While it has become nearly axiomatic for observers of world affairs to contend that the U.S.-led postwar order is under growing, if not unprecedented, duress, there is little consensus about what architecture, if any, might replace it. A recent assessment ventures that

the successor to the global system of governance we have known since the Second World War [may be] not another order but the absence of one. It is possible that the world, squeezed between the incompatible visions of a retreating U.S. and a resurgent China, is already hurtling toward chaos.

Given this uncertainty about the path forward, it is not surprising that analysts seek to identify historical parallels to the contemporary era and distill what guidance those comparisons might offer to today’s leaders. Two of the analogies that have emerged from that undertaking have proven especially enduring: the 1930s and the Cold War.

Read the full piece at the National Interest.


Ali Wyne is a policy analyst at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point. Follow him at @Ali_Wyne.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the US government.


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