A war can break out for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes, a war can just start by a strong mind leader who has a lust for wars. Nonetheless, in a complex world of today, albeit wars might occur for the reasons that nobody will ever be able to guess, I think a global war might occur easily if the world is so clearly divided. What do I mean by this? Read on and I expand on this further…
Well, if the world is so clearly divided in a sense that a world is splitting into two groups — each group consists of friendly countries that are so ready to defend one another — I think this configuration for the world will easily ignite a global war. How come? You can call it as domino effect or a string effect or ally effect or whatever, but the reality is that this sort of division in the world will encourage one country to go to defend a friendly country with little hesitation. Although, defending a friendly country is a noble deed, but when the world is so clearly divided into two groups, many countries may tend to look pass the diplomacy and pour resources into war preparation instead. Of course, if a country wants peace, it must always be ready for war. When a country is so war ready, it’s very unlikely to be considered as a weak target and will not easily be bullied or taunted into a possible war. Nonetheless, war preparation is not the same as war preparation with clear cut global division.
When we have a world with clear cut global division, countries that are grouped together and war ready will find themselves to be overly confident. Overconfidence may lead into pushing diplomacy aside, thus war preparation might just become preemptive strikes. Perhaps, preemptive strikes come in all sort of forms, and eventually the physical form of war might just become a reality.
In today world though, we have nuclear weapons, thus even with our current clear cut global division world, I doubt that a global war such as World War III will easily erupt. Nonetheless, if certain countries that are able to find a way out of (MAD) Mutual Assure Destruction situation, then a clear cut global division kind of world, even with nuclear weapons, will find itself embroil in a global war.
I think the world we are currently living in is a dangerous one. It’s clearly that China is a rising global power, and some people even consider that China is already a super power. Whether China is a super power or not, it does have more allies than before for China is growing in military and economic strengths. Furthermore, with China’s advancements, many countries are rethinking about their strategic friendships. With more countries are willing to be under China’s global influences, this will put United States in a situation which will be very uncomfortable.
Of course, United States can follow Britain’s playbook. In the past Britain conceded its global power to the United States in a way that it did not wage war against the United States. Of course, the British did attack the United States when the United States was still a colony or sort of. Nonetheless, the United States declared independence from Britain, and when the dust was settled Britain did not try to invade the United States again. After World War II, Britain conceded her power to the United States.
Another option for the United States in the face of China rising is that doing everything it can to disturb China’s rise. The eventual outcome of this option will not be clear for obvious reasons. One obvious reason is that nobody can be sure that the United States can contain China, because China is economically strong and militarily ambitious. Furthermore, China is one of those countries that can use the MAD strategy. With modern nuclear weapons, China can deny a potential enemy from being too aggressive against China’s core interests.
As China is ambitiously rising, the United States is embroiling in economic downturns and global enemies such as Russia and other players in the Middle East. While the United States is clearly wanting to contain China somewhat, but the United States is having her plate full. With a full plate to deal with, containing China will not be easy for the United States.
Since China is knowing that the United States is trying to contain its ambitions, thus China is working in a direction in which will not be favorable for the United States. Furthermore, China is now working ever closer with Russia, thus the United States will have to find other allies to counter China Russia combination. Nonetheless, China and Russia are creating their own organizations that allow even more countries to join such organizations, and so the world is becoming evermore clear cut divided. The world is definitely being divided by United States and China.
As the world is being divided by two most awesome countries, United States and China, many smaller and weaker countries will pick side. Some countries will try to stay neutral, but for how long? What if China or United States wants such neutral countries to pick side at all costs, can such neutral countries stay neutral? For an example, United States and Europe and Russia want Ukraine to pick side! The original government of Ukraine wanted to go with Russia, but it got overthrown, and now the newer government wants to go with NATO (Europe and United States). Nonetheless, I doubt Russia will approve of that and will do everything it can to prevent something like that from happening.
In conclusion, my theory is that if MAD isn’t useful anymore, a clear cut global divided world will find itself embroiling in global war. Perhaps, we can call such a war a World War III. Cliche or not, it’s a war that I do not want to see it happens. After all, the next global war might push countries with nuclear weapons to go nuclear. Modern nuclear weapons are way more powerful than the ones that the United States had dropped on Japan, and so I think we should be fearful of the next global war. Instead of millions of deaths, we may witness hundreds of millions of deaths for the next global war.