Human history is filled with violence, bloodshed, and conflicts ranging from neighborly squabbles over who gets a bigger backyard to imperialists trying to conquer the world. It’s in our genes, and we can do nothing about it, but that doesn’t mean we’re not trying. Still, war is a primal force that can shape the destiny of civilizations, and it has evolved in both means and motives. Recently, as geopolitical tensions rise and the world becomes more interconnected than ever, the possibility of a global conflict, aka World War III, is looming over us all.
Let’s try to figure out a few hypothetical (and not-so-hypothetical) scenarios that could ignite a cataclysmic event dooming our entire planet. But before we start, this article is not meant to be perceived as a serious piece but rather as the writer’s opinion.
1. The US and Israel vs. Iran
The American government has been trying to cover the whole of the Middle East with a wet blanket for years in an attempt to delay weapons research and manufacturing in countries like Iran. But as we can all see from the Russo-Ukrainian war and the HAMAS’s terrorist operation in Israel, the US has failed miserably. Not only does Iran supply attack drones, missiles, and who knows what else to the Russians, but they also have enough time and resources to develop new weapons, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, despite any and all sanctions. And so it seems that sooner or later, this will lead to either an all-out war between the Civilized West and the Iranian troops. In turn, such an escalation may persuade the Axis of Evil to step in, and boom!—we got WWIII.
2. Russia vs. China
I hear you thinking, “What? Why would two enormous neighboring superpowers have a beef that could end in a nuclear war?” Well, China already knows that Russia is losing the war against Ukraine and the West, which is why they’re not stepping in to help. And what happens after Putin blows his brains out somewhere in his bunker? Correct: Russia as we know it will cease to exist, splitting into dozens of autonomous states and provinces. All China wants is that sweet-sweet pie called “natural resources.” The cold and desolate Siberia used to belong to China, so with Russia’s dwindling military resources, it would only make sense for China to yoink it. It’s not like anyone who lives there would mind working for the communists. China has also been pumping the region with its citizens for years, so we may see a situation similar to what Russians did when they claimed Russian-speaking minorities in Ukraine had to be protected. Now, that would be some great karmic justice for them, don’t you think?
3. North Korea vs. the US
Everyone knows that this fight will happen sooner or later. Will North Korea obliterate the US? Absolutely not. Will the potential nuclear war take millions of lives? Absolutely, yes. It’s a deadman’s switch, which is why North Korea still exists. The worst part is that, taking into account how unreliable Kim’s ICBMS are, some may hit South Korea, Japan, Mexico, and who knows where else. Depending on which side will be the aggressor, the world will either see a swift victory of allied nations or a long and arduous war between North Korea, China, Russia, etc., and the West.
5. NATO and Ukraine vs. Russia and Belarus
Since 2014, Russians have been at war with Ukraine, but it was a “localized conflict,” and the world media presented it as a “civil war.” Apparently, to the Westerners, the annexation of Crimea was not as important as keeping the gas and oil pumping to their homes. That propaganda works on simple-minded citizens even to this day, as they keep believing everything the TV says. Even though NATO showed concern over military exercises in Belarus involving 200,000 soldiers, they did nothing about it. But in February 2022, Russia began a full-scale attack from North, East, and South, betting on the element of surprise, only to drown in their own blood and turn the desired blitzkrieg into a war of attrition that may last for years. Sadly for Ukraine, Russians are very mindful about not incidentally (or on purpose) attacking any of the NATO countries because then they’d have to deal with Article 5. Still, if that were to happen, we’d be going straight to WWIII, no questions asked.
4. South China Sea War
The South China Sea is notoriously rich in oil and fish, making it a point of contention among numerous countries in the region. Despite the United Nations’ attempts to regulate resource extraction by limiting how far into the sea each country can go, some have found a way to bypass those limitations. China has been literally building artificial islands to expand its territory, claiming a large portion of the sea’s resources. Naturally, such wicked games have led to tensions and threats. If an armed conflict were to arise, it could potentially involve the US and China, which is really all you need to nuke the whole world. It would be truly a historic confrontation, quite possibly the last one in our history.