I know it's difficult to look past the grandiose follies of the TrumpenEra.
But Klare has a point; there seems to be a widespread consensus in the United States' geopolitical thinking, not just within the GOP but throughout the mainstream U.S. geopolitical thought, that "China is the enemy". As Klare points out:
"In eastern Ukraine, the Balkans, Syria, cyberspace, and in the area of nuclear weaponry, Russia does indeed pose a variety of threats to Washington’s goals and desires. Still, as an economically hobbled petro-state, it lacks the kind of might that would allow it to truly challenge this country’s status as the world’s dominant power. China is another story altogether. With its vast economy, growing technological prowess, intercontinental “Belt and Road” infrastructure project, and rapidly modernizing military, an emboldened China could someday match or even exceed U.S. power on a global scale..."The recent tsuris over the INF treaty and both the US and Russia seeming more concerned about China that each other seems a part of that. There seems to be a LOT of U.S. conturbation over the perceived threat of a powerful China.
Is it just me, or does this seem unpleasantly reminiscent of the setting of the Irano-Byzantine Wars of the 3rd through the 7th Centuries, wherein the two empires were obsessed with defeating the other, to the point where both succeeded only in thrashing themselves into debilitation that was ideal for the rising power of Arabic Islam to dismember and devour?
Is the ascent of the PRC inevitable? It would seem that to be so the flaws in the economic and political systems that brought down the USSR would have to be avoided. But, if they could be, does a conflict between the PRC and the USA have to occur? And, if so, what form(s) would it take? And would it be possible for one polity or the other to succeed, or is a mutual exhaustion of the Sassanid-East Roman sort seem more likely?
(Oh, and the title? Its from the supposed exchange between the newly crowned emperor Heraclius and his deposed predecessor Phocas:
"Is it thus", asked Heraclius, "that you have governed the Empire?"
"Will you," replied Phocas, with unexpected spirit, "govern it any better?"