Another Bloody Century

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 December, 2006, 12:00am

Another Bloody Century

by Colin S. Gray

Phoenix, HK$160

It's reassuring that Colin Gray, professor of international politics and strategic studies at Reading University, sees no war on the immediate horizon. But he's quite clear in Another Bloody Century that war on the devastating scale of the 20th century is coming. Already the combatants are squaring off. The US on one side, Russia and China on the other, though war between the latter pair seems just as likely. India and Pakistan will go at it sooner rather than later. It will not be about territory, though pressure for arable land is growing, but about resources - oil, water, gas. China is already having 'political' problems securing resources to sustain economic growth. Gray says US hegemony will not be challenged before 2020, but after that all bets are off. Fundamental to Gray's examination, which shows the apparent historic inevitability of another major conflict, is the view that a reluctance to use nuclear weapons or sustain heavy casualties is not universal. The west is 'fastidious' about low-casualty war. Gray reckons human behaviour will revert to type. Playing nicely is just too much hard work.


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