Destined for War?


On April 26, the Center for the National Interest hosted a lunch panel discussion with Professor Graham Allison on his new cover story in the National Interest magazine on China and America entitled “Destined For War?”

Allison is the director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center, the author of the important new book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?, and the former assistant secretary for policy and plans in the Pentagon during the Clinton administration. Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of the National Interest, moderated.

In his sober essay, Allison closely looks at the prospects for conflict between Beijing and Washington, arguing that “Today, there are at least three plausible paths to war between the world’s two greatest powers.” He carefully examines each of them. Allison does not believe that war is inevitable, but notes that avoiding one will require statecraft “as subtle as that exercised by the British in dealing with a rising America a century ago.”