Category Archives: Fav-War

Backing Into World War III | Foreign Policy

“Accepting spheres of influence is a recipe for disaster.”

Americans tend to take the fundamental stability of the international order for granted, even while complaining about the burden the United States carries in preserving that stability. History shows that world orders do collapse, however, and when they do it is often unexpected, rapid, and violent. The late 18th century was the high point of the Enlightenment in Europe, before the continent fell suddenly into the abyss of the Napoleonic Wars. In the first decade of the 20th century, the world’s smartest minds predicted an end to great-power conflict as revolutions in communication and transportation knit economies and people closer together. The most devastating war in history came four years later. The apparent calm of the postwar 1920s became the crisis-ridden 1930s and then another world war. Where exactly we are in this classic scenario today, how close the trend lines are to that intersection point is, as always, impossible to know. Are we three years away from a global crisis, or 15? That we are somewhere on that path, however, is unmistakable.

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The Dark Ages 2.0

… Now, the question is whether the United States is willing to continue upholding the order that it created and which depends entirely on American power or whether Americans are prepared to take the risk — if they even understand the risk — of letting the order collapse into chaos and conflict.

Backing Into World War III | Foreign Policy

I’ve been following this problem since 2003. From what I can see a global crisis is a lot closer to three years than 15. And it might even be less than three years.

Donald Trump and China on dangerous collision course, say experts | US news | The Guardian

“Report says ties between the two nuclear-armed countries could deteriorate into an economic or military confrontation”

The group’s report, which was handed to the White House on Sunday and will be published in Washington DC on Tuesday, says ties between the two nuclear-armed countries could rapidly deteriorate into an economic or even military confrontation if compromise on issues including trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea cannot be found.

It says China’s increasingly assertive actions in the region – which include placing sophisticated weapons systems on artificial islands – coupled with growing domestic nationalism risks setting the US and China on “a dangerous collision course”.

Donald Trump and China on dangerous collision course, say experts | US news | The Guardian

Gen. McChrystal is right — in fact, Russian leaders think they already are at war | Foreign Policy

General Stanley McChrystal perhaps shocked many when he spoke out on the chance of a war in Europe — aside from the continuing conflict in Ukraine. He stated that “A European war is not unthinkable. People who want to believe a war in Europe is not possible might be in for a surprise.” He is absolutely correct, and it is with Russia.

The common idea on how this will happen is that increased activity can lead to incidents and unintentional escalation. That is, however, only focusing on the direct issues. The underlying issue is that Russia believes itself to be in a war with the West, albeit, for now, a non-military one (coincidentally the topic of my PhD).

The economic sanctions imposed on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine are not perceived as a moderate response from the West to a breach of international law. Rather, as the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov stated, they are seen as an attempt to provoke regime change in Russia. Moreover, this perception has a longer story than economic sanctions.

Gen. McChrystal is right — in fact, Russian leaders think they already are at war | Foreign Policy

War With China? Effects Of A U.S. Blockade In The South China Sea

Associating the Trump Team’s mooting of a blockade with war is therefore a self-defeating half-truth at best, and leaves China’s own culpability hidden. From a normative perspective, was it not an “act of war” when China constructed the islands in the Philippines’ EEZ in the first place? Was it not an “act of war” when China ignored the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague and refused to vacate its military from those islands that are within the Philippines’ EEZ? Is the conclusion of the quoted experts then that China’s acts of war should be answered with silence and continued back-sliding, including in the case of the U.S. defense treaty with the Philippines?

The Philippines has been thunderously silent on Tillerson’s comments, and Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay could even be read to support the idea of a blockade, but without putting the Philippines’ thin neck on the line. I don’t blame him.

War With China? Effects Of A U.S. Blockade In The South China Sea

China’s South China Sea grab was just asking for war from the beginning. There was always going to come a time when China would restrict movement in the South China Sea and lead us right back to where we are now. There is really no escaping the path to confrontation (and possibly war) with China. And forcing a confrontation sooner is always better than later when China has more nuclear weapons.

Is Trump ready for war in the South China Sea, or is his team just not being clear? – The Washington Post

“The U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there,” Spicer said when asked if President Trump agreed with his nominee.

“It’s a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yeah, we’re going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country.”

