posted on Nov, 6 2013 @ 12:50 AM
From a future-historical perspective, WWIII probably started in 2001, but the other key players have allowed the war to remain cold so far.
As happened in the last world war, one of the youngest, fastest rising and most powerful nations in the world went through a major struggle and
economic trouble, then enjoyed a brief period of peace and prosperity, and when that was threatened they turned to the far right and tore through
several nations easily. And like last time, a communist nation which is probably too big and inhospitable to ever be taken but not yet ready for a
fight has kept its enemy close and even shared in the spoils of its enemy's conquests.
But unlike last time, it is doubtful that a foolish invasion of the East will be undertaken, or that anyone in Europe will lift a hand to restore
stability before it is too late.
The world has also gotten considerably more complicated since last time in terms of the global economy- you don't have to keep your boot on the
conquered and physically take their resources- through trade and banking agreements that most people don't even know were made while you were in
power and which might not all seem wise or even possible to undo later you can wield a nation's economic and political influence for them, but nobody
can actually point to anything you stole- they sold their resources to somebody else and got the best price ever for it- and you just benefited from
the manipulation of the market indirectly- of course you bumped down their production and put 5% of them out of work, but those guys are gonna have to
take one for the team because the guys who can still feed their families don't want another war.
So what happens now? We leave Iraq and Afghanistan more or less as we wish them to be- we might have had higher ambitions but this will do- so far
everyone involved, has been very well paid (except for the veterans) and that won't end immediately. We also have less well known gains in Africa and
plenty to jockey for as obsolete cold war regimes give way to new sponsored revolutions across the middle east.
Eventually China will take its turn in Afghanistan- that's China's road to the Middle East- a road they will need as they hope to outgrow the United
States as a world power. The logical road for them includes a forward base in Iran and a heavy economic interest in Iraq in the future.
The United States might choose to take out Iran before China can get into Afghanistan, but that seems more unlikely every year. I can't rule it out
just because our president has a Nobel "Slightly-Less-Violence-Than-Last-Year-But-Last-Year-Was-Really-Bad" Prize.
No doubt South East Asia has a war coming- I don't know enough about the area or the specific issues that have gone unresolved to say much about it,
except that half the world's population and two of its great powers are in one corner of Asia with not enough clean water or work to go around, and
it can't go on forever. The question is whether India wants that now or later- China has other fish to fry for now.
India could do the US a huge favor after we leave Afghanistan and whack Pakistan for some unrelated reason while covertly supporting the Karzai
government- especially if Pakistan should be somehow destabilized by it's involvement in the Taliban resurgence that will come out of their tribal
areas when we leave Afghanistan. It's bold and aggressive and probably not their style, but it does avoid a direct confrontation with China- not only
buying time but strengthening India's position in the world relative to China at the same time- South East Asia could be sorted out later when it was
more likely to go India's way.
India doesn't have to do that though, because they have interests in Africa that align better with America than China, and that will be safe for
quite some time even if the Chinese do get as far as Iran, and there is every reason to believe that Afghanistan will eventually confound the Chinese
as it has everyone else, especially since the US will be laying the ground work for exactly that- with 9 bases from which to leak weapons, train
locals, and extend intelligence networks between 2014 and whenever the US finally leaves and China gets its turn.
There is also no reason to expect the Muslims to be all that receptive to the Chinese- communism is atheistic after all, and the Chinese are already
having problems in their own Western territories with Uyghurs.
I think things will remain cold for some time, long enough that the WWIII label may never be applied. China will rule Afghanistan for a time in the
2020s-2030s, America will have to lose its arrogance and warm up to both India and the Arabs, and we will eventually get along better than anyone
would expect now. Our media will make it easy for us. First they'll have to play Rambo III on TV a lot, but eventually they'll get some new stuff
together for us to explain that IEDs are clever and not at all dishonorable when used against the Chinese and that it makes sense for Marine Jr to get
shot protecting the people that Marine Sr was told to shoot indiscriminately. Yeah they'll hate our guts still, but we're Americans and we probably
won't even get it, because they're taking the guns we give them so that means we're good right?
China will be put in its place almost as soon as they get out of it, but in the aftermath America will be like France and Britain after WWII- out of
gas- no longer a truly global power in its own right. I don't think anyone will get themselves nuked, but if somebody does it will probably be
America China and Russia. Either way that leaves India an unexpected front runner in the world without having to do the painful part of the world war-
not unlike America last time out, but they would still potentially be facing future troubles with a bruised and desperate China if the nukes don't
fly. Maybe they can soft-power their way past such a problem in this scenario though.
Then there are the Arabs- if China has been fought off in Afghanistan, maybe they've just been arming against contingencies involving China and Iran,
or maybe they've already dealt with an Iranian or even Chinese invasion of Iraq or even Saudi Arabia... The US no longer controls the region and has
been forced to aid them, the Chinese have been kept out, the Indians aren't an immediate threat- who knows what will happen next for them.
None of it will be completely conclusive either, since again, the world is a bit more complicated now. If you started the war for financial reasons
and it didn't go well for your country, you theoretically could shepherd some of your acquisitions through the peace process and continue to enjoy
them under the administration of a different country after losing the war. WWIII will not be another nationalist war, and it may even be the beginning
of the end for nation-states themselves.