A warm welcome back to Robert after a short absence from our pages. As anyone would expect, Robert is viewing his subject from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, while I am observing it from mainland Europe. There are aspects to this issue that Robert and I see in a different light, but his overall ‘Take’ on the abominable prospect of the world slipping into WW2 after 80 years of relative peace is unthinkable. In that, Robert and I are in total agreement.
Tony Broomfield – Sen Editor – Dangerous Globe
Survivors Guide to a Breakout of World War III – Robert DiBlasio
THE PROSPECT OF A GLOBAL WAR
After reading a recent opinion piece in the New York Times I decided to inject my own interpretation on the author’s views regarding the Russian invasion of the Ukraine and the horrifying prospect of World War III.
I was certainly taken aback by the writer’s thoughts on NATO’s ever-growing role in defense of Ukraine. The contributor has the notion that, not only should NATO continue to grant massive amounts of financial aid, but also supply the Ukrainian military by sending 31 U.S. manufactured M14 Abrams tanks.
Germany, in accordance with 12 other European countries, have agreed to offer Ukraine the superiorly engineered Leopard 2 tank, which most military pundits’ surmise are the best battle tank in the world (abcnews.com).
The New York Times op-ed section has always been perceived a bastion of left-wing idealism. Naturally when the topic of modern warfare is addressed, the expectation of the material would lean heavily towards a message of anti-militarism and peace at all costs. This particular editorial took a completely opposite approach, formulating an unusually strong argument for a full fledge NATO intervention.
Since the end of the cold war and the inevitable destruction of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the spectre of an all-out European conflict seemed totally out of the realm of possibility. Enter Vladimir Putin, a former operative for the KGB, recruited by the infamous spy agency following his time studying law in St. Petersburg. His 15-year career as a foreign intelligence officer came to an abrupt conclusion during the eventual demise of the Soviet Union (info courtesy of newsnation.com).
May 7 2012 marked the beginning of Putin’s second reign as President of Russia. During his first stint as head of state, Putin displayed his penchant for military aggression and desire to expand Russia’s influence across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Known as the Five-Day War, beginning August 7 2008, in the tiny Black Sea nation of Georgia. The combat between the Georgian army and mostly Russian separatists took place in the South Ossetia region and the result was a swift Russian victory. In a similar manner to the current war in Ukraine, Putin and his officials used unfounded accusations of extreme prejudice against the ethnic Russian population.
In 2014 Russia invaded the strategic region of Crimea, within a month of fighting and a low number of casualties, achieved its annexation. Ukraine received no military, economic or logistic assistance from NATO. Eight years later the invasion of the Ukrainian mainland began and brings us up to date (info courtesy statistica.com).
The initial Russian invasion was, steeped in miscalculations, lack of preparation as well as, a modern blitzkreig style attack that culminated in a monumental failure. Casualties on both sides have reached the tens of thousands, and as of March 20th 2023, 8.1 million Ukrainan civilians were forced to seek refuge elsewhere.
The human toll of this travesty cannot be understated and if Ukraine launches a much-expected spring counteroffensive any chance at serious negotiations or ceasefires would surely evaporate.
The views portrayed earlier by the aforementioned New York Times op-ed author is without a doubt shared by many hawkish politicians on all sides of the idealistic spectrum. Gone are the days of right-wing backed military adventurism countered by leftist peacenik rallies, which conjure images of Nixon era anti-war marches during the early 1970’s. Currently, those once easily deciphered differences have vanished and been replaced by a more self-professed, individualistic approach to matters of war and peace.
A NATO MILITARY INTERVENTION
I’m sure we’ve all conjured up terrifying hypothetical images in our head of what a World War III scenario may look like. This exercise of hindsight has always been difficult due to the simple fact I’ve never been able to actually predict how, where, or when such a scene would begin.
I’m certain we’ve made assumptions of who may be the main belligerent nations but thanks to Vladimir Putin’s incredible lack of foresight and military common sense we now have a clear picture of where a global conflict would start, at least geographically.
Presently, the bloody, nearly year-long battle of attrition for the previously insignificant city of Bakhmut in the Eastern Donbas region has become the focal point of the ground warfare. An industrial, seemingly meaningless city of 70,000 residents which most military experts agree has basically zero strategic or logistic importance for either side.
If history teaches us anything it’s that particular battlefields can extend into months-long slogs whereas the winning army gain something vital towards a permanent victory. Similar to the battle of Stalingrad in WWII, Gettysburg in the U.S. Civil War and even Napolean’s defeat at Waterloo. These anonymous locations transformed from little known enclaves into imperative morale building places.
Morale is essential to the soldiers languishing in the trenches, M14 Abrams tanks cannot give a man the will to fight. A recent example that supports this theory was the failure of the U.S. trained and funded Iraqi government forces when given modern, technologically superior weapons for their fight against ISIS. After only a few weeks the Iraqi “army” surrendered en masse videos of ISIS barbarians doing “donuts” with U.S. manufactured humvees quickly circulated the airwaves.
When the current Russian invasion reached the doorstep of Kyiv one year ago, Ukrainian patriots repelled a well equipped and seemingly well prepared Russian army without the enormous monetary support which is presently granted from mostly the United States.
The wild card country in this is Germany, so far, they’ve been reluctant to display an antagonistic move against Russia.
