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    9 Eerie Similarities Between 1914 And Today

    In her new Brookings Essay, The Rhyme of History: Lessons of the Great War, historian Margaret MacMillan takes an in-depth look at the global tensions that led to World War I in 1914, and the striking similarities she sees happening today. As we quickly approach the 100th anniversary of WWI, does our world today look that much different than the pre-war world of 1914? Can we avoid the mistakes that might lead to another devastating global conflict?

    1. Remote parts of the world are being rapidly linked by breakthroughs in communication.

    2. A large expansion in global trade and investment has lulled the world into a false sense of security.

    3. Waves of immigration and other socio-economic change lead to a conservative backlash in many countries.

    Via Getty images

    4. The widespread transmission of radical ideologies, aided by globalization, brings together fanatics who will stop at nothing in their quest for the perfect society.

    5. The international power structure is shifting rapidly as emerging nations challenge established powers.

    Via Getty images

    6. Regional hotspots flare up, as a mix of toxic nationalisms and shared religious and ethnic identities lead to outside powers regularly intervening.

    7. Peace is assumed to be the common state of affairs, but the international community finds it increasingly difficult to deal with conflicts as they arise.

    8. The nature of war is rapidly changing in ways that world leaders themselves may ignore or not fully understand.

    9. Key powers are headed by weak, divided or distracted leaders who are deeply concerned that their nation be taken seriously.

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