Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Credit: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images I wish I did not have to write my new book, The Avoidable War: The Dangers of Catastrophic Conflict between the U.S. and Xi Jinping’s China. I am just old enough to remember marching as a small child in our annual ANZAC Day parade — the Australian equivalent of Memorial Day — in our tiny country town with my father, who had fought in World War II. I also remember marching beside men in their seventies, by then a little unsteady on their feet, who had fought back in World War I. One of them, my father confided in me, still suffered from shell shock. There was nothing inevitable about the Great War from 1914 to 1918. It came about because of the flawed decisions of political and military leaders in July and August 1914. Those decisions cost approximately 40 million lives, including 117,000 Americans and 60,000 Australians. The decisions about how to punish the losers of that war set the fuse for the next global conflagration, one so horrific that when it was done, as many as 85 Subscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.