world war 3 speculations

The Russia-Ukraine conflict which began in February 2022 is currently ongoing, with Russia occupying 18% of Ukraine’s territory. If Ukraine joins the NATO Forces, then following the ‘ripple effect’, the ongoing bilateral attacks will escalate into something as deadly as World War 3, as is also warned by the Russian officials. Now can we say, is world on the verge of the World War 3?

World War 1 – Summary

It is rightly said that history is the best teacher if you want to take a lesson or two regarding your future decisions. If one turns the pages of history of the time period 1914-1918, one will find that in World War 1, the Austro-Hungarian rule was challenged by Serbia as the Serbians wanted to free themselves from the claws of the incumbent mighty empire. The killing of Archduke Ferdinand, who was the heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, by a Serbian nationalist made Austria-Hungary declare war on Serbia. Russia backed Serbia and the ruling empire was backed by the Germans. As things progressed other countries started taking sides and declared their support for either of the two powers. Russia, France, Belgium, and Great Britain were part of the Allied Powers and they fought against the Central Powers which consisted of Germany, the Austria-Hungarian empire, the Ottoman empire, and Bulgaria. The European continent had become a blood-bathed battlefield for the years between 1914 and 1918. 

Also Read: Wartime Communications since World War I

Points of commonalities if we compare it with today’s war scenarios

In both cases, the ‘expansionist’ approach is being challenged by a country that is generally considered to be a not-so-powerful state. If one looks from the Russian point of view, they are resisting NATO’s expansion, while Ukraine thinks it is in its best interest to join NATO.

The two segments which can be loosely and broadly classified as the West versus Russia, are backed by some countries indirectly.

The ‘Eurasian’ region in which Russia comes, is often a zone of debate owing to the geographical challenges that still continue to exist.

World War 2 – Summary 

The seed of the second World War was sown after the end of World War 1 in the form of the ‘Treaty of Versailles’, which was against Germany’s interest. The rise of Hitler in Germany by stirring the wave of nationalism paved the way for the second war. The invasion of Poland by Germany in 1939 led Great Britain and France to declare war on Germany. In the Pacific region, the USA was fighting against Japanese expansion. The horrific war between the Axis Powers (Germany, Japan, and Italy) and the Allied Powers (US, USSR, and Great Britain) ended in 1945. 

Points of commonalities if we compare it with today’s war scenarios

The expansionist approach being challenged

The world is divided into two factions.

Is World on the Verge of the World War 3?

Russia’s ongoing invasion is not militarily challenged by any other country, while the Cold War period saw two superpowers fighting proxy wars with each other which never took the form of a Hot War. The factor of ‘nuclear deterrence’ also prohibits any war to escalate to the scale of a World War as it might lead to the end of the world by causing irreparable damage to life and our surroundings. The last two world wars were fought when the media was in a burgeoning stage but the expansion of media today and the increased participation of people via media builds a public narrative that restricts the ruling government to take harsh measures like going to war. After the havoc created by the two-atom bomb in 1945, people have learnt how devastating war can be and what is the aftermath suffered by people in the years to come. The back channels of talking and the diplomatic routes have also evolved over the years and the complex interdependence of the countries also minimizes the chances of a world war.

Is World War 3 Coming?

The world today is divided in its approach as it was during the last two world wars. Russia’s call for world war is for the scenario when Ukraine becomes part of NATO, because of Article 5 of NATO which states that any attack on any member of NATO will be responded to by all the members. This may invite all other countries into the conflict zone, even if they have no direct interest in the matters. In a different part of the world, China is regularly indulging in border stand-offs with India and Taiwan and the US response against the Chinese greed, translated into targeting Beijing economically. In the case of Central Asia, the Israel-Iran proxy wars, and Iran’s relationship with the US also point to the fact that there is chaos in almost all parts of the world. The North Korea intermittent missile launch while expanding its range is also heavily criticized by people all over the world.

Also Read: After Russia-Ukraine War

What Countries Will be in World War 3

The new axis, if it is formed, can consist of Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. The other axis can be of the US and other major world powers.

India’s Role in World Wars 

When the two world wars were fought, India was under colonial rule. Indians didn’t directly participate in the decision making and the leaders who had some influence over the people supported the British in the war against the Axis powers. India has always called for diplomatic talks and to resist violence in all forms. During the Cold War era, India’s Non-alignment movement was aimed to pacify the situation and not to help any power in the war. India had fought wars in its eastern and western borders, and since the advent of globalization and the coming of more back channels, India always went for diplomatic talks.

In his latest remark, the Prime Minister of India asked the Russian President at the SCO summit, to restrain from the war and said that, “this is not an era of war”.

Indian PM with Russian President

One only hopes to see peaceful times ahead.

By Satyam

Satyam has done graduation and masters in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Delhi, UGC Net Qualified in Political Science and International Relations. He has a keen interest in knowing and sharing my views and understanding others’ opinions on political matters particularly global affairs.

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