Prompted by the spotlight placed on China and American relations from COVID-19 and Ray Dalio's series, "The Changing World Order", which highlights the historical pattern that would indicate the eventuall fall of the US Dollar as reserve currency and the United Stated as globally dominant power; Allison's approach focuses on framing the China American potential conflict against the historical pattern of Thucydides's Trap.

The trap is that a rising power will come into conflict with the dominant power, and in 12 of 16 case studies, it has led to war.

China and the US clearly fit this pattern, the result remains as history yet unwritten.