Road: Strategy, Technology, and the Hidden History of America’s Mobile
Thucydides was an Athenian historian and general. His History of
the Peloponnesian War recounts the 5th-century BC war between
Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC.
He has been called the father of the school of political realism,
which views the political behavior of individuals and the
subsequent outcomes of relations between states as ultimately
mediated by and constructed upon the emotions of fear and
outcome)是由恐惧和私利心境产生并最终发展(mediated by and
The emerging field of Cold War historyreceives a new addition with An
Untaken Road, an account of mobileintercontinental ballistic missiles
More generally, Thucydides developed an understanding of human
nature to explain behavior in such crises as plagues, massacres,
and civil war.
Steve Pomeroy, a history professor andformer missileer himself, delves
into one of least known areas ofAmerica’snuclear weapons history as he
explores the Air Force’s efforts to mobilize itsICBMs.
Graham Tillett Allison, an American political scientist and professor
at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, coined
the phrase “Thucydides Trap”, otherwise known as the security
dilemma, to refer to when a rising power causes fear in an
established power which escalates toward war. The past 500
years have seen 16 cases in which a rising power threatened to
displace a ruling one. Twelve of these ended in war.
加州Davis分校大学Kennedy政党大学(Kennedy School of Government
Pomeroy uses established historical theoryof technological development
to enlighten the reader as to how mobile ICBMscame about—and ultimately
failed—in the context of the Cold War.
The security dilemma has long been debated among international
relations theorists. As a theory, its development was influenced
by the experience of Athens and Sparta—Thucydides wrote of the
Peloponnesian War that “it was the rise of Athens and the fear this
instilled in Sparta that made war inevitable”—and arms racing
during the Cold War. The security dilemma suggests that increases
in one state’s security—even a defensively motivated power—may
decrease the security of another power. (Or, as Charles Glaser
put it, moves to reassure one power make the other less
secure.) States are fundamentally uncertain over one another’s
present and future intentions. However, the theory continues, this
does not mean states are doomed to fight. The offense-defense
balance of military technology allows states to break out of the
security dilemma. This depends upon the relative advantages of offense
versus defense, and the degree to which offense and defense can be
differentiated from one another.
fear this instilled
查尔斯 Glaser 所说的那样(as put it)，一国动用安全措施(reassure
balance)能够让各国摆脱(break out of
Employing a modified version of historianThomas Hughes’s five-phase
model of technological innovation, he shows how eachsucceeding mobile
missile program ultimately did not garner the momentumrequired to become
The world today is very different from the time of ancient Greece and
mankind has more wisdom to avoid history repeating itself.As a
Chinese saying goes, to achieve success, one has to obtain
“opportunities of time vouchsafed by Heaven, advantages of situation
afforded by the Earth and the union arising from the accord of
people,” or to put differently, right time, right place and right
If these three conditions are ripe, China and the United States
face an unprecedented opportunity to break the trap and create a
win-win situation for both countries and the world as a whole.
This is a world where peace, development, cooperation and mutual
benefit have become the trend of the times. The Cold War mentality
and zero-sum game theory should be abandoned.
Despite continuous regional conflicts, there is no sign of another
world war breaking out. More and more countries choose to sit and
negotiate in solving their disputes. Those who don’t follow the
peaceful trend will ultimately fail.
who don’t follow the peaceful trend will ultimately fail.)。
With globalization deepening, one country’s loss will definitely not
just be its own. “No conflict, no confrontation” will serve as the
bottom line for the relationship between the world’s two largest
economies in the new era.
人类生存在同一个地球村里，一荣俱荣，一损俱损(one country’s loss will
definitely not just be its
It is important to remember the pledge of the United Nations “to
save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in
our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind.”
Hatred and war can only bring disaster and distress, especially
when both China and the United States have nuclear weapons. If war
erupts, China’s development would surely suffer a severe blow, but
the U.S. leading role in the world would also be weakened.
a severe blow)。
It is true that China is rising, but it is a peaceful rise. China just
wants to bid farewell to its humiliating modern history and
realize its dream of national rejuvenation through reform and
of national rejuvenation )。
Both China and the United States are important members of the
Asia-Pacific region which boasts the world’s fastest economic growth
and the greatest potential for development. It is also a region of
converging interests for both countries.
China and the U.S. shoulder the common responsibility to maintain
peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia Pacific, which is also the
wish of regional members.
推动亚太地区和平安定繁荣，是中国和米利坚两个国家的严重性任务(shoulder the common
Economic interdependence alone does not guarantee peace, but it is
indeed a strong force to prevent war. It is in America’s interest
for China to be successful, peaceful and prosperous and vice
America’s interest for )，反之亦然。
It is the first time in history that an existing power and a rising
power have so many shared interests. Standing on the same ground,
even if the two countries have 100 reasons to diverge, they have
1,000 reasons to cooperate.
on the same ground, )，中美纵有(even if
China is now a major player and supporter of the current
international system, in which it is a full member. The more developed
China becomes, the more it needs a peaceful and stable international
environment. So does the United States.
These pragmatic steps demonstrate the two sides do in fact share
interests and can successfully work together.
The interaction between Chinese and US leaders could ensure that both
sides understand each other’s strategic intention and avoid making
mistakes on fundamental questions.
Forty-six years ago, the visit of the U.S. table tennis team to China
opened a new chapter in China-U.S. relations. Now there is a flight
between the two countries every 17 minutes. The number of students
studying in each other’s country has exceeded 500,000.All these lay a
good public opinion foundation for further cooperation.
A different history, culture, social system and development stage
make it just natural for China and the United States to have
divergences, but it is not the mainstream of their ties. Even if there
are issues they cannot resolve, they can manage them.
Over 90 intergovernmental dialogue and cooperation mechanisms have
been set up so that where there are unhelpful comments or examples
of narrow-minded strategic thinking, they cannot prevent the two
countries from cooperation.
comments)或计谋性疑虑(narrow-minded strategic thinking)的影响。
The two sides will continue to maintain strategic communication in the
areas of the military, open seas, outer space, and cyber domains
to increase trust.
American leaders have emphasized many times that they welcome a
strong, prosperous and stable China. Now it is time for the U.S. side
to match this important statement with concrete actions.
“The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going,” as
American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said. Now the three
conditions (time, place and person) are ripe, it is time for China and
the United States to stand on the same side to escape the historical
fatalism of confrontation between big powers. If Thucydides trap is
replaced with a new model of major-country relationship, China and
the United States will have made a great contribution to the world’s
future and mankind’s wisdom.
正如美利坚独资国国学家Ralph·瓦尔多·爱默生说：“人但有追求(who knows where he