Mearsheimer Argues ‘Containing’ China Could Lead to Nuclear War, but Press On We Must!

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Aug. 18 (EIRNS)—University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer, considered “one of the leading theorists of ‘offensive realism,’ ” told Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun in an interview published yesterday, that the danger of war with China is real, and that “there is a serious possibility that nuclear weapons will be used” in that war, even more so than during the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Mearsheimer nonetheless fiercely advocates continuing the imperial “contain China” policy which has created this danger, only insisting that it will take the Democrats, a Biden Administration, to put together the regional alliances which he deludes himself can accomplish that objective without nuclear war.

“The United States does not tolerate peer competitors. The idea that China is going to become a regional hegemon is unacceptable to the United States…. The United States will go to enormous lengths to prevent China from becoming a peer competitor,” he insisted. (In his perverted view, World War II was fought only to crush a competitor: “You want to remember the United States in the 20th century put four potential peer competitors on the scrap heap of history: Imperial Germany, Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union.”)

Mearsheimer argues for a situation like the one he thinks existed in the Cold War in Europe, where the density of forces and nuclear weapons was so high on both sides of the Fulda Gap that neither side could contemplate actually using them. That situation does not exist in the seas off China‛s coasts, which creates the conditions, Mearsheimer claims, in which nuclear weapons are more likely to be used, in this case as weapons against naval forces.

Trump “has wisely understood that it’s important for the United States to contain China, not only militarily, but economically,” Mearsheimer said, but the problem is that “it has done a bad job dealing with allies like Japan and South Korea and the Philippines and Australia and Vietnam and so forth and so on. What we need here is American leadership to put together a cohesive Alliance structure that can contain China….

“I think that if Joe Biden gets elected President … the Democrats will go back to treating our allies in Europe and East Asia much the same way we treated them until Trump took office,” he assured Asahi—and “the Democrats will be as committed to containment as Trump has been.”

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