Experts had initially thought Tillerson might have misspoken, but Spicer’s remarks appeared to raise the likelihood that the administration was indeed considering blocking China’s access to its new islands in the Spratlys.

Is Trump ready for war in the South China Sea, or is his team just not being clear? – The Washington Post

Trump White House warns against Beijing ‘takeover’ of South China Sea | World news | The Guardian

The United States will take steps to foil Chinese efforts to “take over” the South China Sea, the White House has indicated, amid growing hints that Donald Trump’s administration intends to challenge Beijing over the strategic waterway.

Chinese media responded by warning that any attempt to prevent China accessing its interests in the region risked sparking a “large-scale war”.

At his first question and answer session with the press on Monday Spicer again hinted Trump’s administration would take a harder line on the South China Sea.

“I think the most dangerous scenario was the one we were heading towards: a lot of tough talk on the South China Sea, but China continuing to encroach and the United States not really putting a lot of muscle behind the statements it was making.”

Trump White House warns against Beijing ‘takeover’ of South China Sea | World news | The Guardian

Chinese Media Has Told Rex Tillerson to ‘Prepare for a Military Clash’ | TIME

The U.S. Secretary of State nominee has provoked fury with his hawkish remarks on the South China Sea

China’s state media has responded forcefully to suggestions by U.S. Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson that China should be barred from the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, warning that any such attempt would force a “devastating confrontation” and both sides should “prepare for a military clash.”

Chinese Media Has Told Rex Tillerson to ‘Prepare for a Military Clash’ | TIME

“America First” and Global Conflict Next by Nouriel Roubini – Project Syndicate

“When the US pursued similar policies in the 1920s and 1930s, it helped sow the seeds of World War II.”

Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States does not just represent a mounting populist backlash against globalization. It may also portend the end of Pax Americana – the international order of free exchange and shared security that the US and its allies built after World War II.

Trump, however, may pursue populist, anti-globalization, and protectionist policies that hinder trade and restrict the movement of labor and capital. And he has cast doubt on existing US security guarantees by suggesting that he will force America’s allies to pay for more of their own defense. If Trump is serious about putting “America first,” his administration will shift US geopolitical strategy toward isolationism and unilateralism, pursuing only the national interests of the homeland.

When the US pursued similar policies in the 1920s and 1930s, it helped sow the seeds of World War II. Protectionism – starting with the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which affected thousands of imported goods – triggered retaliatory trade and currency wars that worsened the Great Depression. More important, American isolationism – based on a false belief that the US was safely protected by two oceans – allowed Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan to wage aggressive war and threaten the entire world. With the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the US was finally forced to take its head out of the sand.
Today, too, a US turn to isolationism and the pursuit of strictly US national interests may eventually lead to a global conflict. Even without the prospect of American disengagement from Europe, the European Union and the eurozone already appear to be disintegrating, particularly in the wake of the United Kingdom’s June Brexit vote and Italy’s failed referendum on constitutional reforms in December. Moreover, in 2017, extreme anti-Europe left- or right-wing populist parties could come to power in France and Italy, and possibly in other parts of Europe.

“America First” and Global Conflict Next by Nouriel Roubini – Project Syndicate

China Almost Began a War against the United States in July over South China Sea : Science : Chinatopix

Chinese state-run television has revealed China almost ignited a war against the United States in July when it aimed “dozens” of DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs) at the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) patrolling the South China Sea.

This startling admission was made on state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) this week. It also revealed this action that might have triggered a war with the United States occurred a few days before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on July 12 declared illegal China’s claim to own most of the South China Sea based on “historic rights.”

China saw the U.S. Navy’s two Carrier Strike Groups in the South China Sea as an indication the U.S. was about to attack. It feared the U.S. might use its military strength to enforce the arbitration ruling.

China Almost Began a War against the United States in July over South China Sea : Science : Chinatopix

The relationship between China and the US is already at a tipping point where it won’t take a lot to start a major war. This tipping point still exists. So in the future it’s not going to take a lot for things to go south real fast.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Spokesman: Settlements Will Spark War That Will Lead to Israel’s Destruction | Algemeiner.com

An Iranian military official said that Israeli settlement construction could spark a war leading to the destruction of Israel.

Israel has just announced plans to move forward with the building of thousands of new homes (ultimately 5,600 homes) in East Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is predominately Palestinian.

