lineage are the true heirs of magoguery. Romulus and Remus even shared the volpomammic birth myth of the Magog and American Indians. Shanghai Pact is all about great civilizations seeking to reclaim their patrimony from the decimation of the magog millenium. Magog is cognate with mongol, “Vicar” of Christ means “Anti-Christ”. Iran, Russia, India, China, Greece have all been oppresed by the MAGOG for a millenium. American Indian language is two thirds Turkish. Ireland and England have Turkish lineage through the Vikings via Lapps and Finns. Germans via Huns. E Torrey Fuller (1979), Ursula Brosseder (2018), Willerslev (2021) and David Horrobin (2001) shewed the schizobipolar Altaic genes responsible for maraurding libertarianism against the omonia communitarianism of Confucius, Socrates and Rawls, which is why Gibbon embraced the Turks.

  11. The only other thing I would say is that there certainly is an epistemological problem at work in this war. It is difficult for some people to know who to believe given that their own government and Kiev have been lying aggressively and vociferously to them since before the Russian SMO even commenced.

    But the present fact is that the Russians have gobbled up as much of the Ukraine as they have wanted to with only occasional and fleeting pushback. Russia has undergone two mobilizations of recently discharged troops totaling over 500,000 men and has not deployed most of them in Ukraine as of yet but seems to be holding them in reserve for a possible NATO intervention. Yet with that many men and different rules of engagement, given their superiority in weaponry and the air, they could go pretty much wherever they want to. It’s just a matter of will.

    But the fact is that Russia is looking past the current conflict to resuming commerce and contact with their Eastern Slavic brethren. That is why they have not engaged in indiscriminate onslaughts the way they did in Chechnya, for example. At the end of this, many Ukrainians will wake up to the fact that they have been played for fools by the West and used as cannon fodder in the US and UK’s obsession with Moby Dick (Russia).

    Ignore the headlines on the videos, it’s the content.

  12. Whilst I thinks that the article is a good one and worth pondering, ( I have a great familiarity with Thucididyes through my studies) I do wonder whether in fact it has a closer application to the situation re Russia and the rise of the former Eastern Bloc nations?
    Certainly USA foreign policy has been a massive muddle basically since Bush senior with it moving around with very little insight as to the long term consequences of decisions or positions. A good example is the USA dislike of monarchy as it played out in Afghanistan where the former King enjoyed great support amongst the various factions but the USA insisted on a republic with the King instructed to decline any role. One can only wonder what may have happened if he had been able to re establish a constitutional monarchy with proper democratic government?

    • Fr, you bring up several good points.

      First of all, I see your point about Russia being the Athens in this scenario. I too, thought this might be the case but in perusing the literature/podcasts, it seems that the Establishment has had China in its crosshairs from the outset, long before the onset of the Russian SMO. (Still, I and they could be wrong.)

      Your point about the late King of Afghanistan is spot-on. My own disillusion with American exceptionalism started coming about in 2003 when we could have re-installed Mohammed Zahir Shah as the rightful king but instead we listened to our own anti-monarchical republican ideology. In my gut, I sensed that this was a mistake.

      • It’s a perfect storm, of sorts. Part inconceivability and part denial, there is a profound reluctance among the Western elites to recognize Russia for what it has become since Putin took over. The backfiring of the sanctions was a blow to this denial, but not a decisive one. It lives on. You can see it in countless articles still being written at the behest of the DS about how the SMO is on its last legs and the dissolution of the Russian government is imminent. Pure wishcraft.

        But this works dramatically in the favor of the RF and its allies. Dispelling the illusion is probably a bad idea from the pro-Russian perspective, though I have tried at times in the past to do so. Tell the truth and people will accuse you of being chicken little.

        It’s best this way, though. Once the Ukraine War has been decisively resolved, it will become apparent that NATO is too weak to start up with China. And it will slowly dawn on the Western world that it has been eclipsed and that it’s over.

        • What do you think about this? That China’s been pulling Biden’s strings all along and they’re using Russia to deplete America’s military?

          I doubt it’s true but I can see that. I mean, look at it this way: since when in history did one country provoke another country with words and then tell them when and where they are going to strike them? Come to think of it, the Cocaine Kid of Kiev has been telegraphing to the Russians more or less when and where their various offensives are going to kick off. And to top it off, he purposely sent tens of thousands of innocent Ukrainian soldiers into the meat-grinder that was Bakhmut.

          Which of course would mean that I was right all along that Biden was a Manchurian Candidate, put in place by the Chinese and their American assets.

          • I’m not sure he’d behave any differently if he were a Chinese asset. So I can dig it. Basically, Biden’s just a whore, the poster child for political corruption. But I also believe this is all theater and they are playing mind games with everybody to cover up the loss of American status. The degree of media lying and censorship is phenomenal.

            On some level, I think they know they’ve already been checkmated and that it just has to play out. Some of the true believers are in denial and consequently say crazy stuff. But they can’t contain Russia or China. They can just rage at the sun and try to fool their own people that geopolitics hasn’t experienced a seismic shift.

            In the long term it will be apparent to all. Eventually, Western economic defenses, sanctions, etc, will fade and the market will deliver Europe right into the hands of Russia. Same with East Asia and the Chinese.

          • What do you think about this? That China’s been pulling Biden’s strings all along and they’re using Russia to deplete America’s military?