Since the culmination of WWII, strict limitations were implemented to restrict the size and usage of the German military. As of January 2022 Germany’s armed forces consists of 183,600 active personnel making them 29th in the world ranking of largest militaries. Despite their shortcomings in manpower Germany’s reputation for expertise in engineering weapons of war have never wavered. As we noted earlier their Leopard 2 tank is far and away the gold standard of its class. Germany’s hesitancy to offer Ukraine their most treasured weapon is quite telling. This cautionary behavior further proves the German governments unwillingness to involve themselves in this war.
Pressured by their NATO allies Germany finally buckled and went through with sending Leopard 2’s into the Ukraine. Germany would certainly represent one of the standard bearers in bringing the fight to the Russian borders. The whole world would be greater than the sum of its parts in the event NATO wages a full-scaled incursion against Russian forces. Even half of the thirty nation alliance should stand to be enough to overwhelm Russia (without the support of any allies) (info courtesy of globalfirepower.com).
The March 20th summit between Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping further solidified their constructive relationship. China remains reluctant to offer Russia their stockpile of weapons, i.e. combat vehicles, drones, fighter jets etc. Should NATO enter the battlefield on the ground, Russia and specifically Vladimir Putin would naturally turn to China for much need assistance. If Xi Jinping and his ministers decided to enter the fray with considerable economic, military resources and manpower could tip the balance in Russia’s favor.
The outcome of this potential war of epic proportions is impossible to predict. No prognostications could truly be accurate enough to put forth a definitive answer when attempting to prophesize the final result of a NATO verses Russia engagement.
Since the 1950’s the tense rivalry between the two nuclear armed nations on the Korean Peninsula has always been contemptuous and a number of instances over the past half century came within an eyelash of total war, The point of emphasis has always been the 38th Parallel, the most heavily contested border in the world. It’s represented a powder keg, where a deadly confrontation would come to pass. Kim Jong Un, the wayward, unpredictable, yet indisputable leader of the North has made a living testing his crown jeweled nuclear missile program. A clash between the two polar opposite countries could transform a strictly European war into a truly global battleground.
Since the separation of British India in August 1947 India and Pakistan visceral relations have escalated. Several instances throughout the decade India and Pakistan had skirmishes mostly due to the contentiousness over the border territory of Kashmir. Differences in religion, territorial disputes and a general disdain for one another has consistently added fuel to the fire. Both countries are supplied with nuclear arsenals but also periods of instability and political disarray. If a traditional conflict ever erupted the initial expectation would be a chaotic, deadly stalemate. Therefore the odds of a nuclear confrontation could become a terrifying likelihood (info courtesy of nationalarchives.org).
These two escalations on the continent of Asia going from assumptions to brutal reality would create killing fields across Korea and parts of India. The death toll and destruction would assuredly be catastrophic.
Like Germany in Europe, Japan’s presence and significant military, especially their formidable Navy, which boast 155 vessels in total, is the second largest navy in Asia and would put North Korea at a considerable disadvantage. South Korea and Japan aren’t natural allies due to the 2018 South Korean Supreme Court decision to force Japanese companies to compensate victims of forced labor during the 1930’s and 1940’s (info courtesy of Brookings Institute).
The main purpose for writing this editorial was to explore and analyze the effect a global war would have on the world’s population, which as of 2021 stands at 7.9 billion (info courtesy of worldometer.info).
Ukraine, a country of 44 million, has withstood a fierce ground invasion and a winter of constant bombing raids causing 8.1 million civilians to flee the country. In the event of WWIII breaking out, the societal damage inflicted on the world’s populace would be that of no other war previously.
The need for oil exports, and the emergence of globalization, which has spread like wildfire since the implementation of the World Trade Organization, founded in January of 1995, would force nations to rely purely on domestic resources. The European Union’s system of trading would be in peril. The international Stock Markets volatility combined with daily fears of a recession would, more likely than not, levy cataclysmic damage to the global economy (info courtesy of brittanica.com).
Moving on to the everyday citizens that make up the majority of the world’s people.
Concerned parents most certainly would be far to afraid sending their children to school, especially countries in Eastern Europe. Also should the general public still feel obligated to show up at their place of employment aware of the threat of nuclear missiles raining down from the skies above their city at any moment? People residing in North America could feel some semblance of security only due to the immense distance between them and the nearest battlefields.
The palpable anxiety felt with each major escalation would heighten. I mean honestly, would people still feel it necessary to pay their phone bills and rent every month? How about the inevitable widespread drafts when the fighting intensifies? These concieveable “what if’s”going from speculation to actuality could impact social order causing universal mass hysteria, in turn bringing society to the brink of anarchy.
Personally, when it pertains to military service, I’m far too old and unhealthy to be drafted. And myself being of the lower class my worries for the global economy or international stock trade would surely be non-existent. My apprehension would stem from the frightening possibility that my first amendment rights of freedom of speech be compromised.
Currently speaking out against the Kremlin is considered treasonous, punishable by sometines life long prison sentences. Of course, China should they enter into the military madness would stomp out any dissenting voices, and in most cases resulting in a death sentence. Spirited patriotism could eventually lead to ultra nationalism. Fervent hatred towards anyone not on board with a nations cause could bring out rioting and even civil wars.
Generally, these are all loose prophesies of what may occur in the event of an apocalyptic battle between the worlds major powers. Some of these possibilities may come to pass, others probably would turn out to be nothing more than exaggerations. Still, the human race, as we know it, wouldn’t be the same if a World War III ever materialized.
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