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World War III then, World War III now

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posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 07:08 PM
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An idea for this thread came to me while thinking of potential next posts for my new blog. I was reminded of a subject that has intrigued me all my life but has never generated much of anything in the public realm: World War III, at least in its Cold War form.

So I decided it would be a cool project to make a post where I compare the most likely, hypothetical World War III of 1985 to a hypothetical World War III of, let's say, 2014. As cool as it is, it'd be very informative as well, IMO.

Why did I choose 1985 and 2014? Well, in 1985, the Cold War was at its peak. Both NATO and Warsaw Pact were armed to the teeth, nuclear arms were at the highest numbers, and U.S.-USSR relations were at the coldest it ever was. Also, the Iran-Iraq War was in full-swing and world energy supplies were at great risk, and 1985 was one of the last years that North Korea held a significant advantage over South Korea.

I chose 2014 for the "now," because it is my prediction that the full effects of the Iraq War and globalization will be completely felt by then. I also feel that both China, India, and Russia will have more power and influence by then. In addition, if all goes well, North Korea may cease to be a major issue by 2014.

Anyway, here are the two scenarios, side-by-side:

World War III - 1985

Major Combatants:
- NATO
- Warsaw Pact
- Arab Republic of Egypt
- Democratic People's Republic of Korea
- Islamic Republic of Iran
- People's Republic of China
- Republic of Iraq
- Republic of Korea
- State of Israel
- Syrian Arab Republic

Major Theatres:
- Arctic
- Central Europe (Germany)
- GIUK Gap/North Atlantic
- Korean Peninsula
- Mediterranean Sea
- Persian Gulf

Worldwide nuclear arsenal:
- 32,000 deployed warheads
- Unknown number in storage

World War III - 2014

Major Combatants:
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
- People's Republic of China
- Russian Federation
- Islamic Republic of Iran
- State of Israel
- Islamic Republic of Pakistan
- Republic of India
- al Qaeda
- Taliban
- Hezbollah
- Hamas
- Chechnya

Major Theatres:
- Central Asia
- Horn of Africa
- Kashmir
- Middle East
- Spratly Islands
- Taiwan Strait

Worldwide nuclear arsenal:
- 16,000 deployed warheads
- 14,000 in storage

World War III (2014) is clearly still mired with uncertainity. However, you can see the significant differences between the two scenarios. In today's times, the scale of a potential world war is much smaller. In fact, its not much of a world war at all, but more like a bunch of large-sized regional conflicts, wars that do not necessarily have direct connections with each other. In the Cold War era, all the wars have at least one direct link to the West-East struggle. Also, note the prevalence of non-state actors and small groups in 2014. This should be obvious; it is a different time. At the same time, it is fascinating to see the state lose monopoly on not just force, but economics and politics as well.

Militarily, warfare would be defined by full-scale, all-encompassing worldwide warfare dominated by massive conventional warfare, followed by global thermonuclear war, in 1985. In 2014, the paradigm has shifted. While nuclear weapons are still around, the possibility of their use is significantly lower due to the U.S. position as lone superpower and the emergence of capitalism, which makes full-scale conventional warfare less favorable. The overwhelming emphasis on high technology has also contributed to this new approach.

Fascinating, isn't it? The world order has changed so significantly in the last 22 years. Really is a matter of "pick your poison."

[edit on 14-2-2007 by sweatmonicaIdo]




posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 07:11 PM
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How times have changed and how times have not changed!


Our old enemies are our new enemies.


Why are we helping our enemies?


Where is Ronald Reagan when you need him!



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by mel1962
How times have changed and how times have not changed!



That is in many ways the essence of my comparison. What I want people to see is that the Cold War was like a historical oasis; it was something that really never happened before and the events of today are the more common occurances of history.



Our old enemies are our new enemies.



Well, you can't glean that from my post, but yes, you are right. India was an enemy then, now our relations have significantly improved with them.



Why are we helping our enemies?



Pakistan is the first country that comes to mind when you said that.



Where is Ronald Reagan when you need him!


Ronald Reagan enjoyed going head-to-head with the USSR, he is the worst man to be leading us.



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 07:21 PM
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Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo

Originally posted by mel1962
How times have changed and how times have not changed!



That is in many ways the essence of my comparison. What I want people to see is that the Cold War was like a historical oasis; it was something that really never happened before and the events of today are the more common occurances of history.



Our old enemies are our new enemies.



Well, you can't glean that from my post, but yes, you are right. India was an enemy then, now our relations have significantly improved with them.



Why are we helping our enemies?



