- X is afraid of Y, so
- X tries to make Y afraid of them in return, and
- X escalates to make sure Y is the more afraid, so
- Y cranks up the intimidation even more, because
- Y can't let X win.
- Y says "X needs to fear US!", so
- (repeat paragraph)...
And I'm told: as long as the other guys are winning.
Breaking the cycle is possible, but you can bet that when it ends, it won't be because one side won.