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I'm not attempting to defend the thesis that wars between non-imperial sovereigns are simply friendly argy-bargy between good mates.

But it is true that you only get worldwide wars when you involve worldwide empires, for the simple reason that they are the only ones who have the logistics and raw power to raise an entire hemisphere in total war. Whether the big empires prevent enough wars between the states within the empire to compensate for the occasional war of hegemony is a non-trivial question of counterfactual history, and will probably vary from empire to empire. The American empire might. The British empire almost certainly did not.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Sep 3rd, 2011 at 05:04:11 AM EST
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