6 Ways to Prevent a Conflict Between Tokyo and Beijing  (Page 4 of 6)

4. Do not miscalculate your (or their) military capabilities and fighting resolve.

Some leading research on the psychological process involved in crossing the Rubicon of war suggests that belligerents tend to be buoyed by overconfidence as war looms closer. Leaders tend to over estimate their own capabilities, and underestimate their enemy’s capabilities and resolve during dangerous crises. This is relevant to both parties in the Senkaku/Diaoyu standoff.

In this context, one should be concerned about reports that "In the event of war with China over the disputed Diaoyutai (Diaoyu or Senkaku) islands in the East China Sea, Japan's defense ministry would attempt a coordinated attack with the U.S. to sink China's first and only aircraft carrier in service…" Similarly, the Chinese People’s Daily’s dismissal of the seriousness of Japan’s capabilities and intent to fight to defend the Senkakus – based on faith in the coercive power of Chinese missiles – is also dangerously simplistic. Neither party can predict the outcome of such a war. Any comments to the contrary are propaganda at best, delusional optimism at worst. 

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