It’s time to retire the myth that World War I was a meaningless, avoidable tragedy while World War II was a just and necessary crusade. World War I and World War II had the same cause—the desire of German elites to use aggressive war to turn Germany from a regional power into a global superpower—and the same result—the defeat of Germany by a defensive coalition of Russia, Britain, France and the United States. If it was right to prevent the German conquest of Europe by the Fuhrer, it was also right to prevent the German conquest of Europe by the Kaiser. What the world needed in 1914 and 1939 was what the world thankfully has today: a European Germany, not a German Europe.
Michael Lind, a policy director at the New America Foundation, is a contributing editor of The National Interest and author of The American Way of Strategy.
This first appeared in 2014 and is being reposted due to reader interest.