Wednesday, July 19, 2006


There has been a lot of talk about WW3 and the fact that we are in it right now. I disagree. While the world is in a state of constant low grade conflict from several sources, but I do not think we are currently in World War 3. It is possible that the world could enter into another global war, though I doubt the path to that global war lies though the middle east.

In my mind for a war to be called a "World War", it must be truly global in reach and involve all or most of the major power players in the world. The first condition is fairly easy to satisfy in my mind. The second one is a little harder as the major superpowers have to feel that their very existence is at stake to participate in such a huge war. Gone are the days of taking overland and spreading your influence through beating your competitor on the battlefield. For the most part the major powers compete on the economic stage. Though there is a good bit of competition on the world political stage inside of the UN. This is not to say that another world war is not possible, it is just less likely.

So the real question is what possible events could involve Brazil, China, Europe, India, Japan, Russia, and the United States in a battle to the death? I think there are several main paths to world war three, some of which are listed below.

Possibility 1
Israel is attacked or attacks Syria, which pulls Iran into the regional conflict. If Iran was somehow able to convince Russia or China to join them, then there is a good chance World War 3 would be on. But what are the chances that Russia or China would actually risk that by supporting Iran, a county that while it does have oil, no one really likes anyways. I suspect that Russia and China would view this as an UN problem, not a problem to actually fight over. Russia has its own oil reserves and China is and has made deals with other middle east countries to buy oil, so it might view the loss of Iran's oil as unfortunate, but nothing to go to war over.

Possibility 2
North Korea is attacked or attacks South Korea or Japan. There is a good chance that China would then get directly involved. Unfortunately, the US is already directly involved and has been involved for the past 50 some odd years in that area. If North Korea is let off of it's short chain by China or just gets out of the fence, they could cause some tense situations (like Cuban missile tense). I view this as the shortest and most likely path to WW3. I think of China as the country that we are most likely to end up in a war with in the next 20 years. I also think that if North Korea acts with out China's help or without their permission nothing will come of it. What I am afraid of is China using, North Korea, to draw the US into a larger conflict.

possibility 4
If Hugo Chavez goes "Saddam Hussein" land hungry in south America, you could see another a world war or more than likely see a worldwide rescue like in 1991, in the Gulf War.

Random possibility 5
It is possible, though not probable, that any of the major powers could stage a random attack on one of the others. We have already seen that the US can take over a couple little countries and no one big is willing to fight about it. It would have to be on the scale of China attacking India, Japan, or Russia, for the big boys to get involved. China could probably take over a few smaller countries and no one would really try too hard, though there would be a lot of talk about getting ready for war.

I don't see a global war in the near future, but the seething low level global conflict sure ain't going away. There is also not an easy or clear way of ending the global conflict, with out giving in to the wants of those causing the problems. If I missed something in my global analysis, please chime in with treaties to back up you claims.


Update: I was going to include the fact that Iran and North Korea could team up as one of the potential outcomes, but the fact that Iran was at the missile test for North Korea had not been confirmed. Well know it has.


Dave Justus said...

Of course all of those countries are involved in fighting Islamic extremism, with Brazil, China and Japan only being moderately involved.

I think though that conflicts between major nation states are unlikely in the future. Global interconnectedness and interdependency makes that less and less likely. The downside is that evolving technology is putting destructive capabilities that only major nation states could have in the past in the hands of smaller and smaller groups.

It is not out of the realm of possibility for a terror group to be able to develop and unleash a horrific biological weapon in the next ten years (to name one example) such an attack could cause thousands, if not millions, of deaths. Would that make it WWIII?

In some ways the old paradigms don't apply very well to the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

In your blog you said, " I doubt the path to that global war lies though the middle east." Then in your first scenario, you mention Iran, Syria and Israel.

Cubicle said...

I should have chosen my words more carefully. What I meant was that the WW3 will not start just because there is fighting in middle east. We are talking about a World War here, not a regional conflit.

The conflict in the middle east must include other majob players in a war, which I hope I have pointed out how unlikely that is.

We have already seen that American can take over a few countires that no one likes, and the big boys want lift a finger to stop it. Sure they will complain, but that is about it.

So what I should have said is that a "direct" path to world war three does not lie in the middle east.

