Sunday, January 15, 2006

Niall Ferguson: The origins of the Great War of 2007 - and how it could have been prevented

Niall Ferguson is a historian of the first World War. This is his grim column speculating on another great War he sees coming with Iran. A war that drags in China.

It may come to war soon, but it will be swift under any scenario, and with any outcome.
The devastating nuclear exchange of August 2007 represented not only the failure of diplomacy, it marked the end of the oil age. Some even said it marked the twilight of the West. Certainly, that was one way of interpreting the subsequent spread of the conflict as Iraq's Shi'ite population overran the remaining American bases in their country and the Chinese threatened to intervene on the side of Teheran.

Yet the historian is bound to ask whether or not the true significance of the 2007-2011 war was to vindicate the Bush administration's original principle of pre-emption. For, if that principle had been adhered to in 2006, Iran's nuclear bid might have been thwarted at minimal cost. And the Great Gulf War might never have happened.

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