Pakistan is the first country that comes to mind when you said that.



Where is Ronald Reagan when you need him!


Ronald Reagan enjoyed going head-to-head with the USSR, he is the worst man to be leading us.


Ronald Reagan bankrupted the Russians, now Bush is bankrupting America!


[edit on 2/14/07 by mel1962]



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 07:55 PM
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Sweetmonica,

Please just clarify on what your asking us to reply with
;

It's seems an interesting post I unsure as to how I should reply, it's not hard to confuse an Infantryman


I'm posted in Germany because of that bloody cold war!



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 08:37 PM
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Very interesting indeed. Ive read many books on the possible scenarios if the cold war had escalated, and most of them deal between the years 1985-86. The Third World War, by John Hackett(The Original and the Untold Story version), and Red Storm Rising by Tom Clancy are among the most known. John Hackett paints both what the conflict would look like if NATO had won, and the Untold Story version depicts a Soviet/Warsaw Pact victory. In both of those the old adage proves true, Nothing is more terrible a battle won, than a battle lost.



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by Jimmy1880
Sweetmonica,

Please just clarify on what your asking us to reply with
;

It's seems an interesting post I unsure as to how I should reply, it's not hard to confuse an Infantryman


I'm posted in Germany because of that bloody cold war!


Nothing specific, I really just wanted people's reactions, as well as a discussion on the current state of world affairs. I also wanted to educate, get people to understand that the Cold War is a once-in-an-existence kind of period in history, and as annoying things like globalization and the Iraq War may be, the present-day situation has been the dominant world situation throughout history. Read history books and you will see hundreds of instances similar to the present situation and almost nothing similar to the world wars or the Cold War.

Are you U.S. Army? If so, what unit and what base?



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 10:14 PM
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Ronald Reagan did not bankrupt the Soviets, they changed their name to Russia and still pump and sell more oil than the US.



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 10:19 PM
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Originally posted by etotheitheta
Ronald Reagan did not bankrupt the Soviets, they changed their name to Russia and still pump and sell more oil than the US.


Hmmm . . . they lost half their territory . . . lost half their military . . . they are making a comeback because of western investment in their oil industry . . . the berlin wall fell . . . many of the Warsaw pack are now NATO . . . don't forget they lost access to their warm water ports . . . well in the words of Ronald Reagan "Oh well there you go again!"



posted on Feb, 14 2007 @ 10:58 PM
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While this is not the intent of the thread, the Soviet Union's bankruptcy was inevitable. When you devote an overwhelming amount of national resources to the military and only the military, your country will fall eventually. Why is it that so many people are against high defense spending and the military-industrial complex? Because it kills a country in the long run.

As for Ronald Reagan, the late great Gerald Ford said it best:



It makes me very irritated when Reagan's people pound their chests and say that because we had this big military buildup, the Kremlin collapsed. When you put peace, prosperity and human rights against poverty, a massive unsuccessful military program and a lack of human rights, communism was bound to collapse," he said. "No president, no Democrat or Republican, can claim credit for those programs. I'll tell you who deserves the credit - the American people.


Back to the original topic.



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 04:29 AM
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Originally posted by mel1962
Well, you can't glean that from my post, but yes, you are right. India was an enemy then, now our relations have significantly improved with them.


The relationship is getting worse and worse really and not for a lack of American effort to make it so.



Pakistan is the first country that comes to mind when you said that.


Sometimes it is apparently in America's interest to aid a dictator with 'the bomb'.




Ronald Reagan bankrupted the Russians, now Bush is bankrupting America!


And that is the statement that really drew my attention. Where did people get this idea from as i'm pretty sure Ronald never claimed that he did? Wasn't he too busy seeing UFOs ( Russia UFOs i suppose as SDI against aliens seems pretty stupid to me ) to really change the balance of power?

How do you entice a nation to spend itself into bankruptcy when it already held a very very significant strategic advantage before you even entered the white house? If anything America spent itself into bankruptcy and the USSR used the opportunity to reform itself into a leaner meaner version of itself.


Originally posted by mel1962
Hmmm . . . they lost half their territory . . .


Not even remotely close to half and they really kept control by means of the political and economic dependence they had decades to create.


lost half their military . . .


I'm going to presume this is old fashioned vapid guess work if for nothing else than the 50/50 approach.


they are making a comeback because of western investment in their oil industry . . .


How and where is the west investing in Russian oil?


the berlin wall fell . . .


You don't say...


many of the Warsaw pack are now NATO . . .


Always better to get keys to the house you want to rob than attempting to break down the walls.


don't forget they lost access to their warm water ports . . .


