Cardboard cutouts U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping near a gift shop in Moscow, March 2020.
Reuters / Evgenia Novozhenina

What a difference two decades make. In the early years of this century, the world appeared to be moving toward a single, seamless order under U.S. leadership. Today the world is fragmenting, and authoritarian challengers, led by China and Russia, are chipping away at American influence in East Asia, eastern Europe, and the Middle East. In its 2002 National Security Strategy, the George W. Bush administration envisioned the end of great-power rivalries. In 2020, the question is how great powers can navigate their rivalries without stumbling into war.  

Writing in Foreign Affairs (“The New Spheres of Influence,” March/April 2020), Graham Allison

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