            Misha will have his own answer to that question, but if you ask me, George, I think you’re onto something. The Manchurian Candidate is so unredeemably corrupt that he would sell his soul to the highest bidder for a return of fame and fortune. I think he did that a long time ago, and I suspect Barry Obama knows he did. Now that Biden’s got the power, he’s sold out all of us Americans to the Chinese, the Ukrainians, and whoever else has the cash to pay him. In a more exuberant political system, he might be convicted of treason and executed for his crimes.

            Judging from my many experiences dealing with the Chinese at the small business level, I consider them to be intelligent, industrious and pecuniary. They don’t just throw money at something in the random hope that there may be a future return in it. They’re very shrewd people and old Joey Biden was an easy mark for the Chinese Communist Party.

            China is waging an aggressive campaign against the United States on multiple fronts, but they can only be happy that the quagmire in Ukraine is slowly depleting our economic and military resources. Our federal government is so reckless and naive the Chinese are likely to have the last laugh when all is said and done.

            • George, what do you think China’s end goal is for the U.S if they are indeed doing this?

              Invasion, subjugation, knocking us out of the top?

              My question is, if Chinese society is so opposed to the “wokeness” of modern American culture, why would they not use a conservative candidate to align our culture more to theirs?

              • Petro, American society at present cannot be reformed. Even if the Chinese somehow got St John Chrysostom elected president it wouldn’t help. (And anyway, he got exiled thrice by the Byzantines.)

                There is no reason for China (or Russia or anybody else for that matter to conquer/invade/destroy America). The Democrat Party and the RINOs are already doing their dirty work for them.

                I know this sounds like a massive black pill but it’s really not: God is allowing us to swim in a moral abyss so that His righteousness can be made known:

                “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen…” (Rom 1:18-20a)

                Someday, soon, even liberals, secularists, even atheists, will wake up and say: “It’s an abomination to cut the breasts off of 15 year old girls/watch grown men fellate each other in public/have satanists in drag read books to 5 year olds/pretend that nursing mothers need to sit in the cockpits of F-15s/etc.

                Someday. If not soon, then eventually.

                • Zon Merx says

                  It was Prohibition which ended the last pandemic, even the gang warfare eliminated the heathen urban superspreaders. With reduced immigration, the American heartland could rebuild a family oriented society. It is no accident the Greatest Generation was born during Prohibition but the Ellis Island drunkards elected socialist FDR. The Greatest Economy of America was during Prohibition. We need to deport all alcohol and drug addicts and merchants to colonize outer space because they are the marauding scourge and street urchins that lead to domestic abuse, broken families, homosexuality, abortion, and crime and it corrupts our police, teachers and clergy. We can no longer afford the medical cost to treat inebriants, or consumers of home remedies. If legal gambling made Trump like liquor Kennedy, how worse legal drugs and whores? The only reason tycoons like Armand Hammer, Herbert Hoover and Fred Koch went to Russia was the booze. We can not restore American Morality without returning to Prohibition.

                  If mankind is to travel space fleeing climate destruction we must reengineer our species to be more robust. Druggards and drunkards have obligation to become organ donors and space colonists just as street urchins were indentured to colonize new continents. These deplorable wastrels have rejected society’s attempt to educate them, and have destroyed their God-given brains with steroids, opioids, football injuries, marijuana, alcoholic Korsakov dementia, lysergic hallucinogens, so as such, they have an obligation to society to become instruments of human betterment. Eastern religions never believed in original sin because Mary bettered herself to Immaculateness.

                  The communitarian ethos of Rawls, Plato and Confucius are superior to the devolved libertarianism of the magog (Viking, Hun, Lapp, Finn, Mongol and American Indian lineage). Further, a wondrously rapturous nuclear war would not only reverse global warming and eliminate misevolved urban vermin, but would also seriously damage the advances of microbes against humanity, especially since all these supposed medical advances have prevented natural selection of the fittest. Years of vaccine and public healthcare have allowed the unfit to survive, so we must depend on wildlife, disease and war to remove the unfit. Instead of just sending illegal immigrants to the strengthen city genes, we should also bus bears and mountain lions to their parks so the greeniacs can learn to appreciate nature.

                • Yes, George, exactly right. This is something that comes as a hard pill to swallow for many, including myself, but there is no knight in shining armor that can come in and right this thing. It is simply too degenerate and corrupt. They can’t even hear themselves talking or see themselves from any sane perspective. They have lost their minds – close to half the country in the acute sense, more in the sense of acceptance of insanity as normal.

                  Religion, really, is the only thing strong enough to resist such a zeitgeist. You can see it among Muslims, Orthodox Christians, TradCats and the remaining Fundamentalist Protestants (“bible” and “independent” Baptists, etc., not the Evangelicals but rather the hard core fundamentalists).

                • Tucker’s first Twittercast is case in point.

            • Lawrence, I think you have hit many nails on the head, especially regarding the Chinese. It’s not racist to point out that they fit your description of them to a “T”. In fact, I rather admire them.

              Then there’s the fact that they have LOADS of crap on Joe and Hunter. I mean LOADS.

  13. I don’t consider the Chinese to be an enemy. What I do think has happened is that they have taken full advantage of the corruption of Dems and Establishment Republicans and bought as much influence as they can. That’s just good business. We are the fools for selling out our country.

    Not that China’s system is admirable. They are totalitarian, unlike the Russians. Nonetheless, first and foremost, they are nationalists and their system is mixed market capitalism, not communism, despite the nomenclature.

    It has now become apparent, belatedly, to the Dems that the Chinese are overtaking America economically and, given their alliance with Russia, suddenly this is disturbing to them.

    Don’t drink the cool aid.

    America has but one enemy: The Uniparty Establishment.