Averting Armageddon

  • Hall GardnerEmail author


This chapter looks back into history since the Franco-Prussian War to see if there are any previous strategies that might be relevant in the effort to prevent the post-Cold War global system from once again degenerating into major power conflict—after “containment” had failed to prevent war with Imperial Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire before World War I and “appeasement” had failed to prevent war with Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan before World War II.

Given significant US and Russian complaints about interference in each other’s elections, the 1933 Roosevelt-Litvinov accord that ended US non-recognition of the Soviet Union in exchange for a Russian pledge not to interfere in US politics might provide an initial model for a better US–Russian relationship today. The fact that Great Britain and Russia were capable of coming to terms in 1907—despite their mutual hostilities during the late nineteenth century “great game”—indicates that a path to peace with contemporary Russia is at least viable. The question remains as to whether Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Iran, as well as India and Pakistan, can put an end to their proxy wars and whether North Korea and South Korea, China and Taiwan can all reach a modus vivendi with the US.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International and Comparative PoliticsAmerican University of ParisParisFrance

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