On a scale of 0 to 10, the average perceived risk of war with China was 1.91
Yesterday, former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev said in an interview with Interfax that the United States was dragging Russia into a new Cold War. Gorbachev warned that it could eventually turn into an armed conflict. Amid escalating tensions over the Ukraine conflict, European Union is considering further sanctions on Russia. On Wednesday, Russia sent two of its nuclear bombers very close to the British airspace, which defense experts say was an act of aggression.
Scholars differ from the mainstream public opinion
Meanwhile, China is involved in a conflict with most of its neighbors, including Japan, which has a security pact with the United States. If a war breaks out between China and Japan, the U.S. will have to jump in to protect its ally. Rising tensions in these geographies have sparked fears that a war is imminent. But international relations scholars believe that a war is unlikely between the U.S. and Russia or China.
Foreign Policy conducted a survey in collaboration with Teaching, Research, and International Policy (TRIP). They interviewed 1,395 international relations scholars across the United States. Findings of the study revealed that the opinion of scholars was dramatically different from the mainstream public opinion.
What experts say about a new Cold War with Russia
When asked how likely was a war between the U.S. and Russia or China in the next 10 years, they said that war between these powers was unlikely. They added that war between the U.S. and China was far less likely than between the U.S. and Russia. Foreign Policy also surveyed scholars in Russia and East Asia.
On a scale of 0 to 10, for all scholars, the average perceived risk of war with China was 1.91. The figure was a little higher at 2.55 for the likeliness of a war with Russia. Then they asked scholars whether the U.S. and Russia were headed back to a Cold War. Less than 38% scholars believed that the two countries were on the verge of a new Cold War. Over 47% said a Cold War was unlikely, while about 15% were uncertain.
By comparison, a Gallup poll conducted last year showed that about 50% of the general public believed that a new Cold War was highly likely.