September 20, 2014

World War One: First war was impossible, then inevitable I

It may seem almost impossible that Washington would go to war against Beijing to defend some uninhabited Japanese islands.

Or against Moscow over some decrepit mining towns in Donbas, if Ukraine ever joined NATO.

In early 1914, though, it seemed almost impossible that Britain and France would go to war with Germany to defend Russia against Austria-Hungary over a dispute with Serbia. Yet by June 28, war moved straight from impossible to inevitable —without ever passing through improbable.

Four years later, 10 million people had died.


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