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How does WWI impact the U.S. today?

BY Larisa Epatko  August 6, 2014 at 6:25 PM EDT

Authors Margaret MacMillan, John Mearsheimer and Jack Beatty appeared on Wednesday’s PBS NewsHour to discuss the legacy of World War I.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of World War I. PBS NewsHour chief correspondent Jeffrey Brown spoke with authors Margaret MacMillan, John Mearsheimer and Jack Beatty on Wednesday about the lasting effects of the war on the United States today.

In the above web-only portion of their conversation, Beatty, senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly, said today’s U.S. alliance includes Japan, which is butting heads with China over issues such as territorial rights over islands in the East China Sea. “Is that the kind of alliance that could lead to a war? We don’t know,” he said.

Since the world wars, the United States’ goal has been to make sure no single country dominates Europe or Asia, said Mearsheimer, professor of political science at the University of Chicago. These days, “you don’t see any threat to dominating Europe today … but Asia is a very different story,” with the rise of China, he said.

But MacMillan, professor of international history at Oxford University, said China has “other issues to worry about,” including Japan, India and its neighbors. “I’m not sure the rise of China is going to be that smooth.”

Watch more of their conversation on Wednesday’s PBS NewsHour.