A key point not to ignore is the remark about war leading to the destruction of Israel. This is not an idle boast. Iran is seriously positioning it’s allies to destroy Israel. This will likely happen through hundreds of precision guided missiles launched each day and the likelihood of chemical weapons use on Israeli cities.

Ongoing Israeli settlement construction will spark a war that will lead to the Jewish state’s “complete destruction,” an Iranian military official said on Thursday, the Tehran regime-aligned Tasnim news agency reported.

A day after US Secretary of State John Kerry assailed Israel’s settlement policies and less than week after the UN Security Council passed an anti-settlement resolution, General Ramezan Sharif — a spokesman for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps — stated that further settlement building would “definitely provoke a reaction.”

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Spokesman: Settlements Will Spark War That Will Lead to Israel’s Destruction | Algemeiner.com

A Defiant Israel Vows to Expand Its Settlements – The New York Times

Undeterred by a resounding defeat at the United Nations, Israel’s government said Monday that it would move ahead with thousands of new homes in East Jerusalem and warned nations against further action, declaring that Israel does not “turn the other cheek.”

Just a few days after the United Nations Security Council voted to condemn Israeli settlements, Jerusalem’s municipal government signaled that it would not back down: The city intends to approve 600 housing units in the predominantly Palestinian eastern section of town on Wednesday in what a top official called a first installment on 5,600 new homes.

A Defiant Israel Vows to Expand Its Settlements – The New York Times

Tasnim News Agency – Settlement Activities to Bring About Israel’s End: IRGC Spokesman

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) spokesman reminded the Tel Aviv regime of a certain defeat it will have to suffer in a war that may break out as a result of pressing ahead with illegal settlement construction in Palestine, saying it will result in Israel’s annihilation.

Tasnim News Agency – Settlement Activities to Bring About Israel’s End: IRGC Spokesman

Connecting the dots

Should chemical weapons be used on Israeli cities then a nuclear response is very likely. However, an Israeli nuclear response will significantly lower the threshold for or even act as a catalyst for a great power nuclear war (World War III) between America, Russia and China.

In the following video, George Friedman discusses how instabilities reign from Europe to Asia. This was last seen in 1945. While we don’t know what is going to happen, the signs are ominous. Great things are possible. The world is going to change because it has to.

George Friedman, Founder & Chairman @ Geopolitical Futures, Keynotes #BPOG 2016

George Friedman on the Global Crises

Will the great stress that exists in the world today change smoothly? Well, based on the number of articles discussing the possibility of world war III, I would not count on a smooth change. This suggests that something like a great-power war now moves from the unthinkable to the thinkable.

How World War III became possible – Vox

There is a growing chorus of political analysts, arms control experts, and government officials who are sounding the alarm, trying to call the world’s attention to its drift toward disaster. The prospect of a major war, even a nuclear war, in Europe has become thinkable, they warn, even plausible.

What they describe is a threat that combines many of the hair-trigger dangers and world-ending stakes of the Cold War with the volatility and false calm that preceded World War I — a comparison I heard with disturbing frequency.

They describe a number of ways that an unwanted but nonetheless major war, like that of 1914, could break out in the Eastern European borderlands. The stakes, they say, could not be higher: the post–World War II peace in Europe, the lives of thousands or millions of Eastern Europeans, or even, in a worst-case scenario that is remote but real, the nuclear devastation of the planet.

How World War III became possible – Vox

The article points out how a major war could break out in Europe. But the real point is that a major war is no longer unthinkable. We are sitting at a tipping point. We sit at a tipping point with both Russia and China. Given that Syria, Iran and Hezbollah are allies of Russia, should Israel use nuclear weapons to destroy one or more of them then serious trouble could ensure.

Here’s how World War Three could start tomorrow

It is no longer politic to avoid talking about these trends. It may seem like a fear of the distant past or the realm of fiction, but if there is a hope of averting such great power fights, a frank and open discussion about their real risks of and likely horrors is needed.

Not persuaded? At least weigh the statement of a Chinese military officer in an official regime publication last year.

“The world war is a form of war that the whole world should face up to”, he said. It is a statement to be both considered and chilled by.

Here’s how World War Three could start tomorrow

We sit watching a great mountain that is about to avalanche. Events in the Middle East just might be the catalyst that starts it.