A Panoply of Hot War Triggers

Even though military officers as a rule are more conscious of the human cost of war than civilian politicians, eventually the generals may want to use the destroyers, submarines, and jet fighters that these big budgets have bought. War could be the by-product of the military buildup.

—Susan Shirk, China: Fragile Superpower

U.S. Defense Department analysts now carefully monitoring China’s massive military buildup rightfully fear this: The more capable the Chinese military becomes and the more global the reach of its troops, missiles, satellite systems, and deepwater navy, the more likely China will engage militarily with the United States or other nations such as Russia, Taiwan, Vietnam, or Japan.

Trigger 1: Iran’s ...

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