By: Imran Khushal
On 26th May 2016, the Guardian reported that China is about to send its submarines armed with nukes into the Pacific Ocean after the installation of the US THAAD anti-ballistic system in South Korea and development of hypersonic glide missiles which could destroy Beijing in less than one hour. Escalating tensions between China and the United States on one hand and Russia and the United States, on the other hand, have ignited once again the fear of mother of all evils, the WORLD WAR THREE. The debate on the possibility of World War Three has divided people into two groups. Some believe yes we are heading to that and in others’ view a world war in the twenty-first century means complete destruction, which will not benefit anyone, is out of the question.
This debate is not new and definitely, it will go on until such a time comes when the world would achieve absolute peace or the absolute war. However, to understand these competing views one may ask what constitutes a world war? According to Three World Wars, a conspiratorial web portal, “a World War is a military conflict spanning more than 2 continents, in which at least 20 major countries participate in an attack against a common enemy, and which has the attention of the man-in-the-street due to the significant loss of life.” However, as per this definition, the United States has already started the Third World War by invading Iraq in 2003.
Countries which many believe could possibly start World War Three are those have nuclear capability and are in the standoff with their traditional enemy or enemies. In words of P.W. Singer and August Cole, who have co-authored, Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War, in 2015, “U.S. and Chinese warships battle at sea, firing everything from cannons to cruise missiles to lasers. Stealthy Russian and American fighter jets dogfight in the air, with robotic drones flying as their wingmen. Hackers in Shanghai and Silicon Valley duel in digital playgrounds. And fights in outer space decide who wins below on Earth. Are theses scenes from a novel or what could actually take place in the real world the day after tomorrow? The answer is both.”
Keeping all recent developments in view it looks like the Third World War is only one mistake away. This mistake could be made by a superpower of any other nuclear power. One fear is that if a group of terrorists accidentally or conspiratorially get the control of a nuclear missile and attacks anywhere in the world, it would start World War Three. Another fear is that North Korea could possibly attack South Korea or the United States and consequences could lead to a disaster like World War Three. Whatever would be the cause the end will be a complete destruction. As once said Sir Albert Einstein that “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Story first published: 30th May 2016