Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Ukraine, Russia and the Us: Echoes of Wwi?
Army War College historian MICHAEL NEIBERG discusses the origins of World War I-100 years ago this year-and explores parallels and differences between the unexpected sequence of events that triggered a ghastly conflict in 1914 and how the Ukraine crisis in 2014 has become the most serious conflict between East and West since the end of the Cold War. Neiberg emphasizes how unpredictably a chain of events can begin when small conflicts in remote places compel great world powers into direct conflict. He discusses his recent book on the origins of WWI, Dance of the Furies, and disputes the conventional explanation for the outbreak of the war, saying ordinary Europeans neither wanted nor expected what began during the fateful summer of 1914. Instead, in another possible parallel to contemporary times, he says a small group of misguided national and military leaders led their countries into an "orgy of violence."