Shock, Horror? Are they selling their ports to the Chinese yet as i kinda think that the Panama canal is more important to America than warm water ports where to the USSR. That being said they no longer need one as the Chinese will be taking care of warm water affairs for them.


well in the words of Ronald Reagan "Oh well there you go again!"


No more Reagan jokes from you i hope...

Stellar

[edit on 18-2-2007 by StellarX]



posted on Feb, 18 2007 @ 05:40 AM
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Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
While this is not the intent of the thread, the Soviet Union's bankruptcy was inevitable.


What bankruptcy


When you devote an overwhelming amount of national resources to the military and only the military, your country will fall eventually.


They were spending less on defense towards the 80's than they did in the late 70's or early 80's as far as CIA ( inaccurate and pretty useless but it's what we have to work with as far as i know) were concerned. There is no logical connection between the 'fall' of a country and the amount of resources directed towards 'national' goals as long as the work force is protected from the elements ( cold/heat/hunger) and isolated from learning how well others may be doing elsewhere. There is most certainly no declassified evidence that the CIA or the US government ( or anyone in the US establishment) knew that the USSR would disintegrate so fast and with so little resistance.


Why is it that so many people are against high defense spending and the military-industrial complex? Because it kills a country in the long run.


It's the only thing that is keeping the US economy afloat at this stage and without the strategic power the US wields it's bankruptcy in the 70's would have been far, far more obvious to the average American.

As for Ronald Reagan, the late great Gerald Ford said it best:


It makes me very irritated when Reagan's people pound their chests and say that because we had this big military buildup, the Kremlin collapsed.


Where does"Reagan people" actually claims this is my question to you....


When you put peace, prosperity and human rights against poverty, a massive unsuccessful military program and a lack of human rights, communism was bound to collapse,"


So why didn't it collapse and why do we still have countries like China?


he said. "No president, no Democrat or Republican, can claim credit for those programs. I'll tell you who deserves the credit - the American people.


As far as i know officials did not take credit and it was simply assigned to them by conservative ideologues.

Stellar



posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 03:30 PM
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"Reagan's people" is a very loose term. It refers to both people who worked with him, for him, and the millions of his supporters. Those right-wing idealogues you refer to are many of "Reagan's people." And i think its pretty clear that even Mr. Reagan actually believed he played a significant role in bringing down the Soviet Union.



posted on Mar, 9 2007 @ 02:49 AM
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Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
"Reagan's people" is a very loose term.


Take it up with Ford.



It refers to both people who worked with him, for him, and the millions of his supporters.


My reference was to those who had the positions in the media and intelligence/defense establishment who encouraged that belief by either supporting it offering up data that generally made it seem a credible position.


Those right-wing idealogues you refer to are many of "Reagan's people."


I should have indicated that it's my belief that those ideas were in fact spread by media commentators , of the above description, and not so much by the Reagan's people who where at the time not all ( hehe) working for the first Bush government... Maybe the distinction is not as easy to make as i am suggesting but that's what the data led me to believe,...


And i think its pretty clear that even Mr. Reagan actually believed he played a significant role in bringing down the Soviet Union.


"Significant' it might be in his opinion ( i am not sure as his exact stance even) but considering what he did to the American 'economy' in the process ( to say nothing of the national debt and the many millions who were killed by the 'anti-communist' groups his government supported) was it really worth it? No one has yet begun to explain away the reality that by the early 1980's the US were a decade behind simply catching up to the conventional forces as deployed by the USSR and many decades behind in critical technological areas such as direct energy weapons and military space launch capacity.

The fact that Reagan launched a arms build up does no more than prove that no one with any knowledge of the USSR ( something Reagan completed lacked) expected it to collapse any decade soon or from any external pressure the US could apply by that time.

I do appreciate the thread idea but considering the general ignorance ( and you seem to be far better informed than most ) of Soviet strategic doctrine i have noted on this forum i doubt anyone would be enlightened by the speculation that luckily did not follow.

It may or may not be sufficient to say that any world war three would have been have led to a quick and decisive end to the so called 'free world' ( the west) leading to hundreds of millions of dead in Europe and North America. We should all be thankful that those who currently hold the power in Russia are happy to slowly undermine the west ( and could prevent NATO from starting a third world war ) giving us all time to discover , and get rid of, the intent of those who we are really led by.

Thanks anyways....

Stellar



posted on Mar, 11 2007 @ 10:21 AM
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Originally posted by StellarX
Sometimes it is apparently in America's interest to aid a dictator with 'the bomb'.


And what interest would that be?



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