Anonymous said...

World wars begin as regional conflicts. The US is recalling 25,000 marines to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq. Austrailia is sending over 6,000 troops to the same area. The Bush administration has already demonstrated it will go to war anytime it wishes to go war. Bush's vulcans have over-estimated our military abilites and under-estimated our enemies abilities.
With the election coming up this November, expect the US to attack Iran due to Republican vulnerabilty at the polls.
What to expect after that is anyone's guess. North Korea invading South Korea. China vs Taiwan. Pakistan vs India. China vs India.

Cubicle said...

"With the election coming up this November, expect the US to attack Iran due to Republican vulnerabilty at the polls."

I would say that is 100 percent wrong. If Bush and the republicans have suffered at the polls because he went to war, why would he do it again? Doesn't make sense.

Secondly, Keep in mind that the Iraq war started in 1991 and we are just now finishing it. It took many years of going though the UN before america acted. The iran war has a few more years of going though the UN.

"World wars begin as regional conflicts."

True. What I am trying to point out is that many of the regional conflicts will stay that way. There is a very slight chance that they will esclate to world war status. The big boys, china, russia, india, westren europe won't go to bat for their favorite rouge nation.

"China vs Taiwan. Pakistan vs India. China vs India."

Doh...I forgot about the Taiwan issue. That has been hiding under the radar for awhile.

Anything could happen but is most likely.

Anonymous said...

WWIII is apon us. It can be stopped. The radical fundamentalist muslims must be destroyed. They will stop at nothing. Unlike the cold war when both sides had a fear of mutual assured distruction,the nation of islam welcomes it. If Iran gets there way and turns the middle east into one government of gihadist,then they would become a super power to be reckoned with.

tony said...

You are slightly amiss sir, China is waiting to invade Taiwan at an opputune moment. Let there be no doubt of this. Iran , Iraq and Syria can be thought of as one in spirit. The Saudie's are only a royal family "dumping" away from a fundamentalist state.Lebanon is rapidly falling to Syrian, Hezbollah control and I think its already to late for that to be stopped.As soon as the Americans leave Iraq it will fall to shite control ( read Iran )Turkey will then be in the firing line, with its large muslim population , subversion will not be hard. Now Russia:Does not like America, is run by Putin and Co who are intent on retaining power and are not to shy to do anthing to keep it. The chances of them backing Iran are not that remote ."The enemy of my enemy is my friend" Putins motivation is POWER. Not economics!!!Hes got lots of oil and gas.He does not need to bow to the US and he knows it.The Chinese and india are competitors and armed conflict is simply inevitable , only the timing can be in doubt. Does anyone else see the potential for a two front war.One encouraging the other. The western world attacked on two fronts like Germany in ww2 ??? China alone could tie down US power in the Pacific.Stopping America from coming to Europes aid. Letting the new fundamentalist states backed by Russia to attack Europe from the meditteranean. Please note the Chinese and the Russians have made recent forward strides in thier relationship.

Anonymous said...

There is a Russian-Chinese-Iranian agreement called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. They are already allies...China and Russia recieve huge quantitites of oil from Iran. If the US preemptively attack Iran, which several Russian generals think she will, we will be thrust into ww3. Not to mention that they are also allies with Venezuela.

Anonymous said...

o ya russia has also just doubled its draft..........................................................................

Anonymous said...

I think if WW3 starts the spoils of war are the crashed alien flying suacers that are kept at the Air Force base. I predict that Germany is the one to get this technology for themselves to go to other planets. You wont hear about all the aliens that came to earth and got killed with Zyklon-B poisen gas. Its all top secret in every nation on Earth. They want you to wear 666 on your right hand or forhead. Its the mark of the beast with feet of a bear body of a leopard and mouth of a lion. With 10 horns and 7 heads. It gets its power from Satin the Dragen that also has 10 horns and 7 heads. That means your to believe there are no space aliens for the next 8 thousand years.

Anonymous said...

If Russia came to europe looking for a fight they would get kicked the shit out off from the brittish army we rock we own we are the elite and if all else fails fuck em blow em too peices and then go in and take the rest of em out BRITTISH EMPIRE 4EVER. JOIN THE ARMY BE THE BEST. its not just a saying its TRUE!!!