a reply to: MrSpad
If I may turn reality on its side a bit for the sake of argument (after complimenting you on your analysis so far, which has been great), I would
suggest that a world war by its nature breaks the old model of what is possible with new capabilities and new motives that were not accounted for in
the old calculus.
I think a world war needs a global ambition, a messianic instigator, and the debut of a decisive new strategic element which is not fully implemented
or understood at the beginning of the war.
The ambition and the leader could come from anywhere, but I think the logical scenario is that a financial crisis causes a major power to attempt to
break the global economic system in order to force the establishment of something new.
I have difficulty putting a word on what I think the key capability of WWIII could be, but I think I see elements of it in how the US used the
Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, in how we took Iraq so quickly and how we failed to capitalize on it, in how terrorists organizations seem to have
been used by the US throughout the war on terror, in what the Russians did in Ukraine, and in what we are training to do in Jade Helm.
I think in large part it's about exploiting the local population as a favorable condition or even an asset rather than viewing them as an objective to
control or hostiles to suppress, bypassing regular military by stealth or by speed and removing their support and their reason for being, and creating
chaos in the civilian population they'd rather be tending to. This allows an overwhelming force to appear anywhere at essentially anytime until the
regular military can respond in force, which could be a day or two depending.
I envision something like a global coup attempt, probably by a radicalized United States. In place after place infrastructure and communications go
offline amid engineered riots, varying narratives are allowed to filter through the cyberwar from different places, minor regional wars and civil
disturbances occupy military forces with spotty command and control, while governments scramble to keep up with where enemy special operators are now
and what exactly they're trying to accomplish. We corrupt records, expose secrets, threaten important people, and force support for the movements we
have created, and overnight there are more fires lit than anyone can put out in key economic chokepoints, there are key people being held for ransom,
key military assets are offline, and it's time to negotiate or watch the world burn.
I admit it's far fetched and movie-like, but really, how many buildings and how many people in any country are really relevant to what that country as
a whole does? How many elite warriors with state of the art weapons would you really need to take those buildings and coerce those people if only you
could prevent a rapid response? I think you could make the disruption of the current order fait accompli in under 72 hours, and bargain a partial
return to the status quo ante with major concessions- or if you were a genocidal madman you could simply destroy the carrying capacity of an entire
continent and guarantee tens of millions of deaths from lack of infrastructure with less manpower than it would normally take just to dig the mass