I learned about history from my Great-Great Uncle Robert, who was himself born in 1883, and witnessed both the Great World Wars as an adult. By the time I was introduced to the world wars as part of my history education, I already had a feel for the climate of war, or the state of affairs that signal a tinder box of influences have converged to set the stage for ‘war’, or the preliminary technological and economic behaviors of today’s modern war. There have been hints of a ‘Third World War’ cropping up in the news, either as a direct suggestion, an innuendo, or as a likely path that the world is headed toward. Pope Francis spoke of war September, 2013 when he was quoted as saying “Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” The UK Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/11094114/Pope-warns-of-a-Third-World-War.html
Is the presumption that another Great War is in the making a paranoid idea of those inclined to yell ‘the sky is falling’, or is it a real and an imminent threat supported by experts in the fields of politics and economics? According to The Examiner http://www.examiner.com/article/world-war-3-is-inevitable-and-it-will-begin-sooner-or-later-analysts-warn, credible experts suggest a legitimate fear of a third world war, due to the unstable global economy and the complicated mixture of security threats as well as the resulting alliances that may result. The stage is set for world mayhem, as leaders struggle to maintain the fragile hold on the relative ‘peace and security’ that exists within their countries as nuclear weapons are being forged by North Korea and by Syria http://hotair.com/archives/2015/01/12/great-news-bashar-al-assad-still-developing-nuclear-weapons/
http://www.businessinsider.com/nine-nations-have-nukes–heres-how-many-each-country-has-2014-6th in addition to the nine nations that already have nukes. It is important to note that only five nations are legally allowed to have weapons, and they are China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA, with the U.S.A. and Russia holding 93% of the world’s total nuclear arsenal.
Russia and the United States were the two big players in the nuclear armaments race when I was young (my age shall remain a mystery). During the 1970’s the armaments race had created so many nuclear weapons, and created such fear that we kids had ‘Fallout Shelter’ training in the schools as we watched reels of film in darkened classrooms warning of what to do in case of the ever possible nuclear fallout from a nuclear bomb. Little did we know that
at that time the combined total of destructive nuclear power would have wiped the planet clean of all human life many times over, not to mention animal and plant life. We had more to fear then than we could possibly imagine. The world today has much more to fear.
Today the international world is more connected than it has ever been at any time in the past, with over 7 billion people http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/ 196 countries, connected by an economy that affects the world via interconnected global markets, and networked through social networks via the internet. The world has changed drastically in the last fifty years, as information and ideas are exchanged at lightning speed. The economic chains that connect the global markets are subject to the power of information. The minute the job markets reports losses, or the Gross Domestic Product drops, the stock market reflects the changes internationally, as though the market itself is a giant thermometer measuring the world’s temperature. Fear breeds fear, and the emotional climate of the world is part of the recipe for either stability of chaos. The United States, Great Britain, and the United Nations, have served to aid in the stabilization of the international political scene, as well as serving to foster a spirit of soundness in the world. The principles and values of great democracies promote unification of the world and the humanitarian treatment of others, and the United States is a leader in that regard, serving as a world ‘police presence’ of sorts when great atrocities are committed.
The United States is not only a leader but it is considered to be sole ‘superpower’, although China, India, and the European Union, are close on its heels and subject to gaining superpower status during this century. So why is there a reason to fear?
The appeal of what seemed at first to be radical acts of a few deranged groups, is now gaining ground all over the world: ISIS. Although ISIS is a relatively small force, with a wicked ideology, the danger is not so much a result of the power they hold among their own, but the danger lies in their appeal to lost souls, and disenfranchised individuals looking for a cause. When the world climate is stable, groups like ISIS are not as powerful; their power grows when too many people are unhappy and confused. Chaos breeds chaos.
Will there be a Third Great War? No one knows, or can know, but the signs of war are foreboding in the chaos and ‘piecemeal’ chaos, with “crimes, massacre and destruction” as Pope